notes from the road

Lombok Blues


Welcome to Kuta.

Brace for crappy roads, crappier food. Loads of flies, child vendors pestering at every corner and restaurant table. No hiding.

Watch out for machetes, flying out at night from the side of the dark road.

Look out for pristine beaches, electric turquoise water and glossy skies.

Wind blowing from the cliff tops where you can see the start and end of the world.

Endless views from coastal towers.

Keep your eyes peeled for big bandaids and Ibuprofen – better yet, stock up before you come.

You wont find them here.

Keep cool when mini mosquitos bite and gigantic, prehistoric geckos piss and poop on white sheets.

Bullies from above, grinning down mischievously from the thatched ceiling, their home.

Listen up for eager birds, chirping relentlessly all morning on our pillow.

View disgruntled water buffalo herder boys, slapping Johnny on the butt when no charity is offered.

Cool breezes and soft sun.

Catch a blast of obnoxiously loud motorbikes flying by, kicking up dirt and egos.

“Fucking Hardcore” Lombok surfer boys frontin’, skinny-tough.

Brown chests blazing, menacing glares followed up by big, generous smiles.

A surprise non-attack.

“Brother, it’s all good. Brother, come to my house and see my baby. We are having his hair cutting ceremony tomorrow, brother. Brother, please come.”

Invitations extended, and a one week old baby suckles her mother’s breast as she lays supine on the floor, hot and complacent, unaffected by our presence.

Encounter over trafficked streets – destination nowhere.

Forgotten mongrels strolling the streets – swinging heavy teats down the main drag, searching for scraps with lonely eyes.

“Is this a spice or a bug in this dish?” The great unknown.

Better to avoid inspection of suspected legs and antennae, push the mystery object aside and continue eating.

It’s all just protein anyway.

Revel in strange findings, like surprisingly strong internet, and crunchy seeds in your bananas.

Experience live music, cover songs from Oklahoma filling the dusty air of this island village.

Eat an aptly named “cosadilla” – as in, “que cosa did I just eat?!”

An odd bunch of tourists.

Oldies and youngn’s doing who knows what in this ramshackle and dusty town.

Blaring mosques sing pitchy off-tune prayers, while the Hindu brothers dress up, sharp and dazzling as they scoot off to their flower filled temples far out of town.

Celebrate expert sarong haggling even if the locals fume and fumble angrily.

“Why did we pay more than a tourist?!”, they cry out, demanding justice as I stroll down the beach, triumphant, laying my new shiny sarong on the sand.

Magnum bars keep us happy – sweet victory with each creamy bite.

The constant search for the next edible meal, hopeless optimism.

Warung to warung, hunting for a pot of gold at the end of this Lombok rainbow.

Doesn’t exist.

Flies abundant, fly heaven.

Don’t laugh too big, or one might find a new home inside your mouth – just sayin’.

HBO in the hotel room. Big score!

But Keanu at his best is still the absolute worst.


My Lombok blues are skies and seas, frowns and cries, love and dust. My Lombok blues are actually purples and pinks, greens and browns, red and orange. Here are some pics of my Lombok blues:

Appearances can be deceiving.


And, sometimes they are exactly as they seem.


Not too shabby.


Another boring sunset..


a surprise around each corner


Lombok blues at their best

secret beach close to tanjung an


  1. haven’t been to Lombok yet, but lived in Bali for a year. love this poem. -Allison

    • admin

      July 16, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Thanks Allison! I didn’t know you lived in Bali for a year! That’s amazing!! What were you doing there?

  2. LOVE how you wrote this! So descriptive and so minimalist. I should learn to be so succinct and poetic.

    • admin

      July 16, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks Kat!! You’re blog and project is so inspiring!! We are bloggers!!! Hahaha! Who knew?? 😉

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