You may have seen some of the (questionably) authentic complaints written to travel companies by grumpy British holidaymakers. My favourite was the woman who went to India and hated the fact that the local restaurants only served curry. That has the ring of truth about it, but I wouldn’t bet the farm.

However, recently the whingeing from Brits in Bali has reached biblical proportions, and it’s there for all to see on social media, so is not in dispute. Mainly it focuses on the fact the airport has been shut because of a volcano grumbling away to itself, and people are having to extend their stays at their own expense. I’d happily do that rather than fall out of the sky into the Pacific when my plane’s engines get clogged with ash and stall.

There’s a bit of a lack of perspective here. Back in 1963, Mt Agung blew its stack, and upwards of 1500 Balinese were killed. There’s a six mile exclusion zone round the mountain right now, and somewhere in the region of 100,000 have been affected. Under those circumstances, the fact that you’re running out of clean shreddies becomes a bit trivial, doesn’t it? Lighten up a bit, like this guy. He’s not too fazed, is he?


I might even be tempted to feel quite positive about the possibility of needing to take a ferry to Surabaya, and then a 13 hour bus journey to the airport there. Thirteen hours on a bus on a beautiful tropical island is something I wouldn’t sneer at. Meanwhile, you’ve got a volcano erupting in the back garden. How many people get to see that? I might pay good money for the opportunity.

Talking of back gardens, Mt Kinabalu in Malaysia is volcanic and only about 10M years old*. That’s a blink of an eye before the first hominids appeared. You go to sleep one night, and wake up in the morning to find a mountain on your doorstep.

*It’s also the place where those idiot backpackers took topless selfies at the summit of this sacred mountain back in 2015. They bitched too when they quite rightly got arrested.