Monthly Archives: March 2010

Feeling better..

The Malaria antidote/ medication I took was a 2 day course 18 tablets first day 15 second day and I cannot believe the rapid improvement to my health,. still not 100% and not ready to surf but definitely on the mend just a few aches and pains. Exchange rate has crept up to 13800 IDR to 1GBP which hopefully will continue. I have missed all my friends back in the UK these last few days, I do not have any have problems dealing with physical pain but suffering is a differnt situation. It seems to be prolonged pain without your old friends around to take your mind off things.

My hearing has been hyper sensitive to every frequency that I normally would never notice which is making some places and some people unbearable. I hope that goes soon, “Ignorance is Bliss” Its good to have agood internet connection again I will be uploading a whole heap of new photos this week if I can,..

Back in Bali Mc Donalds wifi!

Had the worst no sleep nights of my life, super powerful medication aimed at knocking malaria out kept me up shivering all night long aches and pains not so bad though. I watched about 15 episodes of “My name is Earl” that I had on  bootleg DVD.. Anyway felt better this morning so I loaded up my moped, with surfboard and rucksack and rode about and 1hr and half hours to Lembar ferry port and then just had the most hellish 5 hr ferry ride to Padang Bai Bali. (Indonesians are the noisiest people I have ever met on my travels, when you combine the competing frequencies with a headach and aches and pains it makes me wonder what I am doing here anyhow Its a cheap option about £7 and takes a few hrs longer than the plane. Which only takes 35mins transport time but once you include all the messing around at the airports booking the tickets in advance and taxis too and fro there really is not much time difference. The ferry means that I can use my own moped in Bali and saves me from having to hire one.

Decided to get a BigMac its been a long time and it just happens they have free wi fi..

anyway below are a few pics of Lembar Harbour Lombok

doctor says I have got Malaria..

Have been surfing Pantai Segar everyday most days twice a day until sunset. There are lots of mosquitoes on the way home at this time and for the first time in a year and a half I have been getting bitten. Body has gone into shut down, fever aches and pains all over that i cannot describe, thumping pounding, headache non stop and sweating and shivers all day and night. Feels like I am going to die if that had a feeling feel so weak I cannot reach out to lift up a bottle of water, I think i was bitten a while back because this weakness has been coming and going but my body has been fighting it off. Now I feel absolutely ruined and hyper sensitive, The sound of motorbike goblok and cockerels in the morning, dogs fighting and crying babies has been amplified by an increase in this sound sensitivity…making everything so more irritating.

I was going to try and ride it out with paracetemol but some expats said I need to go to the hospital for a blood test so I did but no blood test staff were there.. Doctor said it is most definitely malaria because I have all the symptoms that she sees on a regular basis. Dengue fever is similar but there is no dengue fever in Kuta Lombok at the moment but there has been a few outbreaks of malaria. Anyway she prescribed me the medication for malaria and hopefully it will go quickly, I have taken a whole heap today and feel better already, surfs pumping tomorrow and malaria or not I am trying to go in the sea..

My friend Clari from the uk is coming to Bali on 3rd April so I want to try and get there by then by ferry with my moped.

Solicitor emailed me all the contracts for my land today so i will be reading those and supposedly my certificate is only 2 to 3 weeks away! we shall see…… Hopefully one step closer

Exchange rate lowest it has been in 10years!!!!!!!!!!!

Kuta Lombok,….

Still in Kuta Lombok, I am basically waiting for the certificates on my land to be completed it appears I have been lied too a fair bit from some characters that managed to involve themselves in the sales transaction and process and instead of 1 title I am dealing with three, once things are resolved and hopefully they will be, then I can pay the final fifty percent balance. After this I plan on returning to the UK to go try and earn some extra cash. The exchange rate at the moment is going to hit me for about 6g GBP if I pay the balance at this rate AGHHHH!. England’s economy looks dreadfully unproductive at the moment and the pounds strength against every currency is bottoming out.

The Best place to see the sunset, on the road to Novotel

The Best place to see the sunset, on the road to Novotel

Ok a few feelings I would like to try and articulate just for my own sanity really, I absolutely love Indonesia, it is an amazing place, looks like paradise and can sometimes feel like paradise if you have your earplugs in. Eg the original Local cultures and traditions are so simple and extremely refreshing to be around. Holistic living and everything from the chickens, buffaloes and children are all free range just roaming around the place. The water is warm, the skies are blue in the day and every shade of amber and pink in the night, the women are beautiful and the waves unrivaled.

However I want to explain to you one word, and the word is Goblok, The local workers on the land project I am investing in call each other Goblok during the day so I asked what it means and they explained in no uncertain terms that it is Indonesian for “complete idiot” and there is no shortage of it around! I will explain as I do not want to appear prejudiced. Basically along the coastlines of the remote Island edges where all the best waves are the Indonesian rural way of life has not changed in thousands of years until  maybe the last 5 or 10. Now for approximately 20 years western surf travelers have been transporting their culture and influence  to these places and the effect on the males between 15 and 35 is so apparent. Most Indonesian males here in South Lombok are not educated and have no idea how to integrate this information and their perceptions of what they believe the western world to be into their lives in way that appears sane or intelligent.. by western standards.

Here are some examples, nowhere in the world have I seen and heard mobile phones being so irritating used in public. Having one here is a status symbol, having your conversation on loudspeaker in a public place is standard especially if it was a quiet place before they start their display of phonemanship, include the most annoying ringtones you have ever heard. Eg. Men here sit in restaurants, internet cafes, bars and warungs etc, . one can witness them put their mobile phone on the table playing their music on loudspeaker for every one in the restaurant to have to listen to, This usually happens when the restaurant already has music or a wonderful tranquil ambience. This is unbelievable to witness at first and somewhat intriguing in an anthropological study kind of way, however after the fiftieth time you start losing respect for people displaying this  behaviour…

The Novotel Racetrack
The Novotel Racetrack

Another more noisy example of Goblok here, Nearly every one takes the baffles out of their mopeds to make them twice as loud and half as fast. Maybe 4 out of every 7 bikes..The 125cc 4 stroke bikes have such a thumping sound it screeches down your spine. They ride around revving their bikes and because the restaurants and homestays are all open plan by design there is no protection from this deafening sound. The boys ride up and down past the restaurants and hotels all day long backwards and forwards for all to see and hear. Each one completely proud of the amount of noise they are making as though it is some great achievement.

Looks like Paradise sounds like Grand Prix-5109

This place looks like paradise and sounds like a Grand Prix race track final.

The road to Novotel is the best place to watch the sunset but it is also the local drag racing roadstretch, so what looks like paradise setting over the palm trees sounds like Brands Hatch.


I must admit when I was sixteen years old I did the same to my small 50cc motorbike and now life is serving my own behaviour back to my in double and triple helpings. This is called Karma I am lead to believe.

The Novotel Racetrack at night!

The Novotel Racetrack at night!

  People love noise here, and fill every quiet moment with every possible noise frequencies which are competing with the volume always on full with maximum distortion. (think 4am every morning!!!)

 No real original ideas or thinking here and this is evident when they all reproduce each other in every way in every behavior, every restaurant for example has the same menu cooked the same way. Every bad piece of plumbing and bad building practice is the industry standard..

I have to count my blessings and have a good surf when I can, I am here for the waves and the warm air. There is a reason Indonesia has 200million people combined with some of the most abundant natural resources on earth and is still poverty stricken. There is a corruption committee to eradicate the corruption at the the echelons within the government and legal system, however it has most definitely filtered down from the top to all levels and areas of life here.

This experience has really made me so thankful for my education in the uk, and all the media and information we are subject to really does develop and sharpen our minds. It is evident in the way we process information which one does not find  here.

The language has no past tense or future tense, everything is present tense. People behave in many ways however think the same, appear to have no interest in the past, no photos, no memories, and do not plan for the future apart from planting their rice fields. Their main concerns are am I hungry? tired, do I need  a cigarette, have to answer my phone, or put petrol in my motorbike. This is the extent of most of the local peoples lives and concerns, a really simple charming existence.

However they have been watching  cable TV now at work in the restaurants, many want to race a motorbike  GP like Valentino Rossi, they have been setting up facebook accounts , they know who ripcurl, billabong and quicksilver are but it was only 5 years ago and maybe this morning they were climbing coconut trees and riding around in horses and carts,

Unfortunately many but not all young people here interpret the negative aspects of western culture by impersonating the elements to the extreme so they will appear more westernised, this is where you see goblok in full effect.

And finally they are also thinking that every white person is a personal bank atm machine on two legs

Nothing happens fast here, so it is necessary to learn to relax, eat and surf in the sun which Indonesia is so wonderfully suited for. Much of the attempt at modern  culture by some of the younger local men on the other hand are another part of the experience, this often an aspect to be endured some days whilst in search of perfect waves to surf. The elements of goblok culture here are something one has to learn to tolerate…(did I say earplugs)

Back in Kuta Lombok…

Back in Kuta Lombok,.. flew from Bali to Mataram internal flights are cheap, approx  230,000 IDR about 20 pounds.. takes 35 mins, then another 1hr on a bike from Mataram to Kuta. It has been good to see Ruka my main worker, I left them to do some work on the retaining walls when I was in Bali and they have done a good job. Also all the boundary trees we planted about 1 month ago have all taken root and sprouted leaves so the view into my plot from the road should be hidden pretty soon.

I have bumped into two friends of mine Val and Craig that I spent 1 month in Krui Sumatra with, they are in Lombok now. Me and Craig who is about 50 and funny as they come have been surfing Segar Beach each morning about 7.30am Waves as clean as glass small and hollow. Good fun and sunset surf each night. I surfed Grupuk Bay today.. more on Grupuk later..

Exchange rate is still not good and I have been losing a bit of sleep over money. I do not want to return to the Uk until I have all the legal paperwork in place.. The dilema I have is, It  will cost a lot of money to stay here waiting and not earn money working. However if the certificates arrive soon and I pay the outstanding balance I will be 5 thousand pounds down compared to the rate I had when I paid the 50% deposit which I had budgeted around for the cost of the land and some earth works. I know from past experience I cannot save 5 thousand pounds in a year working in the UK once I have paid all my living expenses. Finally if the certificate takes much longer and the exchange rate gets even worse I lose on both accounts,… AGHHHHH!!!! money sucks..

However the water is warm and the waves are good and I will have to be patient and see what happens…

Sterling still dropping fast,..

Pound not doing so well right now against Indonesian Rupiah, all time low of 10 years,… will have to consider various work options if this continues. Australian dollar on the other hand is going through the roof..

Some Info and charts for the last few days and years for Indonesian Rupiah and GBP exchange rates,.

Here is a bit of sterling news if you are interested from the bbc website

Money is such a nightmare when it feels like you are spending more than you have coming in, makes you sweat in your bed when you are trying to sleep!! I have some cash but I will need to make somm again real soon. Not sure where or how? I am still waiting for thr land department to process the certificates on the land I am buying in Lombok, they should be ready soon but the exchange rate is sooo low right now I will make a big loss on the outstanding balance if they are ready whilst the exchange rate is this low. Problem is, it actually sounds like the pound is going to slide a lot further!!!!

A few pics from Sarangan in the sea..

A few shots from my small CanonD10 in the sea at Sarangan….Johan and Toby surfing

Exchange rate blues… 13,700 to 1 GBP

Was 16500 a while back this is making Indonesia an expensive place now compared to before.. Englands economy really seems to be in the slumps right now English pound is really losing value worldwide at the moment… have a balance to pay on my land in Lombok when the certificates are ready,.. this drop makes about 4 000 pounds difference!!! Sucks

Skateboarding on concrete once again!

Surfing every day with Johan Pontell, Dan Johnson and Toby Millwood. Three surfers I spent I got to know well last year. Johan is  skateboarder , we went and skated an amazing backyard bowl in Sanur a few days ago, have a a few shots.

Melon Fakie Sanur Bowl Bali

Local Skater Melon fakie in the deep end

The bowl is owned and built by a frenchman who has been here surfing and skating and living the dream for a long time now. amazing bowl he made it himself. Concrete hurts, knees wrists and bones all felt how harsh concrete is again…

Sari Goblok, Hi Jason!

Sari Sedikit Gblk Dari Jawa of course Hi Jason!!

After skating all night body shut down got flu, non stop runny nose, aches and pains all over and a big cold sore on my lip. I have forgotten what it is like to get ill,.. aghhh.

5 days have passed still surfing every day Sarangan most afternoons with the boys. Nose is like a non stop river. Surfed at Sarangan near the city dump and there has been a lot of floating debris in the water including a dead puppy which floated up to me in the line up for the waves.

Went to atm other day and my card was rejected!! It seems to have expired today, so no access to cash!!! not good and HSBC said it will take min 10 days to get a new one out to Bali. Post here is bad I can feel it will not happen smoothly. Not a major problem credit card to hand but money problems here are a quick reminder of how vulnerable you are in a foreign country if you have no cash!!

Still in Bali

2 weeks here now have been surfing most days, many people from the uk have all come back out so there has been no shortage of people to hang out with, so blog still has not developed much so I will try get some  more shots on soon, here are a few from Kuta Beach, Johan Pontell and myself sunset and the crowds..also Johan showing you what happens if you fall off a moped having drunk too much in Sky Garden