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News (Media Awareness Project) - Indonesia: Every Corner In Kuta A Drug Store
Title:Indonesia: Every Corner In Kuta A Drug Store
Published On:2011-10-11
Source:Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Fetched On:2011-10-12 06:00:31
EVERY CORNER IN KUTA A DRUG STORE

WE hadn't even parked the car when the dealer saw me.

I looked like the perfect target - a fair skinned tourist with a local
driver, The Daily Telegraph reported.

He smiled at me warmly, which I returned (not knowing his agenda) and
when I stepped out of the car he approached me.

"You want to buy a phone?" he asked.

"No thanks," I said simply.

"A T-shirt? A T-shirt? Cocaine?" The jump from clothing to drugs
confused me. So I asked him again.

"Cocaine? You want cocaine or grass?" he replied. He was just the
first.

I was approached seven times in about half an hour walking down
popular Legian St in Kuta.

You can pick them at a glance, standing by the roadside smoking a
cigarette and waiting for their next target. None offered a price,
just said "grass?" "grass?"

Others said "ganja ganja?"

It was early evening and the street was still bustling with hundreds
of tourists heading back from Kuta beach.

Each dealer looked the same. Focused, middle-aged men in a T-shirt and
old jeans. They didn't look high themselves, just out to make some
money. Some followed me for a couple of metres before dropping back in
defeat.

By the end of the strip I was brushing them off with the same
determination mustered at the polling booth on election day when
forced to fight off those pesky pamphlet pushing volunteers.

I wasn't the only one approached by these dealers. Brooke Clifford,
26, of Sydney, travelled to Bali last Tuesday.

"I have been offered drugs repeatedly every day since I arrived. It is
just constant. Everything from weed to cocaine and pills," she said.

"The dealers just sit on the side of the road and spit out 'charlie?'
or 'grass'.

"At nightclubs they offer the drugs by showing you it in their hands.
I just walk away.

"I definitely would never, ever even consider buying drugs. It is a
sting."

The illegal drug spruiking happens to men as well.

"They keep offering me Viagra," laughed one Aussie, who did not want
to be named.

"I don't know what it is but they just keep asking
me."

Many Australian tourists were unaware there was a 14-year-old
schoolboy being held in Bali police headquarters for allegedly buying
some marijuana off a street dealer. The teen is being held in a cell
on the second story of the Denpasar police complex.

It's alleged he bought $25 of marijuana in Kuta.
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