In Kuta, you can do something nice for someone, but it will cost you your phone and anything else in your pocket.

As we arrive into Kuta on the night before New Year's Eve, the first thing we see is a
man laid unconscious on the ground. He actually looks quite comfortable, as if he was
sleeping. Maybe that's why hundreds of Aussie tourists walk past him with less than a
thought. Upon closer inspection, however, we see that he has been beaten up pretty badly.
There are cuts all over his face and when we notice this, we create quite the scene; after a
lot of shouting from everyone, my friend picks him up and puts him in a chair, out of the
way of the pedestrian traffic; another sends a girl to the shop to buy him some water, while
I run around Jalan Legian using my best Indonesian to find out the number for the
ambulance. My questions are met with looks of confusion.

My friends and another tourist are the only people helping him, and they have
attracted a crowd of onlookers.

After 5 minutes of frantically trying to arrange transport to the hospital for the poor guy, it becomes apparent
that the only effective help for this man is to put him in a grossly overpriced taxi to the
hospital. The driver seems genuine enough once the price is right, so our Aussie colleague
pays him. The victim of the crime is now conscious, and he notices that his satchel is
empty. He was most likely robbed and beaten up, but in such a busy street with police less
than 50 metres away, it amazes me that the whole thing went down so easily. Maybe I'm
wrong. Maybe some people are chasing the scumbags who robbed him and beat him up,
but that is more than likely little more than wishful thinking.

In any case, it's too late, the taxi driver has already taken off. We can only hope he
gets on alright and the doctors treat him. We're sure he'll be fine. A few tourists ask us
what happened to him, to which we have no reply. Just guesses.
"His satchel felt pretty empty." My friend says.

The street has cleared up now that our new friend has been taken to the hospital,
and we get on with our night out on Jalan Legian. First stop, Green Boxx, where they sell a
dirt-cheap local spirit called Arak. We see a man that looks quite creepy, wearing a t-shirt
with the words "Trust Me Now, Darling" printed on it. I can't tell if he is wearing it for the
sheer irony or he actually means it. In any case, we get a good laugh out of it and he
seems friendly enough.

After around an hour of playing beat the clock in Skygarden, we go upstairs and
dance for a bit. After 30 seconds my pocket suddenly feels a lot lighter. I check my
pockets, notice my iPhone is no longer there and my heart drops. Did I lose it? Was it
stolen? I turn around and see that my friend is in tears because she is also one phone
down. That, for me, confirms that mine was stolen, too.

What can you do when such a thing blights your day? I say goodbye to my phone in
my head; we'll never find the thief, so I carry on with the night, having a good time. My
friend, however, has a different idea. She's completely distraught at losing her BlackBerry.
And it's understandable! Maybe I wasn't distraught enough at losing my phone. In any
case, I convince her to stay out and party. The night has already cost us too much! We
may as well get the most out of it. So we move on to Bounty, and what a funny thing it is
that we did!

Within 20 seconds of being in the main dancefloor part, I look to my left and see two
Australian Silverback-looking, 120 kilogram AFL types square off against each other. One
swings for the other with a world-class right hook, which instantly knocks him unconscious.
He straightens out like a pole then falls back in a cartoonish manner. The puncher makes
a swift exit to avoid any more trouble, or to avoid the assault charge that he could most
likely buy his way out with a few dollars.

This time, the unconscious man gets attention, although I don't think he would
appreciate it if he could see what sort of attention he is getting. A very nicely tanned,
overly-tattooed lady wearing a top hat decides to straddle him and brutally slap him around
eight times until everyone surrounding him realises that maybe she's actually trying to hurt
him, not wake him up. Yet again, I shout around the room looking for anyone that knows
first aid. I ask one guy, and all he says is "I'm not kissing that guy". Someone in the
surrounding crowd is now helping, but there is also another tourist helping himself to the
knocked-out guy's wallet and phone. My friend, still upset from losing her BlackBerry, sees
this and goes mental. It's not like we could have done much to stop him; the thief looked
Maori or some kind of mixed race. His Australian accent shows us that maybe not all of the
thieves are locals.

We theorise that he must have said something to the girl that he shouldn't have, and
he's paid maybe too much for the mistake.

The next night, wearing different shorts, I feel a hand in my pocket. The same pocket
that my £350 camera is in, but this pickpocket is obviously more of an amateur than the
previous night's. I grab his hand, ready to do something, but he slips away and his gang
separate us and stop me from following him. I make the wise decision to carry on yet again
with my night, in the train of thought that if I was to chase him and hurt him, I could have
ended up like our friend from the beginning of the previous night.

This whole chain of events really annoys me, because I really do like Kuta; that is
perhaps my sixth or seventh visit, but I feel that it has started to go downhill because of
both the tourists and the opportunist pickpockets. It's a tragic story of a Paradise almost
Lost. Next time I hit Bali, I think I'll stay away and go somewhere less dangerous; maybe
Legian or Seminyak.

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