Bali Raw - "No one can serve two masters"

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and money." - Matthew 6:24

I am no religious person but I came across this Bible passage as I was searching for inspiration of how to start to write down my experience from today. Also I never had read it before I immediately felt appealed by the simple truth of this statement. This morning we went to the bank to transfer some money from one bank to another. As we didn't want to pay the horrendous transfer fees we decided to take out the money in cash and pay it into an account of ours in another bank. My wife already told me to be prepared for a very special ritual before we left from home. At the branch where we took out the money she explicitly asked the bank notes not to be wrapped with a rubber as it is the habit here and also for a slip to be printed out where all the serial numbers of the bank notes that we received where stated. The reason for her request became clear as we handed over the notes in the next bank.

Three employees started to check meticulously note by note for every possible minor scratch or crinkle. My wife told me that if they would find any imperfection on the paper of the notes they would be rejected as they would be considered of lesser value just as one would ask for a discount because the new car you where going to buy already had a scratch. Therefore she had asked in the first bank for the serial numbers of our notes to be printed out so if there was an issue with one or more of them we could claim them to be exchanged for a new one, proofing with the serial numbers that we had received them in the first branch the same day. Truly each and every single of the notes was treated as if they where an expensive painting of a famous painter. The three tellers took them, turned them around and around again, inspecting them for visual "damages" before sliding the tips of their finger across the paper to feel (?) if the texture of the paper is right and checking the four corners to spot any sign of a "dog-ear".

If only, I thought to myself, the island and its nature would be treated with the same devote respect... But then, as Matthew had said: "No one can serve two masters."

Footnote: "Bali Raw" is a personal project. After 4 years on the island I, unavoidably, also had a look behind the facades of "Paradise". By no means I mean to critique anyone or anybody in particular and this is why the stories of "Bali Raw" are not part of the official accessible part of my website. If you landed here it is most likely through a direct link that has been given to you or through almighty Mr. Google.

If you find yourself intrigued to look deeper into my raw impressions of the "Island of the Gods" you may find all articles here and I recommend to read my introduction to the project first in order to understand better the why's of all this. If however you prefer to keep the beautiful memories you took home with you when you visited Bali or you simply want to see the beauty that made it famous then please visit my Indonesia Photo Gallery.