Mid 1995, I went to Indonesia to spend a year studying in Central Java. For a year, I lived in a boarding house (two different ones actually) like a local, speaking Indonesian, eating rice three times a day, using a bak mandi instead of a shower and a gayung (water bailer) in lieu of toilet paper. Just over a week ago, I flew to Lombok to meet up with two old friends - one of one of my old boarding house buddies (first time in 14 years), and another friend from that time who lives on the island of Lombok, which is the next island east of Bali.
In 1996, we were all good, studious, rather innnocent girls who could chat easily and argue passionately about anything. And find the best food around and eat ourselves stupid. In 2012, we are all three divorced, the other two each have a child each, but apart from that, not much has changed. We slipped into the old patterns so easily, it was like the years between had never happened.
|Elly, Tito and Utty|
|Elly and Utty at Lembah Rinjani|
Does this make you think of an Indonesian Sound of Music?!
|Utty and Tito|
After the mountains, we had two days at the Sheraton Senggigi - my contribution to the holiday. I have wanted to stay there forever, because of the swimming pool. And I thought the boys would enjoy the water slide. I went down it more than a few times myself! You can see the ocean off Senggigi beach and the vague outline of Bali just beyond the horizon.
|Laura and Tito by the waterslide|
|Fish feeding frenzy|
|A gecko visits our room|
Here I am looking rather the worse for the heat and humidity and I did eat myself nearly into a coma here. I had to lie down and rest to recover! But can you blame me? There was honey cooked fish, green chilli cooked fish, calamari, eggroll, spicy vegetables, rice (of course)..
It was a spectacular holiday and so unspeakably wonderful to be catching up with old friends and finding that while time changes some friendships, others endure across languages, cultures and years... More later, this weary traveller is ready to rest!