Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back to Lombok

After the Gilis we returned back to Lombok to surf, but sadly, there weren't too many waves to be had.  We got in a few more smaller days at Grupuk Bay on the outside reef, which had a sketchy take-off in front of a huge rock formation.  The next day we surfed at a familiar break called Mawi, where I broke a board.  Jed and I have had a good many problems with boards and bikes on this trip.  So far, I've broken one board and broken the fins off of two, wrecked a motorbike, while Jed has broken the fins off of two more boards.

The small waves actually ended up turning out not to be so bad since we got to experience some pretty unique cultural aspects of Lombok.  One day, Jed and I went back to the surf shop to see our friends, Ebay and Alam.  Ebay invited us to another wedding, which we assumed would be another circumcision ceremony, but he assured us this time it was an actual wedding.  The wedding started around 4pm the next day so Ebay told us to meet him at his sister's shop, where he would pick out some sarongs for us to where.  Jed donned an orange and purple sarong in honor of Clemson, and I wore a black sarong with my tuxedo t-shirt.  We picked up 5 kg's of sugar along the way to bring with us as a gift -- apparently that's a tradition.

Before the wedding took place we sat indian style (just like in kindergarden, only we're not that flexible anymore so it is incredibly uncomfortable) on a raised wooden floor where we ate curried chicken, jackfruit, and rice with our bare hands -- but we were only allowed to use our right hand since the left is for when you use the bathroom.  We watched some traditional Sasuk dancing, skits, and stick fights which looked pretty dangerous.    During the stick fights, two guys lined up opposite each other, then they charged in towards each other and attempted to beat the crap out of one another -- both would fend off blows from the other using a wooden shield.  Finally, one guy dropped his shield on accident and the other guy moved in for a strike.  The guy that dropped his shield turned and ran like a girl, which I can't blame him for. 

We later got on our bikes and followed the bride and groom in their car which was decorated with ribbons.  After we reached the destination of the "wedding march", we all parked and watched as the wedding party and guests lined up in a procession down the street.  Little boys were first, dressed in some traditional looking clothes, followed by teenage girls, and then the bride.  Behind the bride were what appeared to be the equivalent of our brides maids and behind them was the groom.  He had his friends or "groomsmen" lined up behind him and finally all of the friends of the bride in groom at the back of the line.  Following everyone was a 6 foot tall set of speakers hooked up to 3 guys playing electric guitars and about 6 guys with varying sizes of drums.

After everyone is lined up, the music begins and the procession starts the march down the street.  The blaring indo-rock sounds like a Muslim version of Metallica.  Way too hard to explain, but it was very odd to hear heavy metal combined with traditional Muslim music.  On the sides of the street, everyone is watching and cheering.  There's so much energy being pumped out by the guys playing the music and by the procession of people both in and on the side of the street.  Our friend Alam shows up and tells us we have to go join the procession. "What?! We don't even know these people.  They won't want us in their wedding," we said, but he didn't even give us a chance to say no, before shoving us in the line of dancing Indonesians.  Alam then grabbed Jed's video camera and recorded the whole thing.  Dancing in the procession was awesome and all of the people were welcoming and studying our dance moves.  Many of the girls kept asking if we were married and complimented us on our traditional unrythmatic "white man" dance moves such as "the sprinkler", "the grocery shopper", "the lawn mower", and everyone's obvious favorite, "the funky chicken".

Well, it's getting late here so I need to get to bed.  I am now in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and am heading to Tamara Negara, a remote jungle, to do some treking for the next few days.  I still need to write about how we were invited to a cock fight in an even smaller village in Lombok and how we ate the loser at Ebay's mom's hut for dinner.    Will try and update and post pictures gain soon.

Good news: My friend Jacob is coming to meet me in Thailand for a month of travel.


So I left off last time where we got invited to a cock fight in an extremely small and remote village outside of Kuta, Lombok by our friends Ebay and Alam.  While we don't condone the sport, we didn't want to be rude and decline the invitation.  Also, there's a slim chance that either of us will be working for PETA when we grow up so we thought it might be ok to watch.  Ebay calls the rooster fights Ayam (Indo for chicken) Kung Fu, which he thought was hilarious.  The village Ebay took us to was really basic and many people lived in simple huts with thatched roofs.  Most people had a cow tied to the hut with several chickens and ducks running around freely.  Ebay took us to the back of the village where the men were supposed to be fighting the roosters.

Cock fighting is technically illegal in Indonesia, but some of these places are so remote, I'm sure it goes unnoticed all the time.  We walked up to the pit where the men were congregated and they stared at us in amazement.  I'm not sure too many white boys have been in their neck of the woods before.  We weren't sure if it was ok for us to be there, but Ebay assured us it was and I began passing out cigarettes (I don't smoke, but they come in handy as gifts) like candy to the village men.  They were happy with this and then we watched 2 roosters fight.  They insisted that we bet on the roosters and Jed got to choose his rooster first.  From the start, I could tell my rooster was a bit of a sally and would probably lose quickly, which actually ended up being the case. 

My rooster tussled with Jed's for a few minutes and then bolted away in the opposite direction.  The men immediately busted out in laughter as my rooster headed for the hills.  One of the men quickly snatched my rooster by the tail and put him in a bag and proclaimed it, "The loser."  He handed the live rooster to me and said, "You take."  Ok, "I take," I said, but what were we going to do with a live rooster.  Ebay said we could take it to his mom's house and she would cook it for us to eat that night.  Problem solved.

The loser
So, we ended up dropping the rooster off at Ebay's mom's house and were told to return that night for a traditional Sasuk dinner.  We returned later that night to watch some traditional Sasuk dancing, which was still a part of the wedding celebration from the day before. Later, we sat down with Ebay's family and ate the loser and drink some of the local rice wine.

Later, we walked behind the area where the dancing was taking place in a small patch of woods where men were gambling.  Jed joined one of the games which involved betting on a character such as a crab, lizard, fish, or frog and rolling dice to see if a your character came up.  I think he ended up breaking even that night after going down a bank busting 20 cents.

The generosity of Ebay and his family, the food, and the rice wine were incredible.  We've only known Ebay for a couple of weeks and he has shown us so many things most people never get to see.  Later, we thanked him profusely for showing us his culture and headed back to Kuta.

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