I wasn’t digging Gili so much, so I got on a boat headed for Lombok. I was going to find somewhere scenic and peaceful if it killed me.
So, I went back to the port with my heavy suitcase, treading back through the water behind a guy carrying it for me. The boat ride was shorter and significantly less nauseating, but when we got to Lombok, it was the same old shit. I rolled up my pants, walked ashore, and paid the guy hauling my suitcase through the muddy beachfront.
Suddenly, this other asshole popped out of nowhere and demanded to see my ticket, probably so he could charge me out the ass to take me somewhere. I’ve been paying the white-person tax on everything since I left Singapore, so I felt entitled to the whole story anytime anyone wants to sell me anything. From the looks of the people, carts, and other miscellany scattered across the shore, I highly doubted they were organized enough to have prearranged rides (which they’re charging extra for anyway) according to ticket.
A new guy grabbed my suitcase and put it on a horse cart. Then they loaded a European family of three and their stuff. These carts are tiny and I’m not even sure how we all fit, let alone how the horse managed to drag us up the hill. At no point in the transaction was it mentioned, “We’re going to a parking lot.” But that’s where we went: a nasty, muddy parking lot with a few dilapidated vehicles.
They started loading the family and several other people who came on another cart into a van.
“Get in the van.”
“Where is it going?”
“What hotel you stay at?”
“Where is it going?”
“It take you to hotel.”
“Just get in.”
“I haven’t chosen a hotel, and you’ve loaded that thing to capacity anyway.”
The van clunked away and I was faced with a stringy looking older man who stood at about my height, demanding I pay some ridiculous price for his stupid horse cart ride. About half a dozen young men stood around us. I didn’t feel threatened by numbers, they were all just watching. The man and I got into it a little bit, and I was really tempted to hand him a fake 1,000,000-dollar bill that someone in Seattle was handing out during Miranda’s visit last year. We must have looked at the damn thing for 10 minutes, trying to figure out what company or event was being promoted. I had stuck it in my wallet; it was so weird. Anyway, the thought crossed my mind, and quickly exited. There’s no need to be funny when I’m arguing with someone from another country in that said country.
I ended up getting my own van with a burned-out driver and a “tour-guide” who looked like an Indonesian Usher for $20. Not a bargain, but it wasn’t going to break me. It was worth it to be able to ride by myself. I made them take me to Senggigi, the largest city on that side of the island, to buy some stuff before we headed along the coast in search of a place to stay.
I had read about Qunci Villas before I came. They’re a little pricer than the rest, plus they added a bunch of new villas six months ago anticipating the completion of Lombok’s first international airport. It’s a good time to be in Lombok, not yet overrun with tourists and their garbage like Bali.
Ah, what the hell. It’s the off-season, and I’m sick of half-assing it. I’m already spending about half the amount of time in Lombok that I wanted to, so yeah, I’m getting one of the new beachfront villas, I’m gonna quit worrying about being nickeled and dimed every day and just pay the price for the good stuff, AND I’m gonna sit on my porch and read and write and smoke and play Tetris and drink tea, and the whole world can kiss my beach-proximate ass.
So that pretty much sums up my day-to-day life during my week in Lombok. No need to shoop dis whoop, I looked at this every day:
So what’d I do first? I climbed into my big, comfortable bed and fell asleep.