Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bali measurement

I was in Bali last week. My ten year due holiday Yati said. But it was not really a holiday, it could not be with all the visits to candi, art market, resorts and construction site of all the thing. At least now I can say I have visited Bali, its temples, beaches, Paparazzi, Ku De Ta, art market and lunched at Bebek Bengil in Ubud, dined at Four Seasons Jimbaran, and had a Bar-B-Q at the beach where the bomb went off. The last one complete with a serenading ‘pemuzik jalanan’ quartet singing Tom Jones, Eagles and Ebeit G Ade. We even had the tremor from Java earthquake to complete the experience. Alhamdulillah nothing untoward happened.

Bali is amazing. It was an abode of living culture. Here celebration and festivals was happening every day and for every reason. We saw the daily temple prayer, marriage celebration and even mass cremation. All and everything was celebrated.

With the growing demand for luxury holiday homes, lands especially those fronting beaches are being put up for sale. At Nusa Dua, the beaches appeared to be owned by the foreign hotels, at least there was a kind of security check at the beachfront.

Everywhere I noticed billboards advertising land for sale.

The measurement unit for land in Bali is ‘are’ (pronounced are-re). I thought it was short for acre, I was wrong.

My guide explained that one ‘are’ is one-hundredth of a hectare. Now I needed a calculator. So I asked how many ‘are’ needed to build a decent house. ‘Like four’ he said, ‘sesudah siap di’kavling’. Oh my …..

An ‘are’ is thus a hectare (2.47 acre x 43560 ft2) or 107593 ft2 divides by 100 which equals to 1075 ft2. Almost equivalent to 100 m2.

What then is kavling?

‘Kavling’ is a term used for sub-divided lot. ‘Tanah kavling’ means a land readily sub-divided from a larger plot to smaller sizes for building houses or in local term ‘villas’.

If anything, here is where you can feel rich. With the current exchange of four hundred ringgit to a million rupiah, we were basically a living millionaire. But to own anything, even a piece of tanah kavling, being a millionaire was inadequate. You needed more. You must have money in the ‘miliyar’.

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