A tourist seen rummaging through rubbish bins around Bali’s Sanur Beach has been identified as a globetrotting Bulgarian backpacker.
Three videos of the man eating discarded food that he dug out of trash cans went viral after they were posted to Facebook by Dwikayanthi Pudja on Saturday. The videos sparked a ton of comments, some sympathetic. But also commentary on the hypocrisy of how challenging it is for Indonesians to travel abroad (to the west, in particular) with requirements for minimum balances in their bank accounts, while westerners can come to Indonesia so cheaply.
It turns out that the Bali trash-picker is a 42-year-old Bulgarian tourist who goes by the name of Toto.
Tracked down by Indonesian outlet Detik, Toto claimed that he was eating garbage to save money. He said he’s a backpacker and hopes to travel the world fully.
“I have been to Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, France, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Singapore and just now Bali,” Toto told Detik.
“I like traveling. So to buy a ticket, you must save money on food and accommodation,” he said, when asked why eat from the rubbish bins.
The backpacker says other countries have not always received his scavenging style so well, but Bali has been friendly.
“In other countries, people look at me scavenging through trash with disgust, telling me to leave. But the people here are kind, friendly, and often give me food,” he said.
The Bulgarian’s story comes at a time when Bali’s governor is complaining of cheap tourists who come to vacation on the island but spend little money during their trips. Well, at least he’s not begpacking.