Well, they did get here first.
And in superior numbers.
The Aussies, bless em’.
Bringing with them their rough and tumble outback ways. The crude outlook and the harmless charm.
Their slang was, of course, adopted by the locals. Not for fun, but as a new currency. Part of the time honored equation: Make the invaders see a familiarity, make them feel a little of home, then instead of rice, harvest their wallets.
The 80’s warungs of Canggu caught on quick. Surviving on their outpost wits in the wilderness beyond the airport boomtowns to the south. The Canggu people knew, if only by name, why to emulate the bush pub.
It made the warm beer easier to swallow.
Back when Canggu was all wet boardshorts, scraped knees, and exhaust pipe burns. From trying to get to Old Man’s through the rice fields and the buffalo. It was bad sunburns, Bali belly, sandy feet, and kilos of Nasi Goreng.
After all, the Aussies didn’t have a palate, they had a maw. And this had to be fed.
But no more.
The foreign occupation has taken hold. An evolution of international commerce as inexorable as a tide. Like the sands of time, erasing the off-the-beaten-paths of yore.
Yet even in today’s chic hurly-burly of Canggu, the echoes can still be heard. Of that beginning of an epoch. Echoes that remind us, new ways or old, that there was never an innocence in Canggu.
That place has always known exactly what it was doing.----
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