Gili Air is chill AF and the snorkeling guidelines

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After our escape from the mischievous monkeys of Ubud, we would have liked to relax the fuck out. Fortunately, the ultimate leg of our journey takes us to an island known as Gili Air, which could simply be essentially the most chill place on Earth. However first, a couple of phrases about our driver, who would possibly simply be the toughest working teenager on Bali (HWToB).

On the two-hour drive from Ubud to Padang Bai, Christina felt just a little automobile sick, however HWToB and I talked your entire journey. HWToB instructed me that he was simply ending his remaining yr of highschool.

“I drive a couple of hour within the morning earlier than faculty begins, and I drive after faculty too. Generally I do different jobs too, like in a restaurant, or assist my household farm. I additionally handle my mother and father. They’re previous. I’m the youngest. My brothers all work on cruise ships.”

“How’d you get this job?” I requested.

“My uncle works for the quick boat firm. They want drivers, and I can drive.”

“Will you be a full-time driver after you end faculty?”

“No. I’m learning Korean so I can work in Korea.”

“What is going to you do in Korea?”

“I’ll work in a manufacturing unit. The cash is manner higher than right here. My Korean shouldn’t be good, however I simply want it to be ok to cross the examination in order that they’ll rent me in Korea. After I get there, I’ll use English. Everybody on this planet speaks English. It’s the way you get forward. Additionally, YouTube is healthier if English.”

“How lengthy will you keep in Korea?”

“Just a few years. I wish to make some cash, then come house and purchase land.”

“What is going to you do with the land?”

“Dwell on it, begin a enterprise.”

“What sort of enterprise?”

“One thing that makes cash.”

“So by the point we come again to Bali, you’ll personal the place, huh?”

“No. Nicely, yeah, perhaps. I hope so. However first I’ve to cross my Korean examination.”

Switching gears, I requested HWToB if he had ever been to the Gili Islands.

“No. However they’re stunning. It by no means rains there.”

“By no means?”

“By no means.”

“They usually’re Muslim, proper?”

“Yeah, they’re a part of Lombok. Lombok is Muslim, like the remainder of Indonesia. However they’re chill. Numerous events and seashores. Medicine too.”

“I assumed medication have been unlawful in Indonesia?”

“They’re. However there aren’t any police in Gili, so medication are authorized.”

I wasn’t positive HWToB and shared the identical definition of “authorized,” however I let that slide. I needed to know what else he had heard about Gili Air.

“No automobiles. You stroll, you bike, otherwise you take a horse.”

We had heard concerning the horses. After we booked our resort, they instructed us {that a} man with a horse-drawn cart would meet us on the docks.

“They don’t have canines there as a result of canines are haram.”

OK, so canines have been out, however medication have been in. Form of. This needed to be the weirdest interpretation of Islamic legislation I had ever heard of.

“They’ve cats, however the cats haven’t any tails. Additionally, no plastic. Nicely, they attempt to keep away from plastic as a result of it’s unhealthy for the atmosphere.”

After we reached the quick boat, I gave HWToB 300,000 rupiah, about $20. He regarded shocked as a result of that could be a large tip in Bali, the place tipping is appreciated, however not anticipated. I instructed him it was a thanks for a terrific dialog and to place the cash towards his bulgogi fund. He instructed me he was going to observe some YouTube movies to study bulgogi.

As we took the two-hour quick boat from Bali to Gili Air, I thought-about what I had heard about our vacation spot. Every little thing HWToB instructed me about Gili Air tracked with what different Balinese folks had instructed us concerning the island. However not one of the Balinese folks we met had truly ever visited Gili Air, or its sister islands, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. As a result of I would like these dispatches to be extra than simply hilarious encounters with monkeys and delightful journey footage, I made a psychological listing of claims to confirm on Gili Air.

Inside thirty-six hours of arriving on Gili Air, I busted a number of myths. First, it does rain right here. The truth is, there was a very strong downpour our second evening on the island. Second, the cats right here have tails. However the claims about automobiles and plastic are correct! Each are unhealthy for the atmosphere, the locals say, and so each automobiles and plastic are unwelcome. Our resort additionally bans beef due to the “cow farts.”

One of many many horse-drawn carts on Gili Air

As for the medication it’s exhausting to say what the deal is. A number of the folks getting on the boat at Gili Trawangan regarded like that they had come from one in all Thailand’s full moon events. In the event that they didn’t handle to attain coke, ecstasy, and magic mushrooms, I’ll come again, dunk my Dodgers hat in a bowl of sambal, and eat it. Right here on Gili Air, the drug scene is chill. I’m constructive I might purchase weed, however there’s no manner in hell I’m shopping for weed the place my solely protection is that HWToB instructed me it was “authorized.”

Concerning all the opposite vices you would possibly suppose are forbidden on a Muslim island, this agnostic, cultural Jew is happy to report that Gili Air’s high three priorities are as follows:

  1. Have enjoyable

  2. Have enjoyable

  3. Have enjoyable

The one native girl I’ve seen sporting a hijab was additionally accountable for gathering the island’s 10,000 rupiah entry payment on the dock. You will get booze wherever, anytime. After I requested a resort staffer about modesty, he instructed me that it was solely essential for girls to cowl their legs at Hindu temples. Then once more, our resort pool has designated skinny-dipping hours. Additionally, the native boat captains have filthy minds, as evidenced by the names they provide their boats. Just a few fan favorites:

  • SS Mama Will get Wets

  • SS Intercourse Machine

  • SS Fuck

The boat names gave us loads to giggle about after we chartered an unnamed boat for a snorkeling expedition on our first full day.

Our first cease took us to a reef simply off the shore of Gili Trawanga. We noticed hundreds of colourful fish, however the sea turtles have been the spotlight. I don’t know what it’s, however there’s one thing magical about watching sea turtles doing their factor. It’s like a second of Zen wrapped inside a heat hug.

Christina additionally acquired a terrific video of a sea turtle ascending towards the floor for some air. Sound on!

However climbing again onto the unnamed boat, Christina banged her leg on a ladder that, frankly, wasn’t ship form.

“Welcome aboard the SS see you subsequent Tuesday,” Christina stated.

“Is that see, or sea?” I requested.

Christina loved the pun, however she took a cross on our second cease, the underwater statues at Gili Meno.

A phrase concerning the statues. Initially, I assumed they have been the ruins of some historic civilization—Lombok’s reply to Atlantis. However then I turned to Google, and Google rained on that parade.

The statues, which information books usually describe as “haunting” and “stunning” are literally an artwork set up by Jason deCaires Taylor. The piece, which options 48 life-size figures standing collectively and curled up on the bottom, was commissioned by a luxurious resort. The thought is that statues, that are produced from eco-friendly materials that received’t mess up the ocean, will develop coral, and hopefully, develop enterprise too.

Earlier than I jumped into the water, Christina gave me a fast course on methods to use our GoPro. Then she remembered that she was talking to somebody of restricted technological capacity.

“I’m setting it to take stills,” she stated. “Simply level and shoot.”

“Received it.”

As quickly as I jumped within the water, I noticed two issues. First, like all Instagramable vacationer points of interest, Meno’s underwater statues are a clusterfuck of novice photographers jockeying for place to allow them to do it for The Gram. Second, the present is so robust that it is advisable kick and stroke actually exhausting simply to take care of place, whereas utilizing all your energy to really attain the statues.

After recording an epic exercise on my Apple Watch, I reached the statues. I needed to soak up the great thing about an underwater artwork set up, however that simply wasn’t within the playing cards. As a substitute, I centered on sustaining my place, dodging different swimmers, and snapping as many pictures as I might.

“How’d it go?” Christina requested after I acquired again to the boat.

“I took quite a lot of pictures, however I’m undecided what I acquired.”

Then I handed her the GoPro, together with a disclaimer.

“If I’ve acquired pictures of individuals’s butts and crotches, that wasn’t intentional,” I stated. “The present was so robust, and it was a complete clusterfuck, so I simply snapped pictures like loopy.”

Christina checked the GoPro. I had certainly shot some X-rated underwater pictures, however Christina deleted these. Then she picked the very best unobscured shot and posted it on The Gram, naturally. Then I requested her to ship me the unique photograph so I might share it with you!

Gili Meno’s Underwater Statues. Picture credit score: Michael “the unintended porngrapher” Estrin

We had deliberate to go to one other snorkeling spot, however we minimize brief our voyage on the SS Sea U Subsequent Tuesday.

Again at our resort, Christina took an Advil for her leg, and the ache went away. Late within the afternoon, we walked out on the seaside, and ordered some meals and drinks. Then we frolicked with the opposite company and the resort workers to observe the solar set over Gili Meno and the mountains of Lombok.

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