After reading a story in the Australian Financial Review about the Bali digital nomad community yesterday, I decided to take a look at PARQ, north of Ubud.
The owners of PARQ Ubud bill the place on their website as a city of the future. The article billed it as a Russian and Ukrainian enclave, full of digital nomads, setting up camp in Bali to escape the war in their East European neighbourhood. The place is enormous. Someone obviously spent a lot of dollars or rubles to put it together, but I didn’t feel threatened by it, nor by the people there. In fact, it’s all rather suburban, like a shopping mall with accommodation, and anyone, as far as I could see, was welcome to enter. The smiling security guards with automatic weapons slung over their shoulders walking past when we got inside obviously weren’t there for us, but I did wonder for whom.
It’s a complex of apartments, swimming pools and restaurants. There’s also a flash gym. But the main thing is the peaceful people. There’s no aggression, just people going about their business – most probably digital business like everywhere nowadays. There’s even a hint of sadness at these people’s plight.
There are other complexes around the island inhabited by Australians, French or Germans, maybe not as big, and like Parq, I wouldn’t feel threatened either.
Bali has an inclusive environment that welcomes all to its shores. Just like Aussie bogans or Pommy hooligans everyone has to learn the local ways and feel the local energy if they want to settle here. I expect these new settlers will eventually do the same.
The world and Bali is changing now at a rapid pace and there is no holding it back. Fortunately, we have the banjar system on this island that will keep the status quo the same as it has done for centuries, as was seen with recent deportations of unruly wannabe new settlers.
At sunset there weren’t so many people around the complex. A friend said there were more punters about at lunch. We took off down the hill for dinner in town and had a pleasant evening in Ubud.
More about that later.