SHOPPING, we would have thought, was a pretty easy thing to do. You see something, you like it, and buy it. In Bali, however, this process is not a basic piece of barter but a complicated and potentially disastrous exchange of cultural misinformation. Reader Philip Walden sent us a fascinating fax stemming from a dispute in a Bali shop. He saw something he liked, paid for it, and was then told that he couldn't have it because the shop didn't have the goods in stock. Mr Walden reasonably pointed out to the salesman, Mr Watania, that the goods he wanted were sitting directly in front of him. It then emerged that they had already been sold to someone else, so even though he had paid for them he couldn't have them. How could this be explained? An overzealous salesman trying to make as much money as possible at the expense of a tourist? Never. Quite obviously the whole dispute was the result of a culture clash between East and West and the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Indonesian culture. A fax of apology to Mr Walden, written by Mr Watania's non-Indonesian boss, said: 'Mr Watania is not aware of having done anything untoward. In Indonesian ethics, he has committed no sin, merely completed another sale. 'He did not tell you the goods you purchased were sold because he knew you did not want to hear that. They have no sense of contract or obligation.' Lest Mr Walden was in any doubt about who was to blame, the fax finishes: 'Should you feel the pangs of doubt creeping in once again, please accept my apologies for a culture that knows no better.' Way to go THERE are good ways and bad ways to depart this world, so it is reassuring to hear from Kuwait of a man who almost stepped off this mortal coil in style. The man was rushed to hospital with back pain and exhaustion after making love to his 17-year-old wife six times a day in the week after their wedding, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported. 'He was pale and powerless and could not speak,' the report said, adding the man had to be carried to an ambulance on the shoulders of friends. The couple had chosen to spend the honeymoon in his apartment. 'He felt dizzy and had excruciating pain in his back, and then collapsed in the living room,' it reported. He was also, apparently, grinning. Playing chicken ON the cheery subject of death and the best - or most bizarre - ways to go about it, we hear a cock-a-hoop tale from Cairo which illustrates how ignoble the whole departure business can be, and what lengths some will go to achieve same. Six people, including four from the same family, drowned when they jumped into a well to save a chicken. The chicken had fallen into a farmer's well in the village of Nazlet Emara in Sohag province. The farmer's 18-year-old son dived in to save it but slipped and drowned. His two brothers, one 20 the other 16 and sister, 14, jumped in one after the other to save him but all met the same fate. Two neighbours who came to the siblings' rescue also drowned. The chicken was found floating in the well - alive. Guess what's for dinner on Sunday. Quiet drive A FINAL word on death, we promise. We have heard from America (where else) of the latest development in with-it funerals. In an attempt to make the deceased's departure from this world as noble and dignified as possible, an Orlando funeral home has developed a 'drive-thru' funeral parlour. Grieving relatives simply apply the brakes and cruise past a window behind which lies the body of their loved one. Tellingly, the window is bullet-proof. There is also a personalised intercom for any last thoughts or words of love for the deceased. It is open 24-hours a day to allow family and friends to pay their final respects. Harold Jones, co-owner of the home, said: 'All they have to do is call, and I can come out in my pyjamas and roll grandma to the window.' Tycoon season WE notice that one of the major shareholders in ill-fated listed company Kin Son Electronics, which filed for liquidation yesterday after the boss disappeared in China, is Li Ka-shing, a tycoon of moderate local repute. Interestingly, just yesterday he was voted 'The most creative person in HK'. Nothing to do with his choice of investments, we are convinced. Team mates INNOCENT until proven guilty is one of the fundamental tenets of the majority of legal systems operating on our planet - but only up to a point. Reader Shaun Williamson noticed this quotation by Leo Mugabe, head of the Zimbabwe Football Association, on match rigging allegations. He said: 'Our stance is still the same. We stand by Grobelaar. He remains innocent until the courts find him guilty.'