If we only believe the sensationalism of Fox News, CNN America and other media outlets, Indonesia is the kind of country a lot of people might want to avoid. Historically, it has made world headlines for all the wrong reasons – plane crashes, violent protests, terrorist bombings and large-scale natural disasters. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Lombok’
When winter comes to Hong Kong, chapping lips and penetrating homes with no insulation nor central heating, I dream of a faraway tropical island among a chain of more than 17,000 spread like jewels along the equator. It waits in the shadow of its famous sister, separated by nothing more than a deep sea strait. Read more
Sipping at a young coconut in the shade of a pohon waru, a gnarled tree with spade-shaped leaves, I squeezed the cool white sand between my toes. The smell of grilled fish, freshly caught from the sea, wafted over from the beachside warung – a small trio of shacks in bamboo and alang-alang – while a row of brightly painted outrigger canoes lay lined up on the shore.
From the comfort of my seat I watched as our waitress carried a clear plastic bag of chillies into the kitchen, presumably to be chopped up and used in the sauce for our homemade ayam taliwang. As we came down from our three-day trek on Mount Rinjani, during which we were fed vast quantities of banana pancakes, spaghetti, and even a burger with fries, Bama was excited about the prospect of returning to the rich flavours of Indonesian fare. “I’ve been craving something spicy!”
“No hot chocolate?!” The middle-aged French tourist snapped. “But what about the cheeldren?!” The young man behind the breakfast counter mumbled and shook his head apologetically. I watched as the Frenchman’s face contorted and scowled, breaking the trail of angry questions with a final “Never?!” before storming off. Read more
Standing precariously on a ridge of loose volcanic scree, I squeezed the top of the trekking pole and pushed down with all my strength. A thin, broken trail of lights was now snaking its way to the summit roughly 100 metres above my head, a darkened mass that loomed tantalisingly close under the brightness of a full moon. In the distance I could just make out the finish line: two pinnacles forming a natural gateway to the peak. Read more
Five days ago I lay stretched out on a flat, grassy headland below the equator, staring up at the sky and savouring the gusts of wind blowing in from the open ocean. Bama and I were spending a week on the Indonesian island of Lombok, across the strait from Bali and a world away from the madness of Hong Kong or Jakarta. Read more