Road Trip to Lombok

This is the Independence Day weekend in Indonesia. Monday, August 17, is the 64th anniversary of the proclamation of Indonesian independence from the Dutch. This year, as the 17th falls on a Monday, we have a long weekend at school.

Because many of the teachers at the school have houses and/or family in Lombok, there was a mass exodus yesterday from townsite. I decided, along with two friends, to join the exodus and take a trip to Lombok, the island to the west of Sumbawa. My friends, Stephen and Jan, along with Stephen’s son, Oliver, took Stephen’s car along with his driver. I have wanted to take another trip on my Vixion motorcycle, so I drove that over to Lombok.

The ferry from Sumbawa to Lombok was full – standing room only. Fortunately, as I was one of the first on, I found a seat along with my friends from school, and we had a pleasant conversation to pass the time. Indonesians love humor so a lot of the conversation took the form of jokes, many of those focusing on the differences between Indonesians and Westerners.

The driver through Lombok was one of the more difficult ones that I’ve had, and I’ve made this drive many times now in the six years that I’ve lived in Sumbawa. It was difficult because people all over the island were out marching in formation as Indonesians do as part of the activities that center around Independence Day. The marching takes place along the roads so traffic was backed up everywhere. Because I was on the motorcycle, I was able to drive on the side of the road, but it was fairly taxing as Indonesian drivers, like drivers throughout the world, can be impatient so there was a lot of jockeying for position.

senggigi beach

senggigi beach

I’m staying in Sengiggi this weekend, and as I’ve only been here a few times, I had to figure out how to maneuver my way through Mataram, Lombok’s capital, to Sengiggi. After a lot of stopping and asking for directions, I finally made it to Senggigi. Once I arrived in the main tourist destination of the island, I stopped at a restaurant alongside the road, Yessy’s, and had a nice dinner of pepper steak, fries and vegetables, along with a few Bintangs, Indonesia’s major national beer.

My friends caught up with me at the restaurant, we had a few drinks, and then headed up to our hotels which are in the northern section of Senggigi. I’m staying in an inexpensive place called Santai Beach Cottages. Stephen, Jan and Oliver are staying at another, more luxurious hotel nearby.

My plan for the weekend is too relax – something that I am working on learning to accomplish – on orders from my doctor. I admit that I have a hard time relaxing – it’s just something that I’m not very good at: I’m not sure why that is, maybe the Protestant Work Ethic that I was raised with. I have a book and my laptop with me – we’ll see how the relaxing goes this weekend.


~ by drbrucepk on August 17, 2009.

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