Saturday, November 22, 2014

Drugs, Sex and Schoolies: Why Bali Is Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare

photo: Schoolies party at the Bounty Nightclub in Kuta, Bali. Picture: Nathan Edwards The Saturday Telegraph does not suggest that anyone pictured in this article takes drugs or is involved in any untoward activity.

WELCOME to every parent’s worst nightmare: hawkers peddling drugs on the street, methanol-laced cocktails sold in laneways, and teenagers drinking themselves into oblivion.

Some 6000 schoolies will converge on the party island of Bali in the coming days, more than 4500km from the gaze of their concerned parents.

During a 10-minute walk along the main street in Kuta, The Saturday Telegraph was offered “hashish” or “cannabis” 10 times.

But there are other more dangerous drugs on offer, including the highly hallucinogenic magic mushrooms and pills.

At last year’s schoolies, a teenager launched into a fit of rage after taking mushrooms bought from a shopfront.

Indonesian police have since banned the drug and classified it as a class one addictive narcotic, which carries a serious prison term.

But despite the ban, sources told The Saturday Telegraph that mushrooms could still be bought from street dealers.

Bali police have increased their presence in the main tourist centres and will launch a special traffic operation targeting tourists dangerously operating scooters. Bali Tourist Police will also run a visa operation next week targeting foreigners.

Bounty Hotel general manager Sven Remo, who runs Bali’s most popular schoolies’ hotel, issued a warning for school leavers to stay away from cheap cocktails and street drugs.

Extra security staff began patrolling Bali resorts from yesterday in preparation of the schoolies’ invasion.

Mr Remo, who operates 166 rooms, said schoolies should follow hotel rules and avoid cheap cocktails. Fireworks have also been banned at the hotel after previous incidents.

Central Coast teenager Jasmine Baker was blinded by a methanol drink, known locally as “jungle juice”, at last year’s schoolies in Bali and airlifted to Darwin.

“These kids have to understand that alcohol is expensive in Bali because it is a Muslim country.

“If you see some dodgy place offering five tequila shots for 25,000 rupiah or about $2.50 Australian then you have to think it sounds too good to be true,” Mr Remo said.

Arrack, a local drink, is used by some rogue bar operators but can contain methanol levels if distilled incorrectly.

At the SC Bar, bartenders make drinks in front of customers so they know what’s being put in them. An average priced cocktail in Kuta will cost about $6.

Sarah Mansfield and Rachael Leo, both 18-year-old schoolies from Umina, are staying for two weeks.

Drinking from bottles in the Bounty resort pool (the recommended method of purchasing alcohol in Bali), the Brisbane Water Secondary College students said they wouldn’t go anywhere near cheap cocktails.

“We can’t wait to party all week,” Ms Leo said.

At the Bounty nightclub, a group of The Entrance College students joined schoolies from Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane to dance.

The club has introduced plastic glasses for the first time this year and will also host a group of aspiring Year 12 DJs during schoolies.

Australian festival promoters have targeted this year’s Bali Schoolies week with the Pens Down, Ultraglow and Sunblast music festivals to be held at the Bounty Discotheque, Sky Garden and Canggu Club Splash Water Park next week.

Red Frog Bali co-ordinator Paul Mergard said students travelling to Indonesia must have their insurance checked, obey local laws and avoid shots, spirits and mixers.

The Red Frogs volunteers will be stationed at 15 hotels across Bali, including the Bounty, 101 Legian, Adi Dharma and Jayakarta.

The Saturday Telegraph does not suggest that anyone pictured in this article takes drugs or is involved in any untoward activity.

The 24-hour BIMC private hospital in Kuta, made famous by Channel 7’s What Really Happens in Bali series, is also preparing for an influx of patients during the season.

A contingent of fly-in fly-out workers and schoolies’ parents have also converged in Bali.

A FIFO worker said they weren’t “Toolies” because they travelled regularly to the resort island.


The Daily Telegraph (Australia)

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