After some very calm days on Gili Trawangan and an extended stay I made my way back to Kuta Lombok. The place where I stayed last year the longest during my 3 month travel. I was very excited to go there, wanted to know if something had changed. Oh yeah it changed a lot! More and more houses were built for accommodations, restaurants, spa, … However, the yoga place “Ashtari Yoga” still existed and so I was lucky to practice my daily yoga upon the hill and in front of the beach.
I arrived at my homestay I choose for this time, called „Batu Bambu“, which is located in a village a 5 minutes’ drive away by scooter to the center of Kuta.
It‘s the best place to stay in Kuta as solo traveler. The common area has a big table, which is the heart of that homestay, so sit, eat and chat with others. That makes it quite easy to get in touch with other backpackers. Within that quite chilled atmosphere people join to go for common adventures – like girls day in a spa *smile*, driving through Teletubbies Hill – or diner or just have conversations about live and travelling. You never will find yourself alone at breakfast or afternoon tea, or whenever you are outside of your room. Such a “community” I didn‘t experienced in any other places I stayed before. Yeah maybe it was helpful that 80 % of the people were Germans. But also Australians, Dutchmen or Russians were there. Talking or – if languages were an issue – just sitting together, reading, and working on their laptops … But one thing I will promise, you never feel alone in “Batu Bambu”. Also if you want you can join Elisa’s activities – the host of “Batu Bambu” – with the locals there.
Like always, changing of Kuta has two sides. One is that more and more locals and westerns get connected and enrich their life. That’s for sure! However, the other thing is that large hotels are built and little Warungs on government land are forced to disappear because they are illegal. So it turned out that I couldn’t find Mario. The first thing I wanted to do, when I arrived to Kuta was getting food at “Mario’s Warung”. The nicest guy I met there, who did amazing Indonesian food and a special Pina Colada. All these days I couldn’t find him. As much as I tried to find him, he was gone.
Well, let’s mention another awesome point, why I recommend and love Kuta. It is easy to get in touch with locals. They are very welcoming you as a foreigner, invite you to their homes, having tea, cook for you and chat together.
The more I stay in that country the more I realize that. By treating them very well, smiling and having lots of patience because of the difference to us western people, you gain a lot, learn so much from them. We on the other side give them so much too as well as support them. Being once here you will realize what I am talking about. That’s the special magic and the reason behind why so many of us get stuck in here, in LOMBOK. It’s the simplicity of life that one of us will love and the others will get desperate of it. So if you want to experience that, open your heart, open your eyes and get to know this beautiful piece of earth. It‘s not that it was only me who experienced that. Also a friend I made during that stay. She already has her local family. It‘s amazing how many similar thinking people I met there. One night out with my friend we met guys from New Zealand at the “BusBar”.
We started talking and they told us that they buy kids, who are selling brakeless, food and asking them what kind of whishes they have. Answers were e.g. a simple football, some a mobile phone. It comes out everyone who is just a bit interested in local people and how things work there; try to help these kids in a different way than just giving money. That night also locals showed us how to make roses only with napkins. I already start to smile when thinking of that evening, sitting in the “Bus Bar” with locals who showed how to make that kind of flowers. We all together, the guys and we girls were with so much patience in trying to learn how to do it. How easy live can be! Also these guys found a local family they love and were integrated. It’s so nice to see and realize that it is actually possible.
Two totally different cultures are finding together, helping each other and trying to understand. Yes it’s not just westerns helping people from Kuta Lombok. Also the locals show us, us that we who have all what we need, all amenities in live, never to worry about food, that there isn’t that much necessary to be happy! Just few things are needed, like napkin flowers, scooter and from time to time a Bintang *smile*. Both parties can profit from each other. That is the most beautiful thing I ever have experienced in my life. Nevertheless, having fun together within an peaceful way requires the awareness that we are only guests of that lovely piece of earth and accept the unwritten rules and belongings of this developing nation.
Food: Sonya’s, Nana’s, MILK
Bars: Surfers Bar, Bus Bar
Beauty & Yoga: Matcha Spa, Ashtari Yoga Shala
Transport: Private Driver, Shuttle Busses
Accommodations: Batu Bambu, LayzInn, Lara Homestay
Sights: Sunset Point, Selong Belanak Beach, Teletubbie Hills, Tanjung Aan Beach
Clothes: Indomarket close to Kuta Beach