May 12, 2016

Island Hopping 101


The islands in Indonesia are stunningly beautiful. Unlike Bali, it is less commercialized and the beaches are less crowded. For me, or anyone who likes to take photos, that equates to less people photoboming your photos. We spent 3 days in Lombok touring around exploring the beaches. As well, we took a day trip to the Gili Islands.

Between the Gilis and Lombok, we preferred the beaches of Lombok. It was way less touristy and developed- more nature and peaceful. But alas, it didn't matter what beach we ended up on, they all had sand softer than my rug at home. Both my sister Patti and I agreed that we could snorkel our lives away in this tropical paradise.

"Remember that article dad sent us about someone getting kidnapped at one of these islands?" I said while lying on my back enjoying a tan.

"Maybe they pretended to get kidnapped because they ran out of money." Patti replied.

"Mmm. That's something I'd do."

On most days, Patti got up at 5:45am and started her workout. It followed a 30 minute jog at 30C and 100% humidity. "Why are you doing this to yourself?!", I asked her on the first day, "This guy I'm seeing has a body of a God and he has the hardest ass I've ever seen." she said.

By the 3rd day, I went back to sleep after she woke me up doing jumping jacks. When she came back to the hotel after her jog, I ignored her door knocks until they turned into impatient door pounds. "Do you even work out?!" Patti commented one day while doing her crunches. "Well, yeah back home. But I'll just like, deep throat more to compensate the few pounds I'll gain on this vacay."

But the roles reversed at the beaches. I would swim/snorkel in the ocean for what I considered "a respectable amount of time to count as cardio" to come back to find Patti lying down reading a medical book. Reading the medical book wasn't weird since she is studying to be a doctor. The book was about 500 pages and each page consisting some sort of disease or infection along with a photo of it. There were photos and photos of damp and puss organ/skin things I didn't even know could look so sick, red and swollen esophagus and tissues, genital warts. It wasa nightmare book if you wanted to convince someone why it is a good idea to not have unprotected sex with a prostitute or rub your skin on garbage juice.

"We are at one of the most beautiful beaches I have EVER been to and you're looking at puss and warts the entire time." I said.

"HA!" she chuckled, "Diseases don't stop spreading just because I'm on vacation."


Patti have always been the one who is keen to learn. Growing up, I learned the minimum just to get the grade I needed to not get yelled at while she took the time to fully understand the material to get a solid A+. In Indonesia, everyday she tried expanding her Indonesian vocabulary with something she found fascinating. As for me, I learned to say all the food that I liked- Bakso (fish ball soup), Ayam (chicken), Bebek (duck), goreng (fried)... As well as "Washroom" and "Taxi". That was enough for me. I felt that anything else could have been expressed through body gestures along with a wad of cash.

After the first week, Patti and I got very good at ordering food. While we were eating our spicy chicken, she turned to me and commented that we have 'plateaued' in our Indonesian vocabulary.

"So?" I nonchalantly replied.

"I feel we need to expand."

"Why? Just wave your money in the air and they will come to us."


As my dad used to say to me, "you aren't interested in anything but dating". That could have applied to my lack of enthusiasm to learning a new language. My friend B thought differently. B resides in Bali most of the year so he needs to know more than just "chicken", "duck", "washroom" and "taxi". I met B when he photobombed my photos in Bali, and we ended up surfing with him and his friend Ron the next day. B told me that he surfs and drinks all day, everyday. He is the living example of my 'snorkel my life away forever' fantasy. The only troubling thing in B's life was that he had a huge gecko in his house that he didn't want to kill but didn't know how to get rid of because it had pretty colors.

But, as busy as B is, every week he still he took time to add new words to his Indonesian vocabulary.

"What words have you added lately?" I asked.

"It's a big list. Recent additions: polite, independent, circle, gossip, lift, sleazy, wide." B replied.

"I can see sleazy because they rip us off a lot, but when are you ever going to use 'independent'?!"

"I don't know, doesn't hurt to know it."

"Hmm, 'I want a polite and independent girl who is not sleazy and lifts and she has to be wide like a circle'... OMG YOU ARE ON INDO TINDER!"

"Hahaha no comment."

I feel that my dad's comment apply to a lot of others as well. It seems that no matter where we are or what race we are, male and female attraction is the universal incentive to get someone to do something.

I never found the reason B chose those particular words. But I know that I've gone from being completely uninterested in someone to practically stalking them on social media. And even though I do the minimum to coast in life a lot of times, I feel I've put in way more effort in the chase and way more investment in heartbreaks than anything else... Except when I'm away from my daily grind of life in Ottawa making lasting memories with my sister on beaches looking at puss and warts. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that at the end of the day, I would really have no problem being 'kidnapped' and snorkel my life away on one of these beautiful islands.