Girls Gone Wild In Bali


Girls Gone Wild In Bali

For those of us from North America, spring break is known as the week when pasty Greeks and their college brethren from all over the country descend onto the warmer locales of Panama City, Cancun and Negril for a booze-fueled orgy of bucket beers, foam parties, regrettable tattoos and other activities that one can only hope penicillin is the answer to.

In Australia, the equivalent is schoolie’s week (or leaver’s week), where newly graduated high schoolers head to the Gold Coast or parts of Southeast Asia at the end of their school term in late November and early December to, well, basically do the same thing.

The SMH recently headed to Bali to check out the growing popularity of schoolies traveling to Kuta in southern Bali, where the city was gearing up for about 6,000 revelers to descend on the former fishing village (and more recently, site of both the infamous 2002 and 2005 club bombings).

Beware, they discovered that among the schoolies there are toolies, their slightly older kin.

In their wake come the toolies. They’ve had a few more years than the male school leavers to sculpt their pectorals and submit to the tattooist’s needle, and they fancy their chances in the competition for girls . . . “We come, tattoos and that, and looking a bit older. That’s what the girls are after.”

But why Bali when they have one of the world’s most scenic coastline (the Gold Coast) in their own continent to visit? The answer is simple: Cheap prices and a proliferation of unregulated activities including magic mushrooms, underage drinking, hepatitis-laced tattoo needles, the lack of motorbike helmet laws, roaming gangs of steroid-popping 20-somethings and of course snorkeling. What more could a 17-year-old want in life?

During the day they’ll go snorkeling  bungy jumping, or to the Safari and Marine Park. But at night, “you can be hammered on the street and walk around.” . . . A number of schoolies say they intend to get a tattoo on their last day in Bali — Callum’s will adorn his chest and say “Brother Like No Other” — but some parlors are linked to hepatitis infections, even HIV.

I have to say, I’m quite disappointed by all of this. While these Australian youths are out cavorting at the end of their school year, I can assure you that their American counterparts are doing just the opposite. I myself found time during my spring break week to both adopt and raise an endangered orphan Northern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) and begin my long-anticipated mapping of the human genome. I only hope that these Aussie youths will soon find their way.

[School’s out, Bali’s in, toolies eye the pool]

[Kuta Club by Aiko Konishi/Flickr]


Published on December 04, 2012