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Welcome to The Lombok Guide – Lombok’s complete tourism paper and your guide to the best that the island has to offer. The Lombok Guide is published on Lombok every two weeks and contains valuable information for all visitors to our magical island.

With the beautiful weather back in Lombok again, now is the perfect time to plan your visit… whether it’s a weekend escape from Bali or a couple of weeks exploring our mountains, jungles, reefs and islands.

Bright sunny days, gentle breezes swaying the coconut palms and cool island nights… June is one of the best times to visit Lombok. Escape the “high season” crowds and prices before July and relax in our peaceful tropical paradise now!

To find out more, pick up a copy of The Lombok Guide from the locations listed on http://www.thelombokguide.com/deadline_publishing.html or visit www.thelombokguide.com and discover the magic of Lombok for yourself… like thousands of others, you’ll be enchanted!

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In the last issue, we announced the publication of this year’s edition of The Lombok Guide 2011 Magazine.
The Lombok Guide has been publishing its annual full-colour magazine independently for the past four years. Publication of the magazine receives no support from the government and is funded entirely by advertising revenue from local businesses.

This year’s magazine contains 120 pages of useful information about Lombok and magnificent photos of our island in all its stunning natural glory by locally-based photographers Simon Mammino, Barbara Lucas Cahyadi, Dian Cahyadi and Iwan Haryanto. Special guest writer, David Clegg, contributed feature stories bout Lombok’s unique culture.

We first started publishing our annual magazines in 2008, frustrated with the lack of professional international-standard marketing resources available for Lombok. Until then, there was no magazine or similar resource about Lombok available to travel agents or members of the travel industry to use in promoting Lombok internationally and nationally.

Although the regional government and Dinas Pariwisata (the Tourism Department) receives an annual budget for promoting our island, they have never produced an English language magazine about the island.

ublications by the government are generally low quality brochures in either Bahasa Indonesia or poor quality English translations.

With the inspiration and support of Scott Coffey and Qunci Villas, we decided to take matters into our own hands and published the first edition of The Lombok Guide Magazine in 2008.

Since that time, our magazine has grown into a full-sized magazine of international standards that is distributed throughout the world and used by travel industry partners in promoting Lombok at all key domestic and international events.

This year, 5000 copies of our magazine will be distributed to international travel agents throughout Europe and the UK, Japan, Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand and more.

Copies of the magazine are also distributed to members of The Lombok Hotels Association, who use them for promotion of Lombok at international and national trade fairs throughout the year. These include ITB Berlin and ITB Singapore (major international travel expos), World Travel Market, London, NATAS (Singapore), MATTA (Malaysia), PATA (Macau, China), Perth Travel Expo (West Australia) and dozens of trade shows and expos conducted throughout the nation every year.

Last year’s magazines were also distributed at TIME 2010 and presented to the visiting delegates of ASEAN at the beginning of this year.

Help in “Taking Lombok to the World” is also generously provided by Garuda Indonesia General Manager NTB, Pak Sudarmadi, and Sales and Marketing Manager, Pak Sapto. Garuda Indonesia flies copies of our magazine to every Garuda Indonesia Sales Office throughout the world, from Tokyo to New Zealand, and Amsterdam to Sydney.

Additional copies are air-mailed by us to selected international travel agents nominated by The Lombok Hotels Association, and comprise agencies around the world who consistently sell Lombok as a destination.
With the incredible growth of Australian tourist arrivals in Bali over the past few years, this year we have focussed a large percentage of our distribution on Australia, in particular Perth (the capital city of Western Australia). Copies of the magazine are mailed to Qantas, Jetstar, Air Asia and other major airlines serving Bali, as well as well-known Australian travel agencies such as Flight Centre, Travel World and Jetset Tours in all Australian capital cities.

Interest in Lombok by those living in Bali is now huge, as evidenced by the demand for our fortnightly newspaper, distributed by Peter and Febri of True Brochure Distribution, at prime locations in Bali every issue.

In addition to our distribution to key travel agents in Bali, this year we receive support from Sophie Digby, co-owner of the ultra-successful THE YAK Magazine, who is distributing The Lombok Guide 2011 Magazines to key expatriate markets in Bali.

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Majapahit Travel Fair (MTF) concurrent with 2nd SITF (Surabaya International Travel Fair) was held on 19 – 22 May 2011 at Grand City Surabaya, where Holiday Resort Lombok took part on the event & was represented by Director Sales & Marketing, Mr. Gerit B Polii. (MTF) has become the most considerable gathering in the province.

It is held annual with the main objective of providing business for the travel & tourism industry to the market East Java’s tourist attraction, hotels, natural surrounding & culture Heritage to both domestic & international tour operators. Major activities of this event include a table top business meeting between the buyers & sellers, a half day workshop & the actual exhibition.

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Warung Kangen is a great little local café that recently opened in Senggigi Plaza. Owned by local businesswoman, Ibu Rina, who also owns Achi Acha Boutique, Warung Kangen has gained immediate popularity by offering authentic and tasty local foods at very low prices.

Nicely decorated – clean, modern and much more attractive than usual warungs (local cafés) – Warung Kangen is located in the shop formerly occupied by “Sugar Café”, at the west end of Senggigi Plaza near Achi Acha. There are comfortable table settings outside, as well as inside and upstairs on the second level.

As part of their opening specials, Warung Kangen is serving favourite Indonesian soups such as Soto Ayam (chicken) and Rawon (beef) and a good selection of Nasi Goreng (fried rice) dishes, starting from a low Rp 10 000!

Mie Goreng (fried noodles), Cap Cay with prawns and more are on offer. The “packets” are unbeatable value – the Ikan Packet comprises a large Ikan Nila (freshwater fish) served whole, with steamed rice and Lalapan (a selection of fresh vegetables served with spicy sambal). Alternatively, choose the Ayam Paket for a generous serving of marinated fried chicken with rice and Lalapan. These are delicious and substantial meals for just Rp 25 000 ea.

The warung also sells home-made cakes and pastries baked by Rina’s sister, Ida (her shop in Green Valley is already popular with expats) and accepts orders for home-made desserts and birthday cakes.
There is also a nice variety of Indonesian drinks, including Es Buah, sodas, syrups, avocado juice, coffees and teas, and Bintang and Guinness beers.

Warung Kangen only opened a month ago, but is already busy with tourists and local people flocking inside for a taste of great Indonesian foods at budget prices. Doors open at 8am in the morning for coffees, and breakfast is available from 10am. Late night crowds from Sahara and nearby nightclubs keep the kitchen busy until 2am most mornings and Saturday nights are so busy, the warung is often open until 5am!

The warung accepts take away orders and will deliver in the Senggigi area, from Batu Layar to Kerandangan. They also offer catering services, and sell nasi kotak (boxed meals) for lunches or picnics. Ph: 0819 1602 5867 for orders.

• Sendok Restaurant opened its doors in Senggigi last year and has now established itself as a popular eating place for tourists, serving a large selection of western and Indonesian meals.

Built on the site of what was formerly Sunset Bar and Restaurant, extensive renovations took many months to complete prior to opening and included excavating part of the hill behind the existing land to make way for a small guest house.

We popped in last week to have a look at the rooms and were pleasantly surprised at the lovely landscaped establishment that is tucked away behind the restaurant.

Sendok Guest House has 9 rooms available – a spacious and attractive Deluxe Suite, a very nice Deluxe Room, 3 Superior Rooms and 4 Standard Rooms. All are nicely decorated, following the restaurant’s theme of “Olde” Dutch Colonial style with large comfortable beds, TV, A/C, hot water and modern bathrooms. The Deluxe and Superior Rooms have large screen LCD TV’s and the Deluxe Suite is suitable for a small family, with a large sofa that folds out for an extra bed.

Rooms are in a peaceful garden with niches containing Hindu statues, set well back from any road noise, and each has a private terrace facing the gardens. There is an attractive swimming pool adjoining the restaurant and Wifi internet available throughout.

Room rates start from a very reasonable Rp 300 000 per night… very good value for this quality and location! www.sendokbali.com

• Aussies, Kiwis and those who love a good pie are buzzing about the delicious pies being baked by enterprising couple, Alison and Robbie, in Green Valley. The pair are baking up a storm, turning out authentic beef, steak, chicken and apple pies to keep up with the growing demand locally.

The variety is extensive with original savoury mince, steak and veggie, black pepper, savoury chicken and more. Pies are baked daily and are available fresh or frozen, with pick up or delivery service options. There are also sausage rolls, pasties and the ever-popular apple pies – equally delicious served hot or cold.

Special orders for other meals (quiches, lasagne, baked dinners, etc) and personalised catering are also available. Perfect for stocking up the freezer with quick-to-prepare meals! Trade enquiries are also welcome. For more info, see the advert on page 59 or phone 0878 6348 4887.

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Dear Editor

I have a question. Please excuse my naivety about such matters, but we’re having problems on the beach with a large number of dogs who are causing havoc fighting and scavenging through the rubbish that is being dumped on the vacant land nearby.

Is there anyone we can contact or anything we can do about this problem, maybe the Tourism Police??
The bulk of the rubbish is coming from Lian Karaoke, which is located on the southern end of the beach. Café Alberto and The Beach Club do a good job of keeping the northern part of the beach clean but the southern end is sadly lacking, and the problem is getting bigger and bigger.

Many tourists are coming to this part of Senggigi now, and I'm sure these tourists leave Lombok with the opinion that the place is overrun with wild dogs and heaving mounds of rubbish. It’s such a shame... is there any hope or help out there???

“S”, Duduk.

We agree “S”, wild or stray dogs are a problem that needs to be fixed. Last year, the Health Department carried out culling programmes in Senggigi. Phone Dinas Kesehatan, Mataram (the Health Dept) on 641 562 or 637 440. We have also noticed the dreadful rubbish problem around Lian Karaoke, particularly rubbish dumped into the river next to them. The West Lombok Bupati (Regent), Zainy Aroni, recently pledged to clean up the beaches and provide rubbish bins. You can contact the Bupati’s office on 681311 or 681677… the more calls, the better! Ed


Kepada Penulis

Apakah ada seseorang yang bisa kami hubungi atau sesuatu yang bisa kami lakukan tentang masalah ini, mungkin polisi pariwisata??

Saya memiliki sebuah pertanyaan. Harap maklum dengan kenaifan saya tentang beberapa masalah, tetapi kami memiliki masalah dengan banyaknya anjing di pantai yang menyebabkan kerusakan pada saat mereka berkelahi dan mengais-ngais sampah yang dibuang di lahan kosong disekitar pantai.

Sebagian besar dari sampah ini datang dari Lian Karaoke, yang berlokasi di daerah ujung selatan pantai. Cafe Alberto dan The Beach Club telah melakukan kerja yang bagus dalam menjaga kebersihan pantai sebelah utara, tetapi daerah ujung selatan pantai terlihat sangat menyedihkan, dan masalahnya semakin besar dan besar.

Sekarang banyak turis datang dari area bagian dari Senggigi ini, dan saya yakin para turis tersebut meninggalkan Lombok dengan pendapat bahwa tempat ini dipenuhi oleh anjing dan gundukan-gundukan sampah. Sangat disayangkan... apakah ada harapan atau pertolongan di luar sana???

Kami setuju “S”, anjing liar adalah masalah yang butuh diatasi. Tahun lalu, Dinas Kesehatan melakukan program pengurangan jumlah anjing di Senggigi. Telepon Dinas Kesehatan Mataram di 641562 atau 637440. Kami juga prihatin dengan masalah sampah disekitar Lian Karaoke, khususnya sampah yang dibuang ke sungai di sebelah mereka. Bupati Lombok Barat, Zaeny Aroni, baru-baru ini berjanji untuk membersihkan pantai-pantai dan menyediakan tempat-tempat sampah. Anda bisa menghubungi kantor Bupati di 681311 atau 681677... semakin banyak orang yang menghubungi, semakin baik! – Penulis

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Two issues ago, we published an update to the changes the Department of Tourism, West Lombok (Dinas Pariwisata Lombok Barat) is making to Senggigi Beach (The Lombok Guide Issue 88).

A part of that article stated: “The Tourism Department decided to build a jogging track along the beachfront, without consultation with local businesses or approval from all local authorities; resulting in a public outcry by both business owners and the Senggigi community.

Despite objections, the project went ahead, with labourers constructing a paved path along sections of the beachfront. Curiously, the path did not extend in front of the Santosa or the Sheraton Resorts, nor was it completed in front of the Senggigi Beach Hotel. This led many to speculate that private deals were done with the government.”

Pak Stephane Servin, General Manager of Santosa Villas and Resort in Senggigi contacted us to refute this claim and, as we found out when we caught up with him for this interview last week, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Lombok Guide (TLG): What is your response to the small business owners on the beachfront who believe that the big hotels have done deals with the government over the “development” of Senggigi Beach?

Stephane: Santosa Villas and Resort has never done a deal with the government regarding these developments on Senggigi Beach. In fact, like most of the other businesses along the beach, we have been told nothing by the government.

As I told you when we last spoke, someone from the government contacted me late last year to ask for permission to erect a worker’s hut on the beach in front of our resort, to be used while the buildings were being constructed. I gave permission but, since then, we have had no communication at all from the government about their plans. We have never been consulted or told what they intend to do; nor have we been given any input into the changes that our affecting our beachfront.

TLG: The business owners are angry about the fishing boats crowded in front of the Art Markets, but not in front of The Santosa, the Sheraton or Senggigi Beach Hotels. Why is that happening?

Stephane: The fishing boats have been a problem for all of us in the past, including The Santosa. Sometimes the government cracks down on boat owners from other areas illegally parking on the beach, but they always return. As you can see, they are back again. The truth is they can’t park in front of the Sheraton, because there are too many rocks and coral at the north end of the beach for them to bring their boats in safely. I assume the same is true because of the reef at the south end. So they use the area in front of our resort and the Art Market.
My understanding is that there are only 18 fishing boats registered to Senggigi and they all have numbers painted on the boats. Boats not registered to Senggigi are officially not allowed to park on Senggigi Beach. This is something that needs to be enforced by the government on an on-going basis, so that the fishermen learn to return to their own areas.

TLG: So there is no secret deal with the government that marginalises the small business operators?

Stephane: Certainly not! We are all in the same situation. The truth is, when The Santosa was first built in the early 1990’s (as the Intan Laguna Resort), the owners gave 3.5 metres of their land to the government as a goodwill gesture to provide access to the beach. That land is now the road that runs between The Santosa and Senggigi Beach Hotels.

The understanding at that time was that we would donate the land to the government and, in exchange, they would take care of beach maintenance and security on the beach, and provide a tourism beach area. It seems that agreement has been lost in the past.

TLG: Does the government provide any beach maintenance or cleaning?

Stephane: Not that I can see. Our resort pays Rp 500 000 every month to the Camat’s office for beach cleaning. Every hotel along the beach pays this, but the hotels themselves have been responsible for cleaning, security and maintenance for years!

TLG: How are the so-called “developments” now taking place on the beach affecting your resort?

Stephane: Of course it is having a major impact on our resort! Our luxury suites with private swimming pools are located next to the south boundary wall. Now the government has built shops along the road we donated, and land donated by the Senggigi Beach Hotel this year to widen the road. These are ugly shops, built against our boundary wall with the roofs overhanging onto our property, which causes drainage problems. Our rear access gate, built to allow materials delivery for maintenance and renovations at our resort, has now been completely blocked by these shops.

Then there is the noise problem from the shops and rubbish being thrown over the wall. These are an eyesore! We have sent letters of complaint to Dinas Pariwisata (the Tourism Department) and government authorities.

TLG: What do you think of the changes on the beach so far?

Stephane: It is a shame, because this could have been organised in such a way that the tourists would love it. The beachfront should be a gathering place for local people and tourists. Instead, none of the problems have been addressed.

For example, we often receive complaints from our guests about being harassed on the beach by the hawkers who sell things on the beachfront. If the sellers were properly trained and behaved in the right way, they would prosper and tourists would be happy to buy from them.

Instead of wasting money on these unwanted changes, problems like the fishing boats, unlicensed hawkers, rubbish and beach security should have been the priority.

How do the government expect to have the support of the people of Senggigi when everything is imposed on them, without consultation, and nothing is properly socialised to the people?”

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The region of Sekotong on the southwest coast is well known for its beautiful scenery, superb beaches and the 13 “secret islands” that lie just offshore. Unfortunately, the area is also well-known for land certificate scams and fraudulent land sales.

Since the mid-1990’s, a number of cases have been brought to court regarding the issuance of multiple land ownership certificates being issued for a single piece of land. Investors and private land owners have been shocked to discover that the paradise block they bought – and possess a valid land certificate for – is also owned by one or more other people, who also hold seemingly valid land certificates or deeds for the same piece of land.

Now the ownership of the 13 small islands, (known as “gilis” in the local language), that are dotted in the sea just off the coast of Sekotong is under scrutiny.

The central government sent a team, including two officials from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, to start investigations into the ownership status of the islands on Monday, 9 May 2011, following reports of the illegal sale of some of the gilis in West Lombok. Some of the islands are believed to be owned by private individuals, companies and foreigners.

The team is investigating how some of the islands had individual ownership certificates issued by the office of the National Land Agency (BPN) in West Lombok.

Under government law, an individual may only own a maximum of five hectares of contiguous land in a given district. For the islands, a 1966 government regulation restricts that amount to 600 square meters with a maximum of 30 years of use.

A 2007 government regulation clarifies that outright private ownership of small islands is prohibited because they are considered state property.

According to a recent report in The Jakarta Globe, Ispan Junaidi, a spokesman for the West Lombok administration, confirmed the reports of illegal sales, saying the BPN had issued title deeds for several of the islands. He said the sales included the 30.5 hectare Gili Ringgit, with the deed listing a resident of Bali as its individual owner.

“What the law allows is for individuals to manage the land, not own it,” Ispan said. “The BPN should only be issuing HGB (Hak Guna Bangunan or ‘right to use’) certificates for land on those islets, not SHM (title deeds), and certainly not to foreigners.”

Under Indonesian law, foreign ownership of land is prohibited.

Udin Syafrudin, head of the West Lombok branch of the BPN, denied that his office had ever issued title deeds to individuals for the gilis off Sekotong.

“We have, however, issued deeds for multiple ownership for gilis that have more than one owner,” he said. “Individual ownership of a gili is forbidden.”

“There is a possibility that the islets are owned by foreigners. If so, they might be using local nominees in order to secure a certificate,” he said.

He cited Gili Layar, a 55.7-hectare islet, as one such case of multiple ownership. He said the BPN had issued 60 title deeds for the 60 co-owners of the island.

According to the BPN, the islets of Layar, Sudak, Asahan and Ringgit have been issued title deeds, all for multiple owners.

Gili Poh has been divided into two lots; one of which has been issued with a title deed and the other a HGB certificate. Two other islands, Gili Nanggu and Gili Tangkong, have also been issued HGB certificates.

Allegations regarding the sale of the islands have been raised in the past and some of the gilis have also appeared on websites offering holiday islands for sale.

The source for The Jakarta Globe said the 13 small islands were the focus of a long-running investigation for document fraud by law-enforcement officials but declined to identify which agency was carrying out the probe.

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Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Victims Appeal Day.

© Text and Photos by Sid Blade

After the tragic events and natural disasters occurring recently in Japan, the people of Lombok decided to hold a day to collect donations for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

It all came into being on Sunday, 8 May at the Pizza Espresso Restaurant in Mataram, with event organizer ‘Bayou’ and his team dedicating many hours to organising the event.

The day was attended by more the 500 people, with at least 300 participants engaging in the day’s events which included a Children’s Drawing Competition, Acoustic Music Competition, Karaoke Competition, a Costume Party. The day’s activities concluded with the most original Fashion Show that Lombok has ever seen!

Special guests for the day included four girls arriving from Japan, especially for the event. They were enthusiastically welcomed, in their traditional Japanese dress which emphasised the beauty and culture of Japan. Their presence enticed many people to give generously to the disaster fund for Japan.

One of the highlights of the day – although unplanned – was a walk through the Mataram Mall with all the fancy dress entrants. This left shoppers amazed to see all manner of strange costumed people mingling with the shoppers, including the Kimono-clad Japanese girls! The Fancy Dress walk-about was well received by the shoppers, who donated generously to the appeal.

To complete the day with the Fashion Show and Prize Presentatio at the Pizza Espresso Italian Restaurant in Mataram, was a fantastic climax to a special and successful day for the victims of the disaster in Japan 
Many thanks must go to Three CSV; Garcia Citra; Zee Platinum; Excel Mira Telecominado; the Japan community of Lombok; Shika Event Oganiser; Rock Radio 88.4 FM; 101 .4 FM GSP Radio show Lombok; and Kalbe Nutritional.

Most of all, special thanks to THE PEOPLE OF LOMBOK for giving their time, efforts and money so generously to assist the victims in Japan, whose lives will helped by their efforts after such a tragic disaster.

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Often finding ourselves in the city for most of the day, our favourite places for lunch or coffee and a snack are either Delicio Café or Oceanic Café in the Mataram Mall. Now, with popular bakery, Melissa, opening a new café upstairs, another excellent option has been added to our favourite city places!

Melissa Bakery, located on the main road in Cakra, (on the left, around 100m past the Mall), already has an impressive list of expatriate customers, who regularly shop there for excellent quality breads, delicious “western style” cakes and probably the best selection of donuts you will find anywhere!

We particularly like the breads, which are freshly baked and available in sliced loaves. The range includes a milky white bread, whole wheat bread, and a healthy oat and wheat grain loaf topped with gold and black sesame seeds. The “Chocolate Lover’s Bread” also caught my eye the other day. It looks more like a chocolate cake than bread; sure to please chocoholics.

Venture through the aisles of delicious cakes, snacks and confectionary to the staircase at the rear of the shop and ascend to a totally different world. The newly opened “Redwood Café” is a stylish space on the second floor, with tasteful furnishings and a clean, modern atmosphere. A glass enclosed balcony provides a nice separate area for smokers, while inside the café is non-smoking. Sit in comfortable seating areas, at tables or on the couches, and enjoy the attractive décor and cool air conditioning, while being tempted by the smells of baking bread and freshly ground coffees.

It is the coffee selection that forms the heart of Redwood Café. Owner, Ibu Verly, takes her coffee seriously and has invested in the best quality coffee making equipment and fresh coffee beans from around the archipelago. The café also has a French coffee press and offers manual brews. Sample the unique and rich flavours of coffee grown on Kintamani Mountain in Bali, or from the highlands of Papua, the jungles of Sumatra and more. There’s even the ultra-trendy Kopi Luwak or try the Bali Organic Red Bean.

All the popular styles are on offer, including Cappuccino, Latte, Espresso and Macchiato. The Cappuccino we sampled was arguably the best I had tasted in Lombok (or Bali, for that matter!); richly flavoured and topped with a thick, frothy layer of creamy foam.

In addition, there is an impressive selection of teas, smoothies and floats, fruit juices and punches, Frappuccino and chilled coffees. Try the Tiramisu Latte or the Caramel Macchiato. Some of the others – laced with syrups, cream, ice cream, etc – are almost desserts. Oreo Coffee and Hazelnut Jumble Coffee are on the “must try” list for our next visit.

Of course, the café isn’t just about coffees and drinks. The menu ranges from light snacks through to soups, salads and substantial main courses. Examples from the menu include Caesar Salad, Avocado and Shrimp Salad, noodle dishes of all varieties (Kwie Tiau, Spicy Seafood Hotplate, Mie Goreng), and many rice dishes (Chicken Katsu, Nasi Goreng, Sapi Lada Hitam, Chicken Teriyaki), pasta (including Beef Lasagne and an unusual Chicken Curry Spaghetti), Steaks (Tenderloin, Sirloin, Tuna or Chicken) as well as satays, hot dogs and burgers. There’s even Fish and Chips, or a tempting Seafood Platter. Prices are extremely reasonable; ranging between Rp 20 – 50 000.

“We always do our best to supply what our customers want,” said Verly, the smart English-speaking owner. With this in mind, she plans to renovate the third floor to encompass a private meeting room, to cater for both the city business community and for people who want to hold private functions or birthday parties upstairs.

If you’re in the city and tired of the dismal service and poor quality food at our “fast food” outlets, do yourself a favour and pop across to Redwood Café above Melissa Bakery – the atmosphere is lovely, the coffee and food are delicious, and the prices are much better value!

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MR FIXER (Tongue-in-cheek answers to your personal and building problems)

QUESTION: My wife and I have been holidaying on the idyllic paradise island of Lombok for many years and have noticed that property prices have started to rise faster than our ability to generate the income to purchase with, so we decided it was time to buy. Our budget was fairly modest so we decided to buy a small villa and renovate. Apart from a few structural alterations and a bathroom extension, not to mention a new kitchen and some re-tiling, the last major job is a complete re-paint from top to bottom, both inside and out. Do you have any time and money saving suggestions before we start painting?

MR FIXER: The first thing to decide is the overall colour scheme. White or magnolia reflects light and heat. Darker colours absorb and collect heat. A white building will be a few degrees cooler than a darker one. Neutral colours are also more pleasing to the eye and are more sympathetic to uncoordinated furniture or colour schemes.

Before painting, remove ALL furniture and cover ALL floor areas with newspaper or something cheap. Always start at the top. Paint your ceilings first. Even if you have decided to have blue or orange walls, never paint your ceilings a darker colour than your walls; it has the effect of lowering the ceiling. White is always a good choice. Always use matt paint on ceilings. A roller with a bamboo extension is a time saver – no ladders or scaffolding required. The only time you will need a ladder is to finish the edge to the wall with a cutting-in brush. Always buy good brushes; cheap brushes are false economy. 

Paint your walls using a roller and cut in the edges to doors and windows as you go. A cutting-in brush can be manufactured or “worn in” on a new brush by cutting the corners away to a slight point with a pair of scissors. NEVER mix water with the paint. Today’s paints are thixotropic and designed to be applied as they are. The days of primers and distemper coats are over. Always use vinyl finishes on walls, as they are easier to wipe clean in case of accidents. When painting right down to the floor, if skirting is absent, make sure that the floor area at the bottom of the wall is swept clean, so that dust and debris is not picked up on the brush and spread on the wall. Keep the wet edge going!  

Don’t do what my friend George did. When repainting his house recently, he wore his winter coat and a plastic raincoat on top. He was so exhausted and dehydrated, he nearly lost consciousness. When asked why he did this, he said he read on the label “for best results put on 2 coats.”

QUESTION: My wife and I have been married for 20 years. We have come to the peaceful island of Lombok to escape the madness and trauma of living in an overtaxed and over-regulated Europe. My wife has been with me through all the bad times. She was with me when I got fired from my first job. She was there when my business collapsed.  When I got run over by a truck, she was there by my side. When we lost the house, she gave me support. The dog died recently and now my health is failing, and she is still by my side. We are considering buying a small house in Lombok for our retirement. Do you think this is a good idea? What do you suggest?

MR FIXER: Buying a house in Lombok is an excellent idea. Property values are rising faster than in Europe and it would be a wise investment. I think, however, you should get rid of your wife… she sounds like bad luck.

QUESTION: My husband and I have been together for 20 years, ever since the sudden death of my first husband. I have always been lucky. When I was young, I found a four leaf clover. I kept it for years safely and neatly placed in the inside pocket of my best tweed jacket. Since the day I found the four leaf clover, everything good just seemed to come my way, including marriage, motherhood, pay rises and promotions. I was certain my good fortune was due to the four leaf clover and I carried it with me at all times. 

One day, I couldn’t find the clover. In a panic, I realised I had sent it to the dry cleaners in my tweed jacket. I rushed to the shop, only to find that the jacket had already been cleaned. The four leaf clover had survived but it had been flattened from the cleaning.  From that day on, my fortunes changed. First a flat tyre, and then the tap broke and flooded the kitchen; there were mistakes at work, followed by family arguments. Then, my husband died suddenly. It was no longer a life with a silver lining. If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all. What should I do?

MR FIXER: The lesson here is “don’t press your luck!”

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Lombok ladies spent a fabulous weekend touring Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno in celebration of Pat's 68th birthday. "Girls on Tour" included cocktails and beachside dining at uber-trendy Horizontal, island hopping by glass bottom boat, snorkelling, pina coladas and turtles on Gili Meno... and a weekend of fun and friendship!

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blue water express
sempiak villas
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