The people of Gili T:
Meet Gustav, Patrik, Frederick, Joe, Chris, and Yuri – 6 friends from Malmö, Sweden who we spent the night with playing beer pong, flip cup, and general drinking. Gustav, who worked for a year in Australia, said to me “for some reason I just could not pull an Australian girl! Every girl I was with just happened to be Swedish. I don’t know, maybe I was just more comfortable talking to a Swedish girl. I fell in love with this one girl and she lives 15 minutes away from me. I’ve never seen her before ever. Here I’ll show you a picture…”
Meet Ruby and Renee – 24 year olds from the Netherlands. It was super random running into Renee, someone I met in Dalat, Vietnam! I also ran into her again in Hoi An and again here in Gili T while playing beer pong at the Swedes hostel. Ruby is her friend who came to meet up with Renee and is travelling for only 3 weeks whereas Renee has been going strong for 4 months now with no end in sight.
Meet Charlene, Rachel, Alissa, and Merel – three from Holland and one (Charlene) from Belgium. The first people we met in Gili T as they were hanging out in the pool at our bungalow. Charlene and Rachel met through an online backpackers forum and these two met friends Alissa and Merel on the boat into Gili T.
Meet Conor and Tasha – 23 year olds from England who are here to visit their good friends George and Charlotte. These guys were telling me a story of their one friend who is a nutcase once legit asked to get stabbed while high on some drugs. Conor grabbed a knife but couldn’t do it. George then grabs what he described a “full blown butchers knife” and was about to stab his friend. His friend then goes “whoa whoa whoa, okay no grab a smaller knife”. George says he then grabbed a steak knife and….stabbed him. “What the fuck! Like actually pierced his skin?” Omar asked. “Yeah man! I got him right on the side, nothing deep, and straight away blood just started flowing out. He wouldn’t stop asking to get stabbed!”
Meet Rob, a 21 year old owner of a beach bar called….Robs Bar. But at night, it’s called Bar 420 and you could assume why. This is where George and Conor go to buy what they need to buy and hang out at night by the beach. In the photo he’s not actually that short, he was sitting down on a chair. Also, judging from the sign above his head he sells other things too…
I don’t want to sound dramatic but the fast boat to Gili Trawangan from Kuta is definitely one of the worst experiences of my life. It was 43C this day and they packed this small, non air conditioned (no fan either) boat to the max capacity. Everybody is sitting down shoulder to shoulder sweating. You’d think the breeze from the sea would help but it did nothing. My tank by the end of it was drenched in sweat. I have never felt anything like that before. Just sitting down and sweating profusely…Once we landed on the island, we were greeted by various locals trying to get you to stay in their villa/hostel/bungalow. I had booked this very cheap hostel earlier in the day and only paid about $2 deposit so I was open to seeing another villa/bungalow if it’s cheaper. Omar and I ended up following this one guy who showed us pics of the place and it looked amazing. Upon arrival of the place, it looked nothing like the picture (surprise!) although the AC in the room was on point. But other than that it reminded me of one of the jail cells I visited in Alcatraz. So we thanked him and decided to go check in at the hostel I booked. When Omar and I arrived at the hostel, I was just a sweaty mess. The owner greeted me with a laugh asking if I was hot. Offered me a cup of water then asked for us to wait a minute. “You guys have AC, right?” I asked…”no we don’t sorry. But it doesn’t get too hot at night so it’s not too bad I promise you”. No AC…I’m sorry but at this point I just can’t be fucked to sleep in a room with no AC or fan. So Omar and I looked at each other, nodded heads, and thanked the very friendly hostel owner and made our way to find a new place. I recalled one of my mates who I met in Saigon recommend me a place called Coconut Dream Bungalows. So Omar and I made our way there and ended up booking 4 nights there for a private bungalow with two beds – one queen and one single – and our own private bathroom. They had AC but it was pathetic. I just came to accept that I’ll be quite miserable here in Indonesia with regards to the heat.
Gili T is absolutely stunning. The beaches are amazing and the waters are so clear I didn’t think I’d see anything like this on my trip. One of the days Omar and I rented snorkelling gear just off the beach then went for a swim. Our goal was to find a turtle as other travellers we met said it’s possible here if you’re fortunate. Fifteen minutes into our snorkel and we spotted one!
On one evening we joined these group of travellers to watch a horror movie outside on the beach. One of the beach resorts has an outdoor cinema on the beach where you lounge on bean bag chairs and enjoy the movie they play. We were told this movie tonight is a horror movie. It was called “Knock Knock” featuring Keanu Reaves. Yeah it was defo a horror movie….horrifying experience that is. What a waste of two hours! We all got up at the end and expressed our disappointment with the movie and then one of our friends, Vitali, says “that movie was so interesting! I really enjoyed it…”…sigh…
I’m no all star in beer pong – my friends back home can attest to that – but beer pong is played a lot here and one night we were playing with a large group of Swedish travellers and I was on fire. I also didn’t know that Canadians has a reputation among backpackers as being crazy drinkers. But on this night I couldn’t be stopped and the swedes were loving it. “Canada man! You guys are too good!” Chris yelled. Omar and I were playing the night before in one of the bars and I didn’t sink a single shot. “Man, he is not like this. I don’t know what happened!” Omar would try and explain to the group.
On our last day we ran into George and Charlotte on the street, along with their friends back in England Tasha and Conor. These four enjoy their marijuana and when we bumped into them around 230pm they had already rolled and smoked 10 spliffs. We invited them to join us at our bungalow to chill at the pool and play drinking games. Omar stated to the group we are starting way too early…and he wasn’t wrong. By 730 all of us were dusted and to my true form – I fell asleep shortly around 8pm before being woken up to get out to celebrate St Pattys day.
Gili T is easily a place where you can get stuck in. I would’ve spent the rest of my time in Indonesia here but I know my time is limited here and I want to check out this town called Ubud, a highly recommended place by every traveller I met. So off to Ubud we went! I was mentally preparing for the miserable boat ride back to land but to my surprise this boat was nearly twice the size and had AC!