Travel blog Bali

The kids who face the ghosts

A moment lived in Indonesia by Maxime, a traveler from France

When I was 21 years old, I went to Bali. I never traveled out of Europe at this time and I didn’t have a real idea of what this island would look like. I had in my head a cliche vision of this island and I was quite disappointed when I arrived at the airport. There was some roads, cars, billboards… ! Me who imagined myself as an Indiana Jones, I was finally in another modern country.

After a few days, an Indonesian friend of mine brought me to a local park for a night walk.

It was around 11 pm and the night was really dark when we met them: two kids who were collecting plastics amongst trashes. By selling plastics to the waste collection, they will get some money who will allow them to buy food.

My friend did the translator and we sit with them for a chat and share some grilled corncob. They were 9 and 7 but looked younger. They were friends and used to come here every night. Their parents were really poor and lived also from selling plastic. We talked a moment altogether, they were smiling and laughed when I tried to repeat after them some words in Indonesian.

Then, once they have finished their corncob, they recommended to my friend and I to leave. This park was apparently haunted, one of their friend has been changed to a monkey by a bad spirit and they didn’t see him anymore since this night… As they knew pretty well the park it was not too much dangerous for them to stay, but for us…

Then they leave, laughing, skinny and dressed with rags. After a few seconds, their shape disappeared into the darkness.

This moment was for me like a slap, I never met people who live in this condition. It destroyed a lot of certitudes that I have, it was for me the beginning of an eternal questioning.

credit photo : Jan Benda