Friday, August 20, 2010

Indonesia Part 5 - The Wrap Up

Seven posts later, i feel i've done some justice to recapping this most amazing vacation. There are a few loose ends to wrap up, and i'll drop them all here, with random chronology. Also, after we returned to Beijing, we were able to download therese's pictures and videos, and some of those are priceless. I'm confident nobody has put more effort into documenting the various cats found on the Lombok Gili's.

Here's the rough journey as it actually went down...

We wrapped up the dive trip and flew back to Bali. Interesting side note, in all the flights we took, we never showed once a passport or identification. Not to get our tickets, pass security, or board the plane. Here's what a normal boarding pass looks like---
--- the one piece of useful information that actually was relevant, the seat number, didn't matter anyway, as planes were open seating once onboard. Airport security in Indonesia is rather relaxed.

Back in Bali, we spent one day in Ubud, which was not enough time, but good nonetheless. Ubud is the heart of Bali's culture and boasts seemingly infinite activities: live music, plays, dancing, opera, art, cooking classes, spas, biking, hiking, rafting, walking, shopping, gourmet food... Ubud is packed. The night we arrived, i got really ill, and suspected (still do!) that it was decompression sickness from flying 15 hours after diving. But the next day, after 12 hours of sleep, i felt great. We relaxed at a spa for a few hours, had a nice lunch, and went for a walk into the surrounding rice paddies.

And just like that, our Indonesian adventure came to an end.

But it's not the end of this post!

Drum Competition
After Gili Gede and before the Jaya Liveaboard fiasco, we spent a night in Senggigi. Giggity. Our timing was incredible, for in the nearby Mataram, there was an Indonesian Drum Competition. A dozen different ensembles were competing for a chance to advance to the finals. It was free and amazing. We arrived about an hour after it started but saw the last six troupes. The music, costumes, and dance were different in each performance, highlighting the great diversity of this country. Each performance was unique and beautiful in its own way, but two in particular really stood out.

The first was very tribal, almost African, in tone. It reminded be of dances we learned in the West African Highlife Ensemble in college. There were drummers on the floor in front of the stage, creating the mood to help the dancers tell their story of hunting and conflict.

The second noteworthy performance was a short play of a famous, traditional Indonesian fable. If you don't know the story itself, it would be hard for me to explain it. And if you do know it, would you please explain it to me?

Here's my understanding:
  • Scene one: King and Queen hang out for a while.
  • Scene two: Hot girl with impossible dancing-hand-moves shows up, and is harassed by the King.
  • Scene three: Giant two-person lion-dude battles the king, to defend her honor or some crap.

  • Scene Four: Beardy McWiseman brings his harem to the show, while freaky nightmarish demon dude harshes everyone's mellow.
  • Scene Five: Everyone realizes it's a huge misunderstanding and merriment ensues. Unfortunately, Nightmare O'Demonfreak still feels out of place and unloved, but later, he gets a manicure.

The Lost Chronicles of Therese
While i was busy lugging my heavy equipment around, Therese was making her own record of our journeys with her pocket camera. Until i broke it. We used her camera record videos where photos just couldn't capture everything. Click these links (hold Ctrl) for Youtube videos of Therese singing with the kids on Gili Gede and our stop during the kayak ride to Nakey Island Adventure.

Here are a selection of photos from her camera, spanning the adventure of the Gili's and Lombok.

That's all folks. Well, almost all. Here's a picture of my ass, nakey style.


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