September 4, 2007

Nusa Lembongan Nuisances
Jungutbatu (Nusa Lembongan), Indonesia

A collection of annoyances that just kept picking away at a good time.

  • Can someone please put up a sign or two that points the direction to the major beaches in the area? For those of us on foot, the five kilometer Easter egg hunt in the mid-day heat isn't particularly welcomed.
  • The water color and temperature is a major disappointment. I may have been spoiled by time spent in the Caribbean, but this water isn't even close to a temperature that Tatiana or I can tolerate for more than a few short minutes. Coupled with the stormy weather and chilly waters in the Philippines, I'm very disappointed that my last chance to scuba dive or snorkel in SE Asia this year has gone down the drain. I just can't believe I didn't do either.
  • I'm so tired of eating in this country… Please, no more fired rice or fried noodles. I need real meat from a terrestrial animal that's actually well nourished. I dread the emptiness of my stomach, as it means another attempt at trying to fill it with something desirable.
  • This island is full of caged chickens, yet none of them are on the menu. Perhaps instead of raising them for cockfights on Bali (and letting them wake me up at all hours of the night) someone could, you know, cook them.
  • Tatiana was getting upset at the sight of a local spying on her while she sunbathed on the beach at Mushroom Bay. I put on my Alpha-male face and climbed up the ridge where he was ogling her from, to tell the peeping tom to scram. It turned out to be a teenage boy. And though I still berated him, I felt sorry for the kid. A teenage boy growing up on an island in an Islamic nation where pornography is outlawed and Internet connections are public. I'd want to get an eye-full too.
  • Not every tourist on this island needs to rent a motorbike or bicycle to get around it; I can walk, thank you very much. Yes, I know it's completely out of the ordinary, but I'm sick of every guy with a scooter pulling up to me as I walk down the street, probing for a rental—"Very cheap price, I discount for you!"
  • Nusa Lembongan has been a tourist destination for years. You've got offshore docking platforms with water slides, surfing competitions, several (expensive) Internet cafés, guesthouses and small mid-range resorts, thousands of visitors a year, and zero ATMs. I had to run out of Kuta without getting a chance to replenish my cash, and once on the island, Tatiana and I found ourselves in a real tough spot for cash—to the point where we were I was sacrificing meals so Tatiana could eat better. I had to pay for our room with the reserve U.S. dollars I keep in my pack in case of financial difficulty. Taking transport to the mainland wasn't an option: The room was paid up for five days and the only reasonably priced boat ran once a day. Get it together, folks.
  • Why does every single restaurateur and shop keeper ask where we're staying? It sounds friendly enough, but I get the feeling that they're adjusting the prices based on the answer people give… Or perhaps it's the fact that most guesthouses and hotels have their own restaurants attached, and they think it's a real oddity that we don't eat every single meal there. I just started telling people we were staying "up that way" or "in a tent on the beach."
  • Please disclose that the room I'm about to be renting does not have fresh (sweet) water coming through the pipes. I can clearly see that I won't be getting hot water by the lack of electric heater in the bathroom, but it would have been wonderful to know that I'd be showering and brushing my teeth with brine for the better part of a week. It's just lovely showering the salt water from the ocean off your body with even colder salt water coming from a well dug too close to the shore. I'm glaring at you, Linda Bungalows.

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