And I do apologize to be the one who’ll have to burst the bubble for you.
But here I must stand and spread the word that we have sold our country, the beloved Indonesia, one piece of land at a time, to the Australians. The Canadians. The American. To anyone who’d prefer to live in the island and run the whole shebang apparently.
Oh who am I kidding. It’s capitalization and it’s working.
They are renting, for a very long time, but the law of the land won’t ever let them own it unless they enter some sort of joint venture with the locals. One joint venture being especially convenient and mutually benefiting both parties as such marriage is, just to name one. So these foreigners, they are indeed the ones who are doing the grunt work, staying up all night thinking how to deal with corrupt Indonesian police and managing long term travelers and locals alike who, no Sherlock, probably want different things in life. And when they want different things in life, how are you supposed to manage them just the same?
And that’s exactly it. Why would all these foreigners gave up their previous life and flock to an island so remote the price of a simple generic brand of pain killers goes up four fold, while the wealthier locals are off living in the main island, coming back just to pick up their rent money every month, I would never know. And why would no sane Jakarta business people, of any descent, ever thought about giving up their shopping-malls laden life and live closer to nature, I would never know.
But wait. Maybe I do know.
There ain’t no malls in Nusa Lembongan. Badabum.
And before I go on a rant on what our shopping-malls-crazed society we’ve become is telling us, let’s move on.
The second day of the trip slips into the third and the fourth with the same determination of a turtle wanting to win a race with the rabbit. Time slows down in the island and the air is free from burden. A simple smile and a bit of banter peppered the days as I dove the sea, devoured the fresh fish curry, savored the chick-lit and gazed at the sky.
First day dive. Manta Point. Struggling to equalize my ear cavities throughout the dive had put me in awkward position of bobbing around while multitude Mantas were dancing around me. Wondrous creatures gracefully moving and swaying up and down across the area. I was Pinocchio and they were the ballerinas. And when I wasn’t simply awed by the sights, I was frantically, and somewhat comically, trying to get out of their ways.
The next few dives were proven to be just as exciting. The clear water of Nusa Lembongan does not disappoint my friend. Amazing corals, multitudes of fish floating and swimming about. The odd sights of huge fishes that would stare back at you as you stare at them in amazement. The way sun rays move under the sea. The cold water against your well-peed 5mm wetsuit. Oh shutit. Everybody pees in the ocean. So should you.
Now that we got the beauties out of the way, whoever talks about Nusa Lembongan must not forget that the currents are indeed strong on some area and during certain time of the day. Best advice is go with a solid dive center with at least one divemaster (DM) per four people. If you’re uncertain, make sure you tell your DM to keep an eye of you. “Emmh… I tend to bob up and down like a crazy monkey and I sometimes forget what buttons to push. Can you pull me down if I’m suddenly shooting up like a crazy rocket?” Kind of does the job. My hero/instructor picked me up from a vertical current going down as I cruised from twenty something meters to thirty something while I was oblivious to it all. A walk in the park it did feel like.
Four nights and five days in the tiny little Island, yet I haven’t managed to scoot around the island. One I was getting sickish during the last two days and two, I was that much convinced of coming back to the island one day and checking out the lay of the land a bit.
Nusa Lembongan. I’ll be back.