Indonesia 2015: Gili + Lombok + Jakarta

Now that I am awaiting my certification as an Open Water Diver, the memory of the first time I had a regulator in my mouth seems to have become a distant past. Fine, that's just exaggerating, but the first time I tried breathing through a regulator, it took me almost 15mins and lots of struggling to learn how to breathe only through my mouth and to stop inhaling water into my nose. Now, I can easily control whether I want to breathe only through my nose, or only through my mouth, or both at the same time.

Gili Trawangan was just beautiful. The island has no cars and people got around on bikes or in horse carriages. I loved that the horses had these bells around them that made them sound like reindeer, which had a really nice jingle and it felt super festive too :D also, as an indication of how small the island is, I literally cycled around half the island on my first day by accident while looking for my way back to the hotel T___T

We went to three dive sites for four dives, and we had an amazing last two dives. At Bounty Wreck, a jetty had collapsed and sunk into the sea. It's really amazing how the underwater animals had turned the wooden platforms and the bicycles into their homes in just twenty years. The corals growing on the wreck was just breathtaking. My favourite was Sunset Reef though, because turtle and sharks and devil rays omg. 
my sister's underwater camera autocorrects for the lost red colour underwater, but sometimes it overcorrects, and therefore the moss in the above picture is red, rather than green

Special thanks and lots of love to Tom & Jess for their patience and for introducing me to the life underwater.

On New Year's Eve, we took a day tour of the temples around the Lombok main island and then went to a beach masquerade dinner-cum-countdown party organised by our hotel.
Our hotel owns the beach, but many of the locals kept trespassing from another connecting public beach, it was funny watching the staff trying to keep them away hehe.

One thing I like about SEA (less Singapore,) is that fireworks are sold cheaply in the streets. On a daily basis, there will be one or two stray fireworks, but on special occasions like this one, everyone sets off their own fireworks. And when everyone does that at their own time, I get to watch a fireworks display for over 3hrs straight. The last time I set off my own fireworks was during the Loy Krathong festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It's okay to shoot fireworks over bodies of water, but I find it really dangerous when people just face their fireworks upwards into the sky. I feel like the sparks will either fall on me, or it will hit some tree and start a fire. Maybe that's why Singapore banned fireworks. Because we have too many trees.

The roads in Lombok are also intriguing. They have tar roads, but the drivers are making up the traffic rules as they go along. There is no speed limit, and no traffic lights, and no road is ever one-way only, even if it only has one lane. Driving on the wrong side of the road is always an option. While I'm seating in a car moving forwards, it's not uncommon to see another car heading towards me on the same road. It's just crazy. Luckily, Jakarta's not the same. But then again, it has its own set of problems. To the people in Jakarta, normal road conditions means a traffic jam. It was a good thing that we came during the long weekend, where traffic was abnormally light, or what we'd call normal here in Singapore.

In Jakarta, we spent our only day there at the firing range practicing our shooting, so there's that. Real weapons are much more difficult to handle than air weapons, because of recoil and because it contains real ammunition. The people there even showed us how to use a sniper, but I was worried the recoil would hurt my right shoulder right before I start work, and I'm not about to let that happen, especially not when I will need to write a lot. Moreover, I have alr done more than enough exercise to last.

photos: me & parents & sisters




C'est l'histoire de ma semaine en Indonesie. Bon nouvel an et bonne nuite!