There are four different Balis (“Gods and Demons: Exposing Bali’s Underbelly”, 19-20/9): the cheap drunken tourist Kuta Bali; the luxurious gated Nusa Dua Bali; the hippie inland Ubud Bali; and finally the normal local Bali of lovely people just trying to get on. Of these four, the Kuta Bali is usually the one everyone hates but many go there anyway because it’s so cheap and, yes, literally everything is available. I went there many times as a young bloke but never again. The other three are well worth experiencing, each delightful in their own way. I feel sad for the locals who [have] very little tourist income at the moment. Comment from Paul, Review online
I first visited Bali in 1972 and fell in love with the people, their spirituality, friendliness and the beauty of the island. Over the years it has changed, but not for the better. Unfortunately one of my last memories of the island was watching a gorgeous turtle being slaughtered by the Balinese (I know people will say it’s part of their culture) and the poor creature dying slowly with tears rolling down its face. My husband and I were sickened. [I have] never gone back since.
Comment from Joy, Review online
Hollywood has a lot to answer for in romanticising the pirate. The depictions of bloodthirsty villains swinging from a rope with a sword in their teeth can reduce otherwise sensible women to quivering wrecks of adulation. Having witnessed several video recordings of real pirate attacks in the Middle East, I can assure any reader that [piracy] is not in any way a fun exercise. It involves threat to life and potential savage retribution. Unfortunately the depictions of a slow death at the end of a rope as referenced at the end of the article (“Review: Enemy of All Mankind, the most successful pirate of all time”, 19-20/9) never seem to feature strongly in Hollywood. Comment from Argus, Review online
What a life
I remember watching David Attenborough as a child of seven or eight on a little black and white television at my friend’s house. He is an incredible person to have continued in the same line of work all his life. To me he is a brave, exciting, inspirational human being. I always find it worth listening to his point of view. In particular his message of hope (as quoted in “Why everyone should see David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet”, 19-20/9): “He is encouraged by … the reforestation of Costa Rica, the no-fish zones in Palau that led to an increase in the fishing catch, Morocco’s shift to solar power, the growth of small, compact farms in The Netherlands.”
Comment from Jean, Review online
The writer of September’s best letter will win a $500 voucher for Sydney Seaplanes.