It has been a month since I moved to Lombok and everyday feels like a new adventure. (on my 4th day here, I had to buy some major house appliances. Felt so adult right after every purchase! I didn’t know turning 29 could be this fun). There are so many things I had to do on my own and look after to. I can clearly say that “city girl” problems are for real.
I am currently living in a house in a Kampung Bali area near the city center, I asked before why they called in Kampung Bali and everybody said, “ Because it’s kampung Bali.” Didn’t really answer the question. So I will tell you based on my observation: it is basically a residential area for the locals. The residents are not necessarily all from Bali but the set up of the place looks like a local village around Bali – hence they call it kampung Bali. I could have lived in a more restricted area but I chose this place because I really love the house. It will also give me more immersion to a normal life. After all, this is Lombok. It’s a province of Indonesia; I can’t expect city kind of living here.
There are some days where I find it a bit difficult then I realize YOU WANT THIS FOR YOURSELF SO STOP COMPLAINING I’m the only making it difficult because I want my easy city access to everywhere life before. True enough I am enjoying the challenges I encounter. It’s nothing really serious or big problem that needs serious solving. I am very much aware that I am being a brat with complains lately.
I didn’t know that living here will make a responsible person out of me – sounds so unbelievable but let me explain what “responsible person” means in this context.
When I was living in Jakarta, when I want to shop for something I can somehow easily find it in stores. In fact there’s so many malls to choose from. Here, the resources are very limited so I have to make do of what I see (they only have 4 malls and I am super duper happy about that. Please don’t build more!) The only thing I am very thankful for so far that I find very convenient is that they have Uber, Gocar/Gojeck (if you’re in Mataram area it’s easier to book. They are slowly expanding) and Blue Bird application that works here! Yes, I can order my ride but it takes a while because there’s not much here.
Second, living in the wild. Yep, that’s what I call it. I used to live in an apartment. A building. So I have very limited things to worry. Here I live in a house. A very charming, rustic house with a huge yard and a cozy pool to chill in every once in a while – provided that the weather is not cold (I noticed it’s pretty breezy here. I’ve only used my aircon once and regret it because it was already cold especially in the morning!) That being said, I am now expecting to have insects visiting or living in your garden as well. Last time I saw a scorpion passing by – gesh! By the way I have a frequent visitor/friend that shows up every once in a while. His name is Lizzy. The biggest gecko I’ve seen so far. Sometimes he brings his girlfriend with him Lana. But they end up chasing each other. Sometimes I think they’re fighting because Lana wants to go for a walk and Lizzy seems to be lazy. They now became my friends – that I don’t usually talk to but say hi to when I cross paths with any of them.
Third, I am beginning to appreciate local food. Not all of them but some. Mainly because they put more effort in cooking here so it taste better. ALSO food here is cheaper. Every morning, there’s this guy who sells nasi bungkus for only 5000, ($.30) how cheap is that?! Mind you it’s a proper nasi bungkus – rice, salted fish, noodles, vegetables and chicken. Amazing!
Life is not that hard when you know what you need to do and you try to learn your environment. Living in this area, I had to mingle with the neighborhood. It sounded bad the way I said it but it’s actually not. I appreciate my alone time, I appreciate quietness in my environment. But I also appreciate interaction with people. Mingling with people here is helping me improve my bahasa. Since most of the people in the neighborhood speaks either bahasa Indonesia or sasak only, I have to adjust. Our regular talks made me learn more words. I still ran out of things to say, so I have google translate by my side. On most nights I talk to my security guy (sounds to big time! Lol) before bedtime to practice my bahasa and also for entertainment. He is living next door, born and raised here in Lombok with 3 children. Sometimes or most of the time he speaks really fast that I can barely understand plus he mixes bahasa Indonesia and sasak when he talks. So it kind of confuses me. But he is very patient with me when I start to look like I don’t understand anything anymore; he smiles at me and would always say “gapapa, pelan-pelan aja.” (no problem, slowly)
I deeply appreciate that they all welcomed me and try to extend help whenever possible. I don’t see it as a motive to trick me or steal from me later on. But they are pretty much chill people who might seem to be too curious at times but in general they are not hard to deal with. Sometimes I get invited for dinner or to join them during sarapan (breakfast). 6:30 am and my phone is ringing : “Selamat pagi bu, ayo ikut sarapan. Ada nasi goreng dan ikan teri. Kamu suka ya! Ayo bangun aja!” (Good morning Miss, join us for breakfast. There is fried rice and your favorite salted fish. Oh and most people already have my number, popular new kid in the kampung). And off I go to the next house because why the hell not?! I was just a bit overwhelmed at the beginning because everyone was trying to get to know the “new girl.” I get the usual questions – age, living with who, married, boyfriend.. typical questions I get here.
Another thing I appreciate here is how they keep each other safe including me. They make sure to guard my house in a subtle way so that nothing will get stolen or no intruder comes in. How thoughtful is that? VERY. Although they all said this area is safe because everyone knows one another and even on the next kampung they also know people there. So if anything bad happens, the news spread really fast and it’s easy to catch whoever did it especially if he/she is part of the kampung. Living in a community like this, it is very easy to identify if the person you see on the streets are “strangers” and makes people alert when they see them there often especially when they look a bit suspicious.
Despite my drama sometime, everything goes away because I can regularly watch the sun set every single day with or without beer in my hand. At the end of every day I spent here, whenever I get to watch the sun set it puts me in perspective. I get to look back on how the day went, reflect and try to do better. Something that Jakarta cannot offer me. I just go home or go somewhere else, no glimpse of sun set at all.
I’m still a city girl by heart. I won’t deny it. I literally grew up in the city, lived the city life style – the only time I try to stay away from that is when I travel and I get out of my comfort zone. As of now, this move to Lombok feels like I’m on a one year travel/holiday – only I need to do some work to get paid so I can finance my travel/holiday. But hey, it’s all worth it! I’m in a lovely place. To more city girl adventures!