<<  Senggigi, Lombok, 19-Aug-2013  >>

Lombok - vacation time :-)

From Flores to Lombok via Sumbawa Vomit Express and then… programming meets The Bible.

8 hours on ferry from Flores to eastern end of Sumbawa, few hours stopover in Sumbawa, night bus across Sumbawa, 2 hours on ferry from western end of Sumbawa to Lombok, , then 2 hours in bus to Mataram and final 1 hour on scooter taxi and here I am in Senggigi, Lombok’s main tourist town. The ride across Sumbawa was quite OK, finally a normal coach bus with normal-sized seats, even air conditioned, but it would be even better if they didn’t assign us (me and the 2 French girls) 3 seats at the very end of the bus which were non-reclining. And while the bus looked really cool from the outside (on par with any modern EU buses), we were reminded that we were in Indonesia when the bus twice broke down during the night (luckily they fixed it within hour), the lights inside didn’t work plus we were proven that it’s futile to engage te modern technology in countries which are not ready for it: the fact that the ride was on almost exclusively on a straight road (no more those horrible twists and turns of Flores or Timor) did not prevent majority of the local people from vomiting, (and except the 3 of us at the backseat all the rest were local people), and since this cool new bus had A/C and thus non-opening window, instead of “decently” throwing out of windows as usually, this time they simply vomited all over the bus. Do you remember that when I was leaving Nepal I posted a list of few things that I would not miss from Asia and people vomiting all around you in every bus was one of them? Damn it, I really meant it! Well, at least no one vomited over me, so no real complaints.

I expected only the worst from Senggigi, as I had heard few words of praise on this tourist-capital of Lombok, but the reality was not as bad as I was expecting. The beach was full of locals, which meant it was bit dirty (I’m still wondering if one day, like 1000 years from now “cultural revolution” will find its way to Asia and trash bins will not be rarer than unicorn spotting…), but on the other hand thanks to the locals it had bit of character, with kids splashing around -I like this more than snobbish all-white places. I chose Senggig because of its proximity to Mataram, Lomok’s “capital”, where I had to extend my Indonesian visa, as visa on arrival is only for 30 days and I intend to stay 45 days. So I killed one day by going to Mataram to get my visa extended and while I was waiting for it (express one day service takes 8 hours to get processed) I checked a Hindu/Moslem temple bit out of town (supposedly the most sacred temple on Lombok but I was heavily under-impressed, it came nowhere near the temples of Bali), and the other day I killed in Senggigi. I did some snorkeling on a nice reef just off the beach, but what if much more worth of mentioning about Senggigi is that from now on I am “back in the game”: programming. It had started already in Flores, when in Ruteng I installed Delphi, reincarnation of good old Pascal, the programming language I learnt and extensively used during my high school years, and early university years. Yes, it’s a dead language nowadays, useless for any modern IT development, but since it’s the only programming language I know (bits and pieces of JavaScript apart) I decided to re-start where I ended 10 years ago, because turning back on my coding-mind while learning a new language would surely end up catastrophically. So now I’m re-learning Delphi, the language straight out of programing prehistory. In Sengiggi I did my first program, something that I had intended to do already when I had been leaving Slovakia: finding out which are the 50 most frequent words in Bible. I wish I could see your faces now :-) Yes, me an atheist wanted to know which are the most frequent words in Bible. Am I weird? Probably yes, but later I want to compare this list with top words in Bhagavatgita, Quran and maybe some other books, and thus obtain “shortest versions of holy books”, by cold hearted distillation of the words they emphasize. Is it going to be love or hate? Hope or fear?
I downloaded a plain text version of the Bible, my programmed scanned it, eliminated grammar (such as tenses, plural etc.), unified synonyms, eliminated basic auxiliary words such as “he”, “is”, “be”, “that”, “in”, “when”, etc. (otherwise the top 50 words would be just collection of this meaningless stuff) and… the results for the Bible are here (number next to the word indicates count of the word):

All auxiliary words: 498084
SAY 9140
LORD 8013
HAVE 7432
GOD 4717
MEN 4414
COME 4350
SON 3498
GO 3333
KING 2880
DAY 2609
MAKE 2587
HOUSE 2162
TAKE 2038
GIVE 1969
HAND 1932
LAND 1766
THING 1711
BRING 1694
NOW 1356
KNOW 1309
HEAR 1282
SEE 1261
WORD 1247
DAVID 1139
NAME 1112
PASS 1042
MAY 1027
SEND 950
PUT 911
YEAR 908
DIE 886
CITY 870
WAY 869
TIME 766

Few interesting things to mention: except Jesus, David and Moses, the only name which made it to the list is Judah, just one position after Moses. Very prominent position for such an asshole, don’t you think…? Jesus is much lower on the list than I expected… The first 2 words which didn’t make it to the list are GOOD and SIN... Sin is mentioned twice as often as Love... I think that Freud would be delighted to see that the top list is full of “father”, “son”, “children”, “lord”, “name”” and other family-related stuff.
After more than 8 months of travel I finally arrived to the first place where Islam is dominant religion, Lombok, and what do I do here? Analyze the Bible :-) Allah is not going to be delighted.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak