Although Bali hasn’t seen many tourists over the past few weeks, one semi-permanent resident is trying the best he can to keep the dream alive. Rod Howardton, 57, is an airline CEO who, thanks to coronavirus, has been reduced to begging ordinary working people for their hard-earned money.
“Need money to fund future travels,” his cardboard sign read. “Will accept both Indonesian rupiah and US Government bailouts.”
Airlines are in a bit of a pickle because, despite efforts by local governments and angry nativists to evict all remaining foreigners, nobody is dumb enough to go to an airport terminal in this day and age. Like most too-big-to-fail corporations, airlines presumed they’d just ride the upwards trajectory of profit forever and saved basically nothing for a rainy day (like they expect everyone else to). Now they too must sit in the streets and beg for cash to “keep the dream and good vibes alive.”
“All I need is a cool $1.6 billion to catch the next few flights and I’m golden,” Howardton told our reporter, wearing the standard hippie rags and dreads. “C’mon man, don’t be a narc.”
Many would question why people should give their money to Western leeches who don’t do anything except exploit the lower cost of living abroad for personal gain, but nonetheless airline CEOs are continuing to ask for free money all over the world.
A nearby stranded tourist, Josh, who had been begpacking in the very same spot told our reporter that he “respects Howardton’s vibes” but that it’s “a dick move” to take the lucrative temple market location.