The Ubud Handbook « A Line in the Sand
GILI AIR, LOMBOK. We take a morning walk along the pristine beach, past the new dive centres and manicured lawns where the dry jungle and coconut groves and lazy, grazing cows used to be. Two sun-bathing white men sit in a little home-made nest in the virgin sand. One has balanced a camera on his knees and is pointing it steadily at the edge of the shallow sea.
There's a strange thrashing on the shore – like a fat fish fighting to be landed. We're twenty meters away now, and we spot a young white couple playing in the nearby water in a tropical, in-love kind of way. Ten steps closer and we watch as the young man's naked, moon-white backside pounds into his girlfriend's barely submerged pelvis.
Ten meters away and the boy finally looks up – an inane, animal-like grin taped across his face as his girlfriend grips his butt and grimaces at the empty blue sky. They disengage like street dogs, utter an invective in Russian, and stare.
Ketut starts shaking. In Indonesia, even a public display of affection like holding hands between a married couple is seen as a disrespectful lack of self-discipline to the wider community. The Gili Islands, as you know, are strictly Muslim.
It takes her a couple of minutes before she can speak.
She stops and turns to me.
– "You know, up until now, I've never seen two fish fuck in the sea."
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