Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lombok oh Lombok

Indonesia has lots of beautiful places with potentials to attract much more tourists from foreign countries, one them is the Island of Lombok located just a few minutes trip by boat from the Island of Bali.
 
I visited Lombok on September 2003, one year after the first bombing in Bali on October 2002. At that time the island has beautiful beaches, international-class hotels, restaurants, but unfortunately they were rather empty of foreign or domestic tourists. After two days stay, I decided to return to Bali which was far more livelier in spite of the travel warnings imposed by several countries.

After that, I never visited Lombok again, although I have visited Bali several times.

That's my personal experience about Lombok, I believe that other people may have their own better or worst experience there. In order to know that, I have quoted an article (below) written by Colson in Holland  on his blog Pelopor.nl.

Lombok?



Autumn 2005  we were on a Malaysia Airlines flight to Jakarta. We had two main projects ahead of us: with a two weeks interval our two sons would go through the motions of a Javanese wedding. Before, between and after these events which would take place on Sumatra, we planned to become average tourists that would enjoy holidays of about a week each in Jakarta, Yokyakarta and on Lombok respectively.

It was the first time I fell in love with the capital. It was a great start of November of that year. And  the longing is  still present.  Jakarta is a place to return to for exciting discoveries.

Yet over a month later I was glad I had rented a disgustingly luxurious mansion near Senggigi the week previous to our flight home. We really had to recover after we had survived the very lengthy and ridiculously tiring culture shock of the two extended  ceremonies. I had my daughter – who was single at that time – swear a solemn oath to me  she would never  dream of falling for an Indonesian guy or if she ever did not to surrender to pressure to have a Javanese wedding herself. She being an obedient daughter promised she would abstain.

Lombok proved to be  a kind of ‘Bali  about three or four  decades earlier’. We went there with two of the newly weds and our daughter. Partly because of the threat of terrorist’s attacks that was still in the air late 2005, it was a quiet place those days.  Extremely beautiful and fascinating.  Without the upbeat Hindu colourfulness of the famous neighbouring island though. But with Gili islands nearby and Gunung Rinjani towering over us.

Helped by our promise to do some errands we were lucky enough to meet a number of really nice, friendly and hospitable local people. The language barrier was  pretty much levelled because our daughter in law was, if necessary, our interpreter and spokeswoman.  We left after a  week of relaxation with the idea that Lombok was a place to return to and perhaps to stay.
Alas. I had to change my mind lately.

An American, a senior, who lives on the island for many years lost his cool after having gone through the lengthy ritual bombardment by sound which is part of Ramadhan. I admit I can  more or less imagine what happened to him; but I had just one sleepless night in Jakarta at Idul Fitri years ago.  At the time it didn’t pass my mind though to disconnect the Mosque’s loudspeakers. Mr George however was that angry that he even forgot  to take off his shoes on entering the house of God. To be honest in that kind of emotional turmoil I would also would have kept my shoes on. But, well, I would have been to lethargic to take any initiative anyhow. But this guy did – and had to run for his life ( well, not literally) afterwards, because the flocks of faith felt hurt and insulted to the point of drastic anger. “Blasphemy!” they cried. So police protection came in handy and next the man is facing to be jailed for six years before being shipped back to his native country. Okay, he has no place to live either any more: the hot tempered believers has ruined his house and the premises.

I read the news and thought: not a very smart action and not a very relaxed reaction. And forgot about is.
And now there is another incident.

A German citizen, living on Lombok since the start of the millennium,  noticed one or two of his statues in his garden had been vandalized the other day. He wasn’t amused. So he went to the local boss demanding him to find the culprits. In his indignation he allegedly said words expressing his anger like: “What kind of Muslims are living here??!!”.That ( of course, of course ) insulted the local people seriously since they just had finished their evening prayers – I go by the Jakarta Globe report. They were “deeply hurt” ( of course, of course). So mr Alexander  “fled for the forest”and meanwhile “the enraged villagers trashed the resident’s villa and burned his motorcycle”( of course, of course).

I know: in Rome do as the Romans do. Which on Lombok is not that easy for foreigners. Because it obviously would mean one should be an extremely sensitive touch-me-not, who turns on outsiders even if they look at you and who doesn’t hesitate to damage  property and burn down houses of those who annoy you.

I have postponed my return to Lombok indefinitely.  I’m afraid I still have to practice a long time before I will be able to act in accordance  with the peculiar habits of those people on Lombok.

17 comments:

Jun H24 said...

nice post... Lombok is one of the best place to visit in Indonesia...

H. Nizam said...

JunH24,
Lombok's nature is nice indeed

tonino said...

beautiful

H. Nizam said...

Tonino,
Lombok has beautiful beaches

June_Butterfly said...

I've never been to Indonesia,but if I do have the chance ,would love to visit Bali and Lombok!

H. Nizam said...

Hi June,
It's good to see you again.
You should visit Bali and Lombok, each of them has their own specific natural beauty.

boyin said...

I quite fancy with Lombok as my Grandma live there. The beach was amazing and so pristine especially at Kute. But in Lombok, so many crime there. there are one village that all of them is a plunderer and they will compete each other to be the best to gain respect among their community and women...woww..

HANDPHONE WERTY said...

i want go to lombok, but idnt hve monye.. hee...

H. Nizam said...

@Boyin,
I am glad to see you again.
Thank you for sharing what you know about Lombok to us.

@Handphone Werty,
Thank you for your visit and comment.

budi baik said...

hehe ....... I liked this post.

stopped by the boss to http://tipswisatamurah.blogspot.com

H. Nizam said...

Budi Baik,
I am glad that you like this post.
Thank you for dropping by. I'll check your site.

Yari NK said...

I had only visited Lombok once. And it happened a century ago in 1997. LOL.

Yes I agree Indonesia has so many places for the tourists to enjoy and of course it is a great capital for tourism industry. Nevertheless we have still to add more facilities to those places to boost the number of incoming tourists. We have loads of homeworks to do......

H. Nizam said...

Yari,
Yes there are lots of things
that should be improved in Lombok
especially making local people aware about the importance of tourism for their region, and also security.

ladyinpurple said...

I've never been to Indonesia..but through Survivor Philippines..I see how beautiful your islands are..Philippine celebrities were in your country to play as castaways for the said reality TV show

H. Nizam said...

Lady in Purple,
I am glad to hear that and hope that I can see the TV reality show one day

Jakartass said...

Hi Harry.

Check this link, which I've now posted twice on Jakartass.

If you scroll down the comments towards the end of the page you'll find an open letter from "A concerned American citizen who resides in Lombok and MUST remain anonymous for fear of reprisal."

His fear appears to be well-founded because apparently Luke Gregory Lloyd did not even enter the mosque, let alone disconnect the loudspeakers.

The other gentleman, a German, who'd lived in Lombok, apparently had some statues which appeared to be Hindu, and he was upset that one had been beheaded and was asking the village head to help find the culprit.

In both cases, it was a case of large groups of young men running amok at the slightest excuse, which is inexcusable - although some will find reasons.

H. Nizam said...

Hi J,
I am glad to see you here again. Thank you for sharing alternative versions of these cases. The good thing about citizen journalism like blogs is people can get alternative version on what's going on in life.
Re: the case, let's hope that the police would investigate all the parties involved.