On 28th August I traveled from Zurich to Mataram, Lombok, to go and comfort my traumatised family and help them in getting our earth-quake damaged house repaired.
I wanted to save some money and took a bus towards the station. I am saying ‘towards’ the station, because the bus did not go all the way but stopped and turned around. We were supposed to take the next bus.
Well, my dear wife phoned ‘you left your laptop at home, better come back’. Luckily the tram I was sitting in did not yet depart and I went to the bus stop to go back home.
On the bus stop there are these free daily newspapers, so I was reading an interesting story – well, cannot have been all that interesting, because I already forgot what it was. When I looked up the bus was here and already closed the door and did not want to open it again. So I had to wait for the next one.
I finally reached home and thanked my wife for calling me. It was not only the laptop I forgot, but the internet banking tool, which I would have missed even more and would have given me more trouble.
Now, against my previous plan, I had to take the UBER taxi service. He was here in 9 minutes.
As usual I ask the driver ‘where do you come from’. This time he was from Tunesia. Usually I can tell the drivers ‘I have been there’, but I think in Tunis I was only on the airport in transit. (I have been to Libya, Egypt but not Tunesia).
I asked the driver: And, how is Tunesia? The driver happened to have been in Switzerland for the past 25 years, his children were born here. He himself spent 3 months in Tunesia last year. He said that now ‘all the ladies are wearing hijab, the men are only talking about Qur’an, no one works. Tourism is dead’. And he stated that he was no longer a Muslim and did not like any religions.
I told him that as a Muslim I was sad to hear that. I told him that ‘you must have had the wrong teachers’. He retorted that ‘Suicide bombers are bad’. Yes, of course suicide bombers are bad, but, again, you must have had the wrong teachers.
He stated that one of his brothers became a Christian, one remained a Muslim and he was now a ‘anti-religion’ person.
Sad … On top of my bus experience now this.
Well, the rest of the journey went smoothly. Singapore Airlines was fine. The Coffee in Singapore was ok, but I do not like when they put the croissant into the microwave and make it soggy. Ah, well, I was too late to tell them not to.
Arriving in Lombok the damages near the airport were not too bad. When we reached towards our house there was more damage and many shops were closed. I even had to cut my own nails, no, sorry, my wife did cut my nails, because the usual nail saloon is closed. The building is damaged and the workers are out of jobs.
The Holiday Resort Hotel is closed. Workers are fixing it up. The Katamaran Resort is half-closed. The rest had about 8 guests. And I basically had the whole beach to myself. Both hotels brought workers from Jakarta to work on the repairs.
My wife was busy delivering emergency food and other supplies to the affected villagers and we did not have any workers yet. We got some contracts to look at the house, they looked at the nice house and thought we were rich. We only look it actually, but we have to take care of our limited funds. The contractors quoted ‘nice round (huge) figures’. Now we are also trying to get some workers from Java. Hopefully they can start the work soon. It has not yet rained after the earthquake and hopefully it waits for a while.
Ah, but before that: As I was in a hurry I just put the laptop in Zurich into my suitcase, without ‘protecting’ it in the middle. It was on top and when the airline guys threw the suitcases around it must have hit something. The screen is broken. As it was quite an old laptop I did not think it worthwhile to repair. And so I got a new laptop.
Ah, the ‘Horrible Journey’, at least I got a new laptop at the end of it. But when I think of the Tunisian Taxi driver I still feel sad. May Allah guide him and may he watch out for http://www.mta.tv. =. MTA3, the Arabic channel, has already guided many persons towards the True Islam.