My roommate Paul left for Bali, Indonesia, today. My friend Jeanne leaves tomorrow to join him. They’re going for 12 days for a conference of the Pacific-Asian Travel Association.
It took them a long time to finally decide to go. With the impending and then present war, as well as Bali having been the sight of a terrorist bombing once already, there was some worry about going, especially from friends and family. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country and there is a large extremist faction there, although Bali itself is mostly Hindu. But reports from Americans living there calmed those fears mostly.
And now there’s the SARS virus coming out of Asia. It doesn’t appear to have struck Indonesia, but there’s always that worry (and Paul has to spend a night in Kuala Lumpur, so there’s more possible exposure.)
In any case, I think he’ll have a good time. I’ve heard that Bali is a beautiful paradise, the threats in the news notwithstanding. If you have a chance, please say a quick prayer for my friends for safe travel.