IMG_0323Praya Family Life Lombok 1After spending three days with only myself and pretty much in absolute silence, I found myself on a scooter in Praya with four people. Two adults and two kids; absolutely no biggie here in Indonesia!
I met Hidayat from “Trawangan Riders Community Lombok” and his family through a motorcycle friend from Java and I promised I would pop by and say “salam alaikum” when I am in Lombok. Over some traditional bakso (meatball noodle soup) we shared stories, getting to know each other.

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The two little girls Raya and Alika won my heart straight away. Their word for “auntie” is Tante, the same word as in German. My eyes sparkled when they called me “Tante Aileen”. It was very unexpected and so incredibly cute hearing Indonesian children using a word that I know only as a German one. Somewhat incongruous as it didn’t match my perception of a foreign language, to be named in such a gorgeously familiar way.


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Hidayat and his beautiful pregnant wife Desi kindly offered me the mattress on their floor in the central living area. When I woke up in the morning it felt like the whole village had gathered in front of our door to come and meet the stranger. It was such a delightful way to spend the morning, just hanging out on the house terrace, drinking tea and finally getting to know some locals on this beautiful island.

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Our day continued not very different from how it would look like without me being around. We went to the local market, cooked and had lunch together, the neighbor climbed a palm tree to get us down some young coconuts for their delicious and healthy water and smashed a laundry rack when dropping them to the ground. It was taken with a smile and not much attention to the damage… (I was just glad my bike was parked out of reach). Ibu from next door dried her rice in the drive way in the sun and the kids played in the garden around the bikes, laughing and giggling.

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I felt happy and honoured to be allowed and invited to stay and be part of the traditional family life as well as being around for the upcoming traditional Islamic event “Lebaran Ketupat”, which for we spent the afternoon making so called “Ketupats”. They are diamond-shaped containers made of plaited coconut or palm leaves with steamed rice cooked inside. It is served as the main dish during the celebration. In an expression of gratitude for completing the Ramadhan fasting month, Muslims across the country are gathering on Monday to celebrate Lebaran Ketupat, which is held to commemorate the conclusion of an extra six days of fasting following Idul Fitri.
 “Lebaran Topat” is celebrated in some regions in Indonesia, but in Lombok, especially West Lombok, it is special because it is well-preserved. My wonderful hosts were planning to visit their folks in the north of the island and asked me to come along.


Praya, in central Lombok, is known as a rather rough place and not necessarily very safe. Interestingly enough I have been warned not to go or stay there and it was the first city I ended up in. Well, I didn’t sense any threatening or tense vibes and as it is always my intention to travel with my intuition as compass, I would stay as long as it felt right. I didn’t even think about that I should be worrying about my motorbike as long as it parked in the garden, but I learnt that Hidayat always parked his scooter in the kitchen at night time, where the door was too narrow to get my bike through. So basically out of rubbish we built a cover that would hide my bike at nighttime.

I slept well and without concern, yet was I happy to see my bike still being there in the morning, waiting to be ridden to Tanjung for “Lebaran Topat”…

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8 thoughts on “Assalamualaikum

  1. Hi, Aileen! I’m Fatah from Lombok Backpacker group. I’m so happy reading this. I can feel your joyfulness during living with locals in Praya. My dad’s home village not far from that. Me and family usually go there twice a year, on big days of Islamic celebration, Idul Fitri and Idul Adha. I hope someday we could meet 🙂

    How long will you stay in Lombok? Are you on motorcycle tour?

    1. Hey Fatah!
      Thank you for your comment and I am glad to hear you enjoyed the read. I had a wonderful time in Praya and also visited many other amazing places in Lombok. My articles are a little delayed and I will still write more about my adventure on your home island. I have already left Lombok by now. I am in Java and yes, I am on a motorbike trip around Indonesia and eventually other countries.

      Take care, and maybe meet you one day at Rumah Singgah!
      Hati Hati

  2. Hey Aileen
    I’m Rey, i’m blogger from Lombok
    I really enjoy to see your journey, that’s really, woman, ride along by yourself to see Indonesia, even world, i’m sooooo amazed !
    Glad to see your perspective about Lombok, and i can sure you have a good time in Lombok, right?

    Can’t wait for your next stories



    Ps : let’s share image from Lombok at Instagram, my account @reymaulana

    1. Thank you for your comment!
      Yes, I loved Lombok a lot and had a wonderful time there! 🙂
      Sorry for my delayed posts on my website. I hope you will enjoy the rolling ones… Still a few more about Lombok to come.
      Enjoy your adventures!

  3. hi Aileen, i am Arif from Ikatan Motor Classic (Classic Motorcycle Community) at west Sumatera, i always following your journey through your facebook, and very very exciting reading about all of your experience, I also lovers of classic motorcycles, I hope we can meet, let me know if you want to come to West Sumatera and I will welcome you and show you the amazing of Minangkabau Land

    1. Hi Arif!!
      Thank your for your invite and for sharing the passion for motorcycles.
      At this stage I am not planning to visit Sumatera, but if this will change, I would love to meet you!
      Take care! hati hati 🙂

  4. Hey Aileen, i’m a first time reader of your site and find it amazing.
    I always dream of going on a journey on a bike, across the country or even the world. but i just haven’t found the courage, and moreover the money for it.

    If i’m ready monetary wise for such a journey then i won’t hesitate to quit my job, hop on a bike, and ride away..

    Btw, on Tante.
    Indonesia was colonized by the dutch for so long, that many of their vocabs got integrated into bahasa. and as you know that dutch and German share the same language root. I myself also regularly use Oom, Tante, Opa and Oma in the family.

    So that might answer your amazement on that.

    You must try to go along java southern coast, and don’t forget to visit Bandung, my city the mother chapter for Biker’s Brotherhood MC.
    Wish you a safe journey, and keep rolling.

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