HI, MY NAME IS DANI AND I’M IN LOVE WITH MY BATHROOM!
Pemenang Timur, Indonesia
Am I the only person who becomes so loyal to nice hotel staff that I feel like I'm breaking up with them when I have to check out and get nervous about telling them I'm leaving? Anyone with me on this one? I know it's silly, but the guys at Ilham were so nice, I felt really bad leaving. They tried to persuade me to stay but luckily I had already paid a deposit at the Exile so I held firm (I may have given in otherwise and dragged out the relationship longer).
So after breakfast and a photo session with hotel boys, I got in my horse cart and headed off to my paradise. Luckily, the guys showed me the prices for the cart because the driver tried to charge more. I called him on it and he didn't put up a fight, except to pretend he didn't have change. But, the staff at the Exile gave me change so all was good. On a side note, I'm constantly torn between paying the extra $1 or whatnot in situations like this (that's chump change to me but could mean a lot to them) and not supporting corruptions/dishonesty. I still haven't come to a firm decision but waver depending on the situation. Anyone else have an opinion on this?
Since I knew I was going to be staying at the Exile almost a week, the first thing I did was unpack and make myself at home. Oh wait, I lie, my first stop was the library bungalow to grab some books and then breakfast (Gabo Gabo of course), THEN I unpacked.
Words cannot describe the beauty of this place, just check out my photos on FB and you'll see for yourself. But the bathroom, oh how I love my bathroom here! Besides actually having a western toilet that flushes, a trashcan, a sink, a shower, soap, toilet paper, and a door (I mention all of these because every one of these has been missing at one point during my travels), it's bamboo and natural elements…AND it's OUTSIDE! The walls are all bamboo, the shower spicket (spell check doesn't like this word but I don't know how else to spell it) is bamboo, the floor and sink are all stone, and there's NO roof! I get to do everything "natural" in (private) nature : ) The best part is at night when the stars are absolutely amazing! It's also huge so I've had several workout sessions there (outside but no one can see me and I can jump in the shower right away), I'm considering sleeping there one night for the view of the stars, and the sunlight is great for seeing all those spots you miss while shaving…I LOVE this bathroom!
My days here have been the same. Wake up, run on the dirt road along the beach, workout with my new travel weights (liter water bottles are great for filling with water, rocks, sand and then deflating for travel), and then eating and laying on the beach all day until eating and sitting on the beach at night. It's tough.
There are not many people here. The Exile is new, opened January 1, 2012, and only has 6 bungalows. There've been a few people here over the past days, but last night and today I'm the ONLY guest. I know all the staff by name, as do they. They know how I like my shakes (no ice-cream, a little milk, honey not sugar), what meals I order, etc. I also get special treatment and can order things not on the menu--It's awesome! Rezel (part owner with his brother Iwan) is really nice and I enjoy conversations with him. Last night he asked me for advice for the hotel in the next 5 years. Then he copied music files from my computer and repaid me with a free bottle of wine on the beach (they learned the first night that I don't drink beer or smoke either cigarettes or pot, all of which were offered to me).
The sunsets here are beyond amazing. People bike from all over the island to come watch it here. At that time of day, the tide recedes so far that you can walk into amazing tide pools. I've seen eels, tons of algae, and weird starfish that are really thin and move like fish. During the day, the water is so clear and calm and shallow—you can walk almost 200 meters and only be waist deep. I tried to snorkel one day but my $2 goggles didn't work, go figure. Apparently I didn't miss much though as the corral was all blown away here from years of dynamite fishing. Gili Air is the place to go for snorkeling with corral. There are tons of corral shells here though that are really cool. I wish I had an extra suitcase just for them because I've already invented plenty of DIY projects to do with them.
I've met a few people here, an Argentinian and German couple, both on honeymoons (not together), a Japanese woman, and some Belgians. My favorite was a Swedish woman, Natalie, and her adorable 3 year old son, Noah, who owns a vintage clothing shop here with her husband. We talked about setting up a business and life on the island and went running in the morning once.
If you're wondering why you haven't heard from me in a while, it's because I have no internet here. Luckily, the few times I've actually needed it (to book a flight and to send documents) my family and Peter stepped in—THANKS, loves!