May 16th – May 31st, 2019


Pushed through and gave birth to another chunk of content today, my second big swing as an affiliate. It’s a series about survey sites, which have to be one of the worst ways to earn money online. But hey, lots of people are into it, and the existing content out there for them is lacking. I’m aiming to serve them better.


Can’t beat the rooster, so I join him, up at the crack of dawn. Wait a little while and you can see the volcano from our balcony as light fills the horizon. I’ll head to a nearby cafe later, whiffing incense, over broken sidewalks, around a truck filled with banana leaves, past smiling old ladies balancing big bundles on their heads.


That thing when you’re a tourist in a place and you get pissed off because there are loads of other tourists there, too… been thinking about that, where it comes from. At root it’s probably a desire to feel special, to have a unique experience. We hate knowing there are busloads of other people just like us, lining up to do the same shit.


I get tired a lot. I don’t mean recently, because of that asshole rooster, but all the time. I always seem to be pushing up against that edge of doing too much and getting burnt out. Had a decent sleep last night, still wrecked today. That year in Amsterdam might have been the last time I felt macro rested.


One thing that might help my energy levels is getting the diet sorted. I eat fairly healthy most of the time, but there are certainly things I eat that upset the bowels. Going to give the low FODMAPs thing a try for a few weeks and see how that goes. 


Many Balinese live with extended family in housing compounds, which apparently follow ancient architectural guidelines. The northeast of a compound is supposed to be sacred. That’s where you’ll find a shrine. The southwest is supposed to be impure. That’s where they put me.


Doing a weekly coffee and coworking meetup here in Ubud now, aiming for every Wednesday. Today was the first one. My girlfriend and a friend showed up, just the three of us, no new people. That’s okay. Going to be here until December now so it should build over time. No rush.


Listening to Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi, reminding me to practice asking for things, sometimes even unreasonable things. Because that asking muscle gets weak if you’re not using it. Proceeded to mozy on down to the scooter place and ask for a discount on next month’s rental. Done.


They love their kites in Bali. Look up in any town here with a blue sky and you’ll see at least one kite flying. Stepped outside this afternoon, looked up and saw six. Did a little research and apparently there’s some religious/spiritual significance to it all, as there seems to be with everything on this island. 


You see some mad stuff driving around Bali. Half the people don’t bother wearing helmets. Many of them turn onto a road without looking to see if anything’s coming. One-way streets aren’t taken seriously. Park wherever you like, even if you have to block the whole street. One thing you don’t see is the police.


Joined a gym here today. Works out to $190 for six months, so just over a dollar per day. Haven’t had a gym membership since 2016 in Amsterdam. Enjoyed going, but I do find gym social etiquette difficult. Some people are friendly, some just want to be left alone. Not always easy to tell the difference.


Came down with a fever of some kind. Super weak after lunch and my body aching all over. Can’t lie comfortably in bed, my back hurting. Sometimes too hot, sometimes too cold. And a constant headache. Will see how I feel tomorrow and maybe call a doctor.


Called the doctor. They came here and examined me, took a blood sample, called a couple of hours later with the news: I have dengue fever. Can take up to a week to recover from that. So I’m bedridden for the next few days. My back is feeling better at least. Time to catch up on some Netflix.


In a tiny bathroom wearing blue latex gloves and the toilet seat is wet. I used to live with a guy who would piss all over the toilet seat and never clean it. At least this wetness is only from the bum gun. Anyway, dengue comes with diarrhea and in a few minutes I’ll walk out of this bathroom and hand the doctor a warm cup.


I wake up in a hospital about an hour away. They brought me here in the middle of the night. It’s a good one, might be here for a week. $500 a night but insurance should cover it. I hope. First time I’ll be making a claim on this insurance. There’s always the worry they’ll be difficult.


One nice thing this week: while I’ve been weak and sweating and not doing any work, affiliate commissions have been rolling into my bank account. Earned about $400 the first three days of this illness alone. That’s not typical, but these kind of results keep telling me on the right track.

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  1. Just read this today, sorry to hear the news. I hope you’re feeling much better. I’ve not had Dengue (touch wood), but friends have. I think I have similar feelings about Bali/Asia and #18.

    People do the same thing in Vietnam, turning onto a busy road without looking to see what is coming. We hit a guy once in a taxi, he turned onto the road directly in front of us at high speed… the taxi driver didn’t even see him! The guy got up off the road and was so pissed at what happened he wanted to start a fight 🙂 Go figure. He would have been turning blind onto other roads not 5 minutes later.

    Glad you like Bali/Ubud enough to stay a while. I’ve had many fine travel experiences there. I think I may have told you, that I stayed there for two months stints, several times, and asked a retired couple why they owned a villa in paradise, but only stayed for 2 months a year… a decade later I still clearly remember the response: If we stayed any longer, we’d end up hating the locals. I think it would be the same for me in Ubud/Bali.

    Transport, anyone? 😀

    Would love to see some of your photos of your villa/stay. I hope you upload them somewhere. Its a nice place to stay with your girlfriend, quite romantic… so many choices for good dining at reasonable prices.

  2. Oh Niall sorry about the dengue, my friend’s Mum came down with a dose, in Ecuador, but it barely stopped her (then again I don’t think it was her first rodeo). Met her in the hairdressers a few days later. Hope the immune system is back on track.

    I had to laugh at your rooster comments, I also made a “friend” on that trip to Ecuador. I never felt like rage eating chicken before landing there.

    Nice work on the passive income! Be great to see that ramping up.

    Swift healing!

  3. May 21st
    Passive income while in the hospital is pure brilliance. Glad you’re feeling better <3
    I'm doing a mostly ground beef/Carnivore diet right now and it is somewhat helpful — psychologically it is quite a challenge to sustain.

  4. Simon Cummings

    Hi Niall,
    Get well soon mate. If you want to make the short trip to Perth, I’d be happy to be your guide in Fremantle. Partially make up for all of this freeloading I’ve been doing at your expense.

  5. Hope you are feeling better niall. I did the low fadmap thing a while ago on an elimination diet and it really helped me with the gut thing. I need to sort out the earning online thing, I’ve been trying for ears and earnt nothing. I need to FOCUS – follow one course until successful!
    It’s my birthday today so celebration later.

    See ya

    1. Good to hear from you, Tom! The dengue fever knocked me off the low fodmap diet, must get back to it next week.

      And yeah, focus is key with the online stuff!

      Happy birthday 🙂

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