Too old for this shit… Kuta, Lombok with baby
We arrived in Kuta, Lombok full of hope that we would finally have a more authentic taste of Indonesia. The transport was great – sitting right in the front, getting scared at every curve, and even, oddly, getting to watch Justin Bieber’s christmas DVD… The driver left us at the corner of a tiny unpaved street saying it was too narrow to drive there. We put baby in the backpack and walked the 300 metres to our homestay which made us feel like young and adventurous backpackers again. My husband was strangely excited about this place, the cheapest we had found so far at 120,000 IDR (AU$12) per night, wifi and breakfast included. I thought… I can’t wait to see this.
Then we reach the home stay. It isn’t one of those hotels disguised as an “authentic stay” but the real thing: an old man totally unaware of any business going on there, no English speakers around, and… mosquitoes. We are in the middle of jungle land and I can only think about mosquitoes at this point and see the many bites already spread on my baby’s skin. We ask if the room has a mosquito net as confirmed through email. The man looks at us like if the question was absurd and replies ‘’no rain season’’. An exchange follows in some English and sign language and phone calls and the man ends up going in the garden and picks up a net from the back of the house. I have a feeling that he took the net from his own sleeping spot just to make us happy. And then I think maybe that $12 room isn’t so great after all… but I don’t say a thing because I am not difficult; we are backpacking and I must have seen far worse.
Then we see the room. It’s perfect for a broke backpacker who is looking to spend too long in Kuta. It’s clean – as far as clean goes for a $12 room. The man puts a wobbly plastic chair on the bed; my husband climbs up there to install the damn mosquito net. The net is obviously too small for the bed but I smile and thank the man.
The room is hot. The two little windows are useless and the fan doesn’t help much. The bed is clean but very small; too small for two adults and a baby. I don’t want to let the baby play outside because I am too afraid she will get bitten by mozzies. There is no space for little one to play. We are not near any place to eat. My husband and I look at each other but neither of us wants to say it. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with the room. It’s just a simple $12 backpackers room.
We spend the night there. It’s not fun. The walls are thin like paper; we are between a loud Dutch and an even louder Spanish couple; I can hear someone’s watching Youtube; the baby is too hot; the baby is crying, screaming and won’t sleep! Everyone hates us at this stage I am sure of that.
The damn mosquito net falls on our heads, then baby jumps out of bed and nearly hits her head on the ceramic floor calling mummy mummy mummy, then Mummy starts really flipping out. I am suffocating in this tiny concrete room; it’s too hot here and I just want to get the hell out of there… I am too old for this shit!
The next morning we pack our stuff and walk out of there. There are things I just can’t handle anymore. I suppose there are things that change with a baby – or am I just becoming an old and grumpy mummy backpacker? No way! With a busy toddler I … WE need a room that is a little bit more comfortable. The baby needs to get some quality sleep and play. Happy baby = happy mummy so… this was our last $12 room. Lesson learned!