• Tara B. Vasi

Day 7/46: Ubud to Gili Trawangan. Pool time, Snorkeling adventure, Gelato

I went to breakfast on the rooftop and made myself a cup of coffee in a cereal bowl. I just can’t handle the little cups anymore. I called my mom and we chatted. I am glad we could move forward and put some things to rest.

We load up in two vans and drive an hour to the shore to get the ferry to Gili Trawangan. There are three Gili Islands, Trawangan, Meno, and Air and they are off the coast of Lombak, the island to the east of Bali in Indonesia. Gili T is the largest with a circumference of 6.5 kilometers or about 4 miles.

I buy another coffee and a bunch of over ripe mini bananas at the dock. Its quite the process but we finally load the Fast boat and are on our way to the island. It’s over 90 degrees outside. The air conditioning in the boat is broken and everyone sticks to the vinyl seats and bust out their hand fans. The crew is rad. They give us bottles of water, cool moist towels they call spring rolls, and little pieces of cake one of the guys wife made. Already the day has started off better then yesterday. I feel a little spoiled and I like it.

I open my window and the sea water splashes my face just a little bit each time we hit a wave. The ferry ride to the island is an hour and a half. We unload off the boat and step into the water briefly before going to shore. The water is warm, bright blue, yet crystal clear at the same time.

There are no cars on the Gili Islands. People either get around by foot, bicycle or what they call cidomo, or a horse drawn cart. The horses looked really hot. I petted their nose when I walked by. I hope they get enough water and rest. I love them.

Gili T is essentially one main drag of lounge bars, guesthouses, tattoo shops, convenient stores, and restaurants. No one is wearing shoes and they are barely even wearing clothes. People are walking around with beers at 10am. Alright, Alright, Alright, this island loves to party.

We get to our boutique hotel and hang out in the restaurant for a bit. Our rooms aren’t ready for check in. The group starts ordering lunch, but I get an iced coffee and my overripe bananas and I head to the pool. I wear my new pink woven bathing suit that I got at the waterfall a few days ago. When its wet it awkwardly expands. I found out the dye runs too. When I got up from my lounge chair I left behind a big bright pink imprint of my ass on the white towel.

I swim and I sit and I swim and I write and I finally eat that cake I got on the ferry.

Fast forward to 2pm. I realize I need to eat and nothing sounds appealing at the hotel restaurant so I head down the street for cash and lunch. I go to the ATM, but am denied cash, saying transaction unaccepted. Weird. I go to another ATM, but am denied cash. This time it says, transaction not permitted. I go to one final ATM, because third time is the charm right, and nope, I am denied cash, transaction not permitted. Hmmm…. Welp, I have enough cash for lunch and an extra 100k rupiahs, so might as well figure it out over food. I told Chase I was going to Bali but didn’t mention Gili islands, so maybe they are just that Good at protecting me from fraud.

I borrow 100k from Laura so that I can join the snorkel tour. She’s Irish and a nurse and absolutely beautiful. We head out and cruise around all the Gili Islands, stopping to check out a “ship wreck” that seriously looks like someone purposely sank a small boat last week so that they could bring tourists by to see it. There were underwater statues of men and women embracing in a large circle, and SEA TURTLES. There were adorable sea turtles, that turn their heads to look at you stare and follow them and I swear they are saying “What’s up, dude?” Like the turtles in finding Nemo.

I liked watching for their little turtle heads to pop out of the water, followed by their submarine like shells.

I didnt snorkel much or spend much time in the water because I have my period and have this irrational fear that a shark will sniff me out and eat me.

The sun set was absolutely spectacular. I loved how the clouds on the other side of the sky totally stole the show.

We get back around 7pm and decide to shower and meet for dinner at 7:30pm. I wear my favorite (and probably most expensive) purchase of my trip so far, a silk dress from Hue, Vietnam. Its blue with peacocks on it and can be worn 4 different ways.

We go to an Irish Pub. I find that incredibly weird but apparently its one of the best restaurants on the island. I order a taco salad. Right? A Mexican dish, in an Irish pub, in Indonesia?

Someone asked why don’t drink, and I responded that it has never really done any good for me so I cut it out and that I actually just celebrated my one year of sobriety. They said that’s great, congratulations and that was the end of it.

Instead of awkwardly sitting at the end of the table, I dip over to the beach to see if I can catch my sister and the boys on a phone call. I get her! We chat for 10 or so minutes before the boys seriously start to demand her attention. I prop my phone up on a rock so I can show her my pretty dress. I saw Bailey Boo and he gave me a kiss before we ended the call. I didnt realize how much I needed that brief connection with my family until I had it.

I ate the taco salad very fast. There was a lot of corn in it. The majority of the people finished their food before the last plate was served. One people finished eating they went to the bar. There was a solo artist performing on stage. He was so cute in his beanie.

Catherine and I continued talking and she asked me a few questions about my sobriety And what made me finally choose it. She was drinking double JD and cokes that night and told me she was struggling a bit herself. We got to chatting about relationships and life and it was beautiful how we both opened up to each other, having known each other just a few days. The musician played John Legend All of me and it was just perfect. Not in a weird way.

Alec had bought some fire works and wanted to set them off. Everyone went towards the beach and crowded around him. All I’m thinking is FUCK no. I have seen too many ‘firework gone wrong videos’ to know better then to stand that close to an intoxicated man lighting a stick of dynamite. I retreat and find a swing to sit on. They are like friggin everywhere. I feel like a child when I pump and click my heels to my bum. A guy at the restaurant asks me if I want a picture and I say sure, let’s just get this BalI swing photo out of the way.

Sure enough fuckboy mgee shoots off the fireworks but one goes away from the water and back towards the bars. Two of the girls get a slight burn on their calfs and a bunch are probably partially deaf. They all huddle around and share videos and photos and are trying to decide what bar to go to next and I decide to bail and get gelato. I wave goodnight and meander down the strip. I am fully aware of my surroundings. If I were even a few drinks deep, I definitely would feel as safe walking this strip alone.

Its past ten at this point, so the party is full throttle. Loud club music from the strip competes with live music from the beach.

There are galactic bowling like lights and fog machines, lines forming in front of some clubs, and people, just people everywhere. Men undress me with their eyes and it makes me want to vomit.

I order a scoop of strawberry and a scoop of chocolate, cup with a cone on top. Holy moly good. I eat it and Mmm.. with each bite, channeling Bill Murray is that scene from “What about Bob?” where he’s eating corn at the dinner table. So good! There’s no Richard Dreyfus around time tell me to Shut up! So I “Mmmm....” all The way to the last bite.

I had a kink in my anterior seratus and or rhomboid all day so decide ya know to just swing through a massage parlor and ask for a shoulder and neck rub for 20 minutes or so. She find my knot and digs it out, for like $4. I love her.

I get back to my hotel and am glue to the toilet for the next hour.

The end.


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