The day I decided to return to Gili Meno, my driver stopped at a small restaurant near the boat harbour because we had arrived an hour before it was supposed to leave. I got to talking to some people at the restaurant and it turns out that they knew all my friends on Gili Meno. Everyone knows everyone in Lombok and they are all somehow related to one another- so bizarre! One of the guys offered to take me to the boat harbour on his moped and wait with me until my boat arrived. This area of Lombok, Mattaram is where most of my friends on Gili Meno come from. There is nothing for tourists and is just basically the capital city that all the locals live in. While I was waiting for my boat, there was a strange man who was also waiting to get on the boat. I knew this guy from Meno and he scared me. He had that quality of being “just a little bit crazy” but it was the scary kind of crazy and I always stayed as far away as possible from him. I told my new friend that I was nervous to get on the boat because of that guy.
“So stay in Mattaram tonight” my friend said. Since you love Gili Meno so much I will take you to a place to watch the sunset over Gili Meno and then we will go to my friend’s house and drink rice wine and show you what a local night in Lombok consists of. All my friends in Meno had talked about how great it was when they went back to Lombok and to hang out with their friends drinking rice wine and playing music and I always wondered what it was like. So I turned to my friend and said….”why not”! I was on no schedule, I was living and part of living is doing things on a whim. I know some of you may say, oh my gosh how dangerous to go off with people that you barely know and I would agree. But these people knew each and every one of my friends on Gili Meno and were like family so I know that they would take good care of me and be very respectful (and I was right, they were perfect gentlemen). So, as the boat pulled up to the harbor, we were drivng away on a moped to go and watch the sun set over the Gili Islands. Later that evening I was on the front porch of someone’s house listening to him play guitar and tell funny stories. I’m sure we were all using each other in some sense. I was using them to see what a traditional night in Lombok was like and they were probably using me to say that they hung out with an American. All in all we had such a good time and these guys are now my friends. One of them named Jotul, is an artist and paints and draws charcoal sketches. He showed me some of his work and I could not get over it, he was really good! He never went to school for it, he learned it all on his own. At the end of the evening when I said goodbye to go back to where I was staying, he grabbed a painting and rolled it up and said, “this is for you my sister, it was nice meeting you tonight!” My night in Lombok was complete and nothing but good memories!
Pretty views during my 2-hour drive back to the boat harbor.