Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Balinese drama

A man I know built a house in Bali with another Englishman in the 1980s. It was shaped like a polo mint and situated on an old graveyard. Many good times were had. My friend was getting married, Indonesian property prices were going through the roof and they had an offer they could not refuse on their house. Oh well, end of the bachelor days, they thought and decided to cash in. They had a houseboy who had looked after them well and they wanted to give him a good reward. The thing he wanted most in life was a Mercedes so they promised him that on the day of completion they would transfer sufficient funds to his account for him to buy the car. He was wild with excitement.
The deal was transacted in Singapore in order to avoid Indonesian tax. On the day of completion, there was a bank holiday in Singapore so whilst they were enjoying a last glass of champagne in their house, the houseboy was furious that no money had arrived in his account and was convinced that they had lied to him. They suddenly noticed many police cars drawing up outside the house. Quick as a flash, they darted out the back and drove off to the hills in their jeep. They were terrified that the houseboy had shopped them to the police regarding the tax, that they'd be detained at the airport and put in jail. After much fretting, they decided to risk trying to board their flight to Singapore. In the end, they left safely, the houseboy got his Mercedes and all was well. This year, my friend has finally persuaded his wife to build another house in Bali.


Blogger kinglear said...

Old Balinese saying - The house boy did it.

8:16 am  
Blogger Eurodog said...

This is only to be expected if you build a house on an old graveyard.
There is a café somewhere in the Ardennes opposite a cemetery and it is called: "On est mieux ici qu'en face".

9:58 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

You may be right, ED. The house was bought by a property developer who ran out of money so it's still sitting there on the beach front, unloved, whilst a myriad of development has gone on either side. The ghosts won (and the houseboy)

10:13 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Put that light out!!" as they used to say..

Will you be moving to Newport to lower your carbon footprint, WW ?

3:13 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Can't believe that report, Anon! Am reading it and can't make out how they measure it. Will revert anon, Anon.

3:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert Winston made a useful point about 'carbon footprint'. He seems to think it is not possible to come up with a totally accurate figure, as, for example, it may not include the carbon impact of all the concrete in your house.

Although your pad may be older and use lime, which is better.

Still, with fuel at nearly a fiver a gallon, we will all have to start doing our bit...

3:21 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

My house is built of stone

3:31 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but one would hope that it has something holding it together ?

6:48 pm  
Blogger kinglear said...

ww- no little piggy problem then?

9:34 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

I think it's spit & sawdust

7:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I forgot to post this, inspired by your reference to a polo-shaped house..


It does rather beg the question, if you were going to design a house based on another commonly used object what would it be ?

[Another good one to get dinner party conversation going....]

9:14 am  

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