Chris ANSWers Questions

Video highlights from Busted In Bali

Chris Parnell was generously willing to answer some questions about what he's doing now.

What did a live cockroach taste like?
They smell and taste like sludge very bitter and crappy if eaten raw.

What did you miss the most while you were incarcerated?
Freedom of course but food and family contact were hard to do with out.

What kept you going each day?
Plans of escape, I would wake up in the morning thinking about it and go to sleep at night with variations of the same plan in my head. ESCAPE ESCAPE ESCAPE.... FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM....

Why didn't the Australian government help more if it was proven your fingerprints were not on the statue?
At the time the relationship between Australia and Indonesia were at an all time low. The Sydney Morning Herald had written an article about the corruption of the ruling Soeharto Family. President Soeharto then told the Australian Prime Minister to close down the offending Newspaper. When this was not done he stopped plane loads of Australian tourists from entering the country and withdrew his Australian Ambassador for a period of time.

In the show it says ‘After a long campaign by his family and friends’ you were finally released. What exactly happened that freed you?
My case was taken up by Amnesty International and Indonesia was called up to the World Court. It proved easier to just to release me, rather than go through International scrutiny of their legal system. I had also had a stroke and my physical condition was very grim to say the least. I weighed 53 kilos and was going blind because of the knife wound to my left eye, and because of the constant malnutrition my right eye developed a form of Glaucoma which was a degenerative disease causing loss of vision.

How did your experience in Indonesia effect who you are today?
I've learned that if you expect nothing from life... You will never be disappointed. I also learned that no one knows how much courage they have until it is tested. How can you expect people to have faith and trust in you if you don't have faith and trust in yourself.

What is your relationship with Cheryl, your wife?
NONE! I have no relationship with my ex wife.

Do you see Cheryl and your daughter?
NO! Not for the last 8 years.

Did you ever have contact with Doggie again?
NO! I have never seen Doggie again since Bali 1985

What was your first year out of prison like? What did you do for a living during this time?
My first year out of prison was all a learning process. I had never seen a Microwave Oven before, nor a CD Player, nor a Mobile Phone. I felt like a foreigner in my own country... for the first year out of prison I was unable to work as I was more or less constantly at the Doctors because of the extreme damage done to me physically. I was diagnosed with Liver Cancer and given 3-5 years to live... That was 13 years ago. I guess that I have exceeded the expiry date!

Would you go back to Indonesia?
Yes I have many friends back there, and I have returned to see them several times over the past 10 years. I've been into various prisons and helped a number of friends with their court cases and saving several of them from the death sentences. 2 of my Nepalie friends who I was in prison with were released this year. They were originally given death sentences. I worked on their appeals and they only served 14 and 17 years. I know that sounds a lot but it is better than death.

Do you tell people your story?
Yes constantly. I have nothing to hide my life is an open book in many ways and hopefully someone can learn from my experiences.

What’s life like for you now?
Everyday is a bonus. I have a beautiful Wife and Son... My wife is an antique collector and I love tinkering around at Auctions, Markets, Bootsales and what not with old world treasures. This gives me time to dabble with writing and working on other novels when the urge strikes. I now have 3 books published and another waiting at the Publishers hoping to get the nod for that in the near future.

Is there anything you didn’t say in the show that you think people should hear?
I've learnt that one should never abandon their dreams. Because if you do... one day you may look around and discover that your dreams have abandoned you. I guess that the only thing that I can add to that is to never hold on to regrets. Simply because nothing sweet is ever pulled out of a box of regrets.

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