Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Gili Meno & Small Man Syndrome

Despite the previous post, I actually came to the Gilis for peace and quiet. If I'd been looking for trouble, I'd have stayed in Preston. Besides, they started it.

Anyway. Gili Meno is a short hop back towards Lombok. It's populated mainly by locals, and is rarely visited by the bulk of travellers. Sounded like just what we needed. The girls had seen tickets for the boat transfer, and we paid up at 8am; only to be led up to another pier with an office bearing the legend "Offical Ticket Office" in front of it. One of the lads walked us up there, a short man with stupid white Shoreditch-style sunglasses and an afro. As we passed a group of men, one of them shouted to us "Don't trust that guy" and laughed. Don't worry, mate...the sign had already aroused my suspicions. We got to the pier, and he seemed keen to keep us away from the ticket booth while he collected the tickets. After my experience in Java, I was getting used to the modus operandi, and walked over to see how much the fare actually was. A third of what we were being charged. For a 50 metre walk?

I challenged the little tealeaf, and asked why he'd charged us three times the going rate? He didn't take kindly to this, especially with lots of tourists looking on. I told him if he'd made us pay double, fair enough...but triple? He exploded when I called him a cheat.

"You. You complain now...everywhere charge this price...all beach. No-one else complain but you. Now you come here talking like lady. You shut your mouth now. No more talking" he spat, contemptuously. A few of his mates started crowding around, and I could see this could get out of hand. There are no police on the islands, and any trouble needs to be sorted out with the head man on Gili Air. So I didn't fancy getting into a punch-up with a gang...it wouldn't end well.

I swallowed my pride and left it, smiling through gritted teeth at the posturing little arsehole "Fair enough, Napoleon...you win this one..."

"What?" he strutted around in front of me.

"Never mind, I can't be bothered explaining your shared insecurities with notable figures in history."

We got the tickets and departed. The rest of the day was pretty boring actually...Meno is pretty dull with nothing to see. The beaches and snorkelling are pretty lame, too. But if you really must go, just don't buy your tickets from a dwarf with a sizeable chip on his shoulder.

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