15 things I did in 2015

2015 was another weird year of unfortunate happenings, inappropriate doings and amazing experiences. While some people collect post stamps or coins, I collect stories to tell the grandkids when they’re old enough to know what a strap-on is, but enough about The Pink Palace. Of course I am not talking about sexual stories, so get your mind out of the gutter.

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Back in Kuta


The white blisters on my hips are getting bigger. I am constantly ripping out burnt skin from my scalp. Being back in Kuta for a few days alone, I think I am going to stay indoors and let my skin consume unheard of amounts of aloe vera.

At least that was the plan. Pete and I arrive pretty late at the hostel, Kayun Downtown. I convinced him earlier to stay with me a couple of hours and get food, instead of going straight to the airport like 6 hours before his flight. I am stressing out, but the quesadilla supreme at The Balcony and a honey lemon juice at the bubble tea place that Pete is obsessed with, is making me feel better. We sit down in the TV room at the hostel and I put on 22 Jump Street. A few people join. Halfway through the movie, Pete gets in his taxi to the airport and I am alone again.

It starts to rain heavily, so much that it’s pointless to watch a movie. The people in the TV room start talking, but we can’t hear each other very well. German Pervert, or Tom as he is actually called, the Canadian guy Kyle I was rooming with at Gili Backpackers, and one of the English guys from last time I was in Kuta are all here. By the time the rain stops, we put on Taken 3 and make commentary about how Liam Neeson’s set of skills must involve being able to call from a pay phone without any coins, and how it’s actually the bagel that he brought over to his ex-wife that’s been taken by the cop who eats it at the crime scene. We have beer and find out that the TV can play karaoke, so Sophie from England asks reception for karaoke CD’s and brings back Katy Perry, Aviicii and Deep House. Confused, we put on Katy Perry. It’s just a normal CD. So we sit there, basically just listening to Katy Perry, singing along every now and then. While the rest try to get me to go to Skygarden, I am just dying to get a shower and some sleep.

The next day, I get up to cross the street and buy a yoghurt for breakfast. I eat quietly in the TV room when Sophie appears and asks me if I want to go to one of the temples I was talking about yesterday. We end up planning on going to Uluwatu to see the sunset, when the travel guide from the hostel interferes and tries to get us to come on a day trip to see two beaches and then the temple. Tom tells us about a party that happens at a nearby bar, Single Fin, every Sunday. Canadian guy, Kyle, wants to join too. So a group of us sets out to get some lunch at Fat Chows and then ask a taxi driver if he can match the (expensive) day trip we have been offered at Kayun.

At two o’clock, Sophie, Tom, Kyle and I get in a taxi that we have for the rest of the day for 400.000 IDR. First, we go to Padang Padang beach. It’s small, neat, and very crowded. I worry about my sunburn, but luckily I am not in too much pain. We stay there an hour, then we head off to the temple.


Besides the view from the cliff full of aggressive monkeys, the temple is nothing special. We go to Single Fin and get slightly drunk and chat with some Aussie girls and enjoy the sunset. Then at 7-ish, we go back.


On our way back to Kuta, Sophie and I are feeling drunk while Kyle aka. DJ Tough puts on some music for us to fist pump and sing along to. It’s pretty hilarious for us, but the guys are probably hating us so much right now.

The next day, Sophie and I go to the beach. Despite my sunburn. We listen to music on her speaker, chat to local surfing instructors and check out ridiculously pale women on the beach. Then we go for lunch and meet Sam for England on the way, who’s looking for a hostel. Obviously we lead him to Kayun Downtown. We hang out in their pool, I go pack my stuff and then we head to the beach for sunset with Kyle,Sam and a Swiss girl called Sophie. The local guys from the surf school the others have been at all day are super nice, and one has Popeye tattooed on his belly, his navel being Popeye’s butthole. He lets me put my finger in there. I go for dinner with Sam as I realise the dynamic of our group just isn’t working because of one certain person. Even though you can hardly call me a solo traveler, it’s a very important lesson that these past days have taught me: just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean you have to hang out with people you don’t like.

I watch a movie and Skype friends, then I go to bed; I’m getting up at 4 AM tomorrow.

Turtles, Joss shots and sunburns

Gili Trawangan, Indonesia: I have found the Indonesian Corfu, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phangan or Koh Tao. And I love it.

After arriving on Gili Trawangan and getting lost on our way to our hostel, Gili Backpackers, we hear about a legendary shot called the Joss shot, which is a packet of energy powder and a shot of either vodka or tequila, mixed in your mouth rather than in a glass.

As if this is the mandatory check-in ouzo shot, we immediately head to the bar to get one, then we go snorkeling. We walk along the beach until we reach the northern point of the island, where the beach is emptier, and there are no boats. From here, we see a giant sea turtle and we haven’t even been in the water for 3 minutes, so we squeal with excitement.

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Back at the hostel, we celebrate our turtle sighting with more Joss shots. We join a table of some English and Germans and before we know it, everyone’s joined the table. Since we watched The Interview like three times back in Kuta, our new thing is to quote Katy Perry’s Firework, and as I am doing that, a German girl with an English accent, Clara, comes up to me and a new friendship is established. The rest of the night we quote Taylor Swift, The Little Mermaid and other artists that we oddly enough know too much about.

At 10 PM the bar at the hostel closes, and we are all kicked out to respect the nearby village and mosque. At this point I am the best kind of drunk I can be, so as soon as we get to a new bar, I introduce our group – Belgian guy whom we call Waffles, German Pervert, Clara, Pete and other people I don’t remember – to Troll dancing. Troll dancing is when you dance with or on people without them noticing. So basically, me and German Pervert walk behind people and start dancing on them, and as soon as the victim turns around, we pretend that nothing has happened. It’s way more fun than it sounds, so I keep going for God knows how long, much to the amusement of everyone else.

The next day I am obviously not feeling very well. Pete and I hurry up and go snorkeling, which temporarily gives me some relief, but after some turtle sighting and diving, I am swimming back to shore and the nausea hits me again. Hard. One of the main reasons Pete is my friend is that he encourages me to throw up right there, on the beach, not even flinching as he says it. So I do. In unrelated news Gentlemen, I am still single.

After some food – they do not have good food here, which is such a bummer – we go back to Gili Backpackers, and while Pete is being social in the pool, I fall into my bunk bed. My equally hungover roommate, Tim, and I then discover the hard way that AC is turned off in the rooms from 11 AM to 4 PM. Even though it is slightly colder just outside our room, where the pool and the bar is, we decide to stay indoors and sweat through our bed sheets, suffering loudly. Pete walks into the room occasionally to get stuff from his locker, and at one point, while I’m soaking wet and in fetal position, he laughs and says I suck at life before walking out. He does this like 4 times a day, but at this point I am so mad that I have to get away, so I get up and go for a walk. That’ll show him, right?

The guys at the hostel bar are telling stories from last night, most of them involve me, so I’ve set the bar pretty high for myself. With my hangover, I know I am only going to disappoint tonight. Still, the guys manage to force some Joss shots in me, which both sickens me and oddly enough, also stabilizes my stomach a bit. I get started on a Bintang lemon beer and eventually reach an acceptable level of drunkness.  I am wearing Pete’s Indian headdress and lipstick as facepaint, and call myself Dripping Tampon, the Chief’s favorite daughter. Yes, that’s my Indian name.

In my drunken state, I force Pete out for a second dinner – our first one is at a pretty good Thai place really close to the hostel, but I throw up on myself immidiately after eating there – and we go to one of the restaurants on the beach, where all the locals are cheering loudly, and the tourists are staring. After some food and ginger tea (WTF Pete, now we’re sweating even more), we head out to a silent disco party with our group and two English girls. A silent disco is where everyone is wearing headphones, listening to the music through them, but at this bar, the music is pretty shit, so we go to a ninjas and nurses party instead. I tell people I am a nurse. You know, traditional medicine. It is completely crammed, and I am very much in the way with this Indian headdress on, so I head home. It’s around 11 o’clock.

A few hours later, my roommates come back to the room after having sex in the shower, and then all my other roommates come back home, turn on the lights and talk for an hour. Our Kiwi roommate gets back at 4 o’clock and has forgotten the code to our room, so he is banging on the door until someone opens for him, and then he immediately goes back outside to go to the bathroom, and once again bangs on the door for ages. Since my bed is by the door, I have to open it for him. An hour later, morning prayer starts at the mosque.

We’re supposed to get on a ferry at 11 the next morning, but we end up staying another night. We follow a now regular pattern of getting breakfast and then going snorkeling. This time we bring a few people with us, and end up going really far out in the water. We see like 4 sea turtles, and Pete and Ferdinand from Germany even tries to touch them.

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We go back, less than two hours later, and I am looking very sunburnt. A few hours later, I am bright red, and blisters are forming on my hips and lower back. My German roommate lets me borrow her aloe vera and she even slathers it on my back for me while I moan loudly. Clara, Pete and I rent bikes to go see the sunset on the other side of the island, where swings have been put out in the ocean. We sit on bean bag chairs on the beach, drinking mojitos and watching the sun set through the clouds. Suddenly, the sky is bright red, pink and orange and it’s just the most beautiful thing ever.


A bit drunk, we go back to turn in our bikes, get some Thai food and then start drinking. Again. After like 3 Joss shots I call it a night and just enjoy the cool air on my sunburnt skin in the dorm. I sleep till 8 the next morning.

It’s time to leave this amazing island that I’ve enjoyed so much, but I am happy to go back to Kuta that actually has good food and WiFi, so I can plan my next adventure, which will be happening in the Philippines.