Sunday, August 08, 2004

East of the Wallace Line blog.

More items from a decade ago.

August 2 [1994]. Didn’t do nuthin’ much today except hang out at the bungalow, eat regularly, drink a lot of bottled water, and read. I’m nearly done with the copy of Tom Jones I picked up in Singapore. Some days in the tropics need to be like this, if possible, so that you can be more energetic on days when you want to see something. We’ve had several decent meals on Lombok, nothing outstanding -- Bali’s a tough act to follow in culinary terms (and other ways too). At a place in Kuta called The Florida, our waiter was a deaf-mute, which made ordering something of a challenge, but we were able to mostly by pointing and gesturing.

August 3. Did some touring. Took a walk up the road westward before it got too hot, winding through areas so rural no one tried to sell us anything. As expected, Lombok is noticeably drier and the undergrowth is much thinner than on Bali. Crossing the Wallace Line really is something you can appreciate even as a casual visitor. (I can’t claim any expertise on the subject, but I did read about it in our guidebook.)

Later we caught a bemo to the town of Sade, sharing the space with a large load of cocoanuts. Sade is a “traditional” Sasak village, rising near the road, composed mostly of one- and two-story building of unknown age and, in earthquake country, uncertain build. We got the whirlwind tour from a couple of boys, 10 or 12, who clearly had a lot of experience walking foreigners through the town’s narrow paths, some of them stone staircases up mild slopes. The tour lasted about five minutes. “Here’s a house.” “Here’s a rice-barn.” “Yeah, about 500 people live here.” A lot of old women and little girls wanted to sell us strips of hand-made cloth reading LOMBOK. Didn’t buy any of those. Did buy Sprite, and tipped our boy-guide 1000 Rp. each. Ah, tradition.


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