7.03pm - Sleeping Rough
Trip Start Jan 07, 2010
77Trip End Dec 13, 2010
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Where I stayed
I don't seem to have the best luck as regards Indonesian accommodation. In Ubud, the hotel where I was staying was allegedly pretty decent – but they didn’t clean the bathroom or swap the used glasses, the air con was broken and leaking dirty water onto the floor, the wifi that had been my impetus for booking the place was inexplicably broken – on day one they said it would be fixed tomorrow, on day two I was smilingly invited to go to the internet café across the street when I inquired about the problem – the breakfast upon closer inspection was clearly something from the microwavable family, and the TV worked for two days, then broke completely for two days, then came back, except the only two English-speaking channels of any note – HBO and the Australia Network – had picture without sound. Watching Anna Faris mime her way through The House Bunny with naught but Indonesian subtitles to enlighten you is really only entertainment for the mindlessly stoned, and there’s only so much CNN one can watch before beginning to despair for warped American minds. I looked up with interest at the "London
Anyway, the Ubud Village had its flaws, especially for the extortionate amount they charged, but it’s nothing compared to this place. It’s only USD$15/night, which equates to £40 for the four nights I’m staying, including breakfast, but I’m hard pressed to believe I’m spending a tenner a night to sleep in a room where the shower is a dripping tap over a bucket of cold water, the electricity only works in four hour bursts, the toilet doesn’t flush, and most importantly, the bed has no bloody bedding on it. There’s a bottom sheet and a pillow, but no top sheet or cover of any kind. Now, it’s hardly cold here, and since the ceiling fan is going to be giving up the ghost every four hours, it seems unlikely I’ll get chilly at any point during the night, but still. I don’t ask for much. But I ask for more than this.
Still, that’s what you get when you book last minute and NOT out of LP. I was planning on going to the Banda Islands in Maluku, as they are supposed to have an amazing unspoiled natural beauty, but part of the reason they’re like that is because they are an utter ballache to get
Currently I am situated upon Gili Trawangan, the largest and most commercial of the three. I actually wanted to stay on Gili Air, which is supposed to be a bit more chilled, but the speedboats from Bali all go to Trawangan, so I may make Gili Air a day trip instead. Anyway, this is still fairly rustic (as noted above), and I can’t deny that it’s an experience being tucked away down a backstreet in one of the shitty places. And it’s not all bad – the staff here are very friendly, when they’re conscious at least. Oh, did I forget to mention? When I arrived to check in, they were all having a little siesta in the garden. I literally didn’t know what to do, so I just shrugged, sat down and started flicking through a Lombok guidebook that was on the reception desk. I got lost finding this place, so between the dirt from the streets and the heat of the day, I was actually gasping for a shower (although since there would only be a bucket of water in my future, I needn’t have gotten so excited), but I still couldn’t quite bring myself to wake the sleeping staff and say “oi, check me in, bitches”. Probably I should have done. Either way, it
After having a deeply unsatisfactory shower, and lying on my bare bed for a bit trying to cool off under the fan, I realised I was in danger of falling asleep, so gathered myself and headed for the restaurant that came most highly recommended by LP for a late lunch/early dinner. There I discovered, much to my chagrin, that they not only did quite nice food, they were actually a resort too, with free wifi. Oh, I am fortune’s fool. Got talking to a guy there who recognised me from the boat over (I am ashamed to say I didn’t remember him in the slightest) and told me I should come along to the beach party that the Irish pub is throwing tonight. I’m tempted, but it doesn’t start til 10, and I am genuinely absolutely shattered. If it doesn’t start til 10, it’s not going to get good til midnight, and I just haven’t got the energy. Bad skills? Almost certainly. But tonight, my priority is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...