No woman, no rice: A week on Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
When people heard I was going to Bali, they all said “go to Gili.”
And they were all right. Gili Trawangan was by far my favorite place in Bali (though, it’s not actually in Bali…)
White sand, blue water, no cars or motorbikes, horses, a million cats, fresh seafood, a million cats trying to eat your fresh seafood, good people, good drinks, live music.
You could bicycle around the whole island in an hour and a half.
All I did, really, in eight days on Gili T, was sit around at restaurants and read on the beach and wander. And then at night I went to the Reggae bar and made new friends, listened to music, drank sickly sweet multi-colored cocktails.
I traveled from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan and had meant to go to the other islands (there are three in the Gilis), which were meant to be quieter. But, as usual, I got lazy and didn’t feel like moving when I had a good thing going.
The island was quieter than usual, so I hear, I mean I don’t really know what the usual is, because of Ramadan. And there were constant calls to prayer, eerie loudspeaker chants that juxtaposed the backpacker atmosphere of the island.
And it wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be. I managed to find a room for under $20 a night. A room, mind you, that was off the main stretch and didn’t have a sink or a mirror. But a room, none the less. And the night market provided cheap fresh fish and opportunities to mingle with strangers. I spent entirely too much on cocktails though. Entirely too much…
When people heard I was going to Bali, they all said “I can’t wait to hear your adventures there.”
Because everyone has seen or read Eat, Pray, Love and therefore, I suppose, this was where I was to find love.
And because I think I’ve developed a reputation.
Bali, though, ended up being one of my least “adventurous” countries. Sure, I met men on Gili T. Nightly. And OK, maybe I did end up making out with an Italian who was way too old for me. Way too old. And sure, I fell asleep in an Australian’s bed. And maybe left a bar to smoke with an Englishman and then left his room when I knew he wanted more.
Let’s just say there were opportunities.
But none I wanted to take.