So this is it, the real adventure begins. There was almost 40 minute wait to clear out immigrations and I was last in line with the guys. Now none of us had return tickets and since the boys are from the EU they both needed to get a visa.
My turn came up and guess what? I got pulled over for not having a return ticket. So there I went into the immigration waiting room to have a 'chat' with a zit faced officer.
"Miss can you speak Bahasa Melayu?"
The rest of the conversation was continued in Malay and I was arguing over why I needed a return ticket and the boys don't. According to law, if you have a free entry without having to pay visa you need a return ticket which is valid. And since I'm Malaysian I have to have a return ticket. I explained to him that I'm willing to purchase one now, right there and then. But he kept saying,
"Oh but that is not it, you should have one even before you left your country. So now we have to send you back"
"No you're not. You are not sending me back plus the next flight is hours later and I'm buying a ticket now and you are going to print it!"
"It's for my country, not for me"
Like I haven't heard that one before.
Managed to interview the officer though, of where to go and how to get from one place to another for cheap and not being ripped off (yeah and I just got ripped off by him!). But he did furnish me with information which was useful.
*still very much annoyed*
The bus operator was nice to give us information about places in Lombok; As I speak the local language it's relatively easy to get around. But as always I need to hide the boys, get info and haggle before revealing them as my 2+. If not it would be double with them two in plain sight.
The people running the accommodation are nice and they were very helpful. We wanted to rent scooters to go around the island and to rent in Mataram it will cost 50,000 rupiah but you must surrender your passport to the rental office. We have done this before in Thailand but over here, there is no insurance plus we were advised against it as scooter thefts are very common in Mataram. We were advised to perhaps rent scooters when we get to Kuta-Lombok as it's safer over there plus we would be needing them to beach hop.
So our first stop was Pura Dan Kemaliq Lingsar which is a Hindu temple and a Mosque situated side by side. It's a beautiful and quiet place to visit. The carvings on the entrance to the Hindu temple is beautiful but the temple itself is not as majestic as the ones I have seen in Bali. Nevertheless it is beautiful. One must be in a 'sarong' when visiting, as I was in shorts, I had a long shawl which I used as a 'sarong' to enter the temple. The next temple we went to was a Hindu temple known as Pura Suranadi. Its a bigger Hindu temple with beautiful carvings all in black. At the front, you'll be lent a sarong and sash to wear as it's custom to wear these before entering this temple. Plus a small donation is a custom when visiting temples. 10,000 - 20,000 rupiah is sufficient.
Under the tree she sprinkled the holy water onto my head 3 times with the flower taken from the alter. Then another 3 times onto my palm where I had to drink the holy water, then wash my face with the water again 3 times and finally one last sprinkle onto the palm which is then placed across the chest. Oh and the flower is later placed behind each ear while the rice grains in the holy water are stuck onto the forehead. Prayer done!
She was really sweet, she's a teacher from Bali who got posted to work here as her husband was transfer over to Lombok for work. She was asking me a lot questions, the standard run of mill of question you normally get people asking tourist. Before I left I wanted to give her some money for the flowers and incense stick but she refused saying that she was happy to help and watch me pray.
There isn't much to do in Mataram other than those places. Mataram is a nice place to take a chill pill but more than a day or two, there really isn't much to do. So am looking forward for tomorrow when we head up to the mountain.
Next up: Mt. Rinjani