Published: May 9th 2011May 9th 2011
Up until April 26th.
Lombok. How I don’t ever want to see you again and here I am having to write the same painful blog again – about nothing – due to bad Spanish internet connection. We paid 6 euros for the internet for 24hrs only to have to not work after 12 hours. How we are going to explain this in Spanish and get our internet back, I don’t know – but I guess if you’re reading this now, we managed, or we waited until Amsterdam.
So, Lombok. To keep it quick, there wasn’t really much to see except for the occasional shack, then another shack, a bar with trafficked women, then another, then another shack, a perverted muslim man, maybe another or maybe they’re just staring at me because they’re not used to tourists yet? Not as popular as Bali but they also don’t have their airport yet. Oh that’s right, they’ve been working on it for about six years but the locals keep stealing parts to it, so it’s taking so long to build. Maybe the locals don’t want the tourists? Maybe they don’t want the boom that happened in Bali? Or maybe they’re just so poor a window meant for an airport is a great addition to any Lombok home!
Upon arriving I wasn’t too worried about being in a muslim country after gili islands were so liberal. I put on my only clean item of clothing: a red summer dress with no sleeves. It’s a hit with the locals, especially at the restaurant on the beach, where they are supposed to be most liberated: the women on one table, stare and some seem to glare and the men on the other table, stare and glare. My clothing has caused a stare and glaring match. God knows why since just down the road there is a clothing market that sells colorful summer dresses with halter necks, no sleeves and a bit of boob – the kind of thing you buy at Chadstone when hooking into their summer collection.
So with nothing to do, a beach that is flat with no waves, no-one daring to use the beach as the hawkers are all there and muslims only dare dip their hands into the water, with it being so hot, too hot to walk around aimlessly all day and after the wedding food, well, Joey was bedridden for a few days, making it difficult for me to venture very far very safely.
First though I had the experience of shopping at their local mall. We were told about there being three parts to the wedding, each one being more formal than the last and where we are expected to wear something slightly different to each. For those not aware, our friend from high school is marrying an Indonesian lady from Lombok and they’re having a tradition Indonesian wedding. So since my summer dresses weren’t a hit with the locals, I decide the shawl I bought in Bali will be enough for one outfit but I needed to find something for the reception – the most formal one of all. Joe and I scout around the mall with our limited time, finding one fashion disaster after the other: long shapeless sleeves, tops buttoned all the way up to the neck, to shape around the bust, hips, waste, everything floor length and baggy, drib and drab – it was like a war against femininity. Eventually I found something long and flowing and shiny. It didn’t look too bad except for the tacky rose on the front. Shiny must mean formal enough so I bought it. Joey had a lot of trouble finding XXL but somehow found a Quicksilver shirt and we were on our way to the reception – except I didn’t make it because after the wedding food, I was rushing to the toilet all the time, so I didn’t even get to wear my shiny thing that I hunted so hard for! Joey went to the wedding reception but only came back to the hotel room even worse and he was sick for three days straight. He said it was like having a four day hangover.
So with no giant to protect me from muslim midgets – I spend most of my time after the wedding celebrations outside the hotel on the beach getting massages, manicures, pedicures, buying jewelry, sipping cocktails, ordering food and getting henna tattoos. Sounds like every woman’s dream – except that 5 minutes into every crap massage I was hounded by 5 others who wanted to sell me something else – not the most relaxing massage ever. After a couple of days of thing I got over it and couldn’t wait to go home.
The wedding was nice though. The whole community was involved which was nice too. The wedding was held in the street outside the bride’s family home. The food and desserts were completely generous and everyone was smiling and in a good mood ☺. Mobile phones were going off but apparently this is completely normal because these weddings go for so long that it’s normal for phones to ring and for people to take calls – something I wasn’t used to seeing all the time. The neighbours even allowed up to use their toilet – which the children found amusing and exciting – to have us walk through their home, which was very colourful inside, one with emerald green walls and pink borders. The children were cute and eating the food was a riot and a challenge in itself as there wasn’t any spice present in nearly all dishes. Just when you thought you got through the meal without getting anything too spicy, you accidentally ate a whole chili and one after the other, westerner after westerner, our mouths were on fire and we were trying to contain our excitement and the stomping on our feet from the writhing stinging in our mouths so we didn’t hurt the wedding. So instead of sweetly smiling, we sweatly smiled and enjoyed the Indonesian wedding display.