Anonymous’s Story: “You are lucky you’re women. I do not hit women…”

Hi, I’m German and I’d like to tell you my bad harassment experience on vacation. I know the story is very long, but I really try to describe only the things to understand. I would be very, very grateful if you could share this..

“I was on holiday with my girlfriend in March 2012 in Indonesia (Southeast Asia). We had some problems in our relationship, so we tried to share some good time together on vacation.

We were first in Bali. We behaved “discreetly” to each other, like holding hands.

We traveled to the island Gili Air, Lombok is part of the island group. It was low season and there were few people on the island.
The days before we felt comfortable in Bali, so we “dared” to come closer. We were kissing on the beach or embracing each other, but we made sure that we were not right in the middle of sight of other people! We have behaved discreetly.

Someday we met a tourist information guide called Balgiaz. He was welcoming, informed us well in English and invited us to a bonfire on the beach with other people. It was a nice evening with other tourist, playing guitar, singing in the night. It was midnight when I was tired and went back to the hotel, while my girlfriend stayed longer.

The next morning she told me that Balgiaz made her an offer. He could take us out to sea with his boat and we could snorkel. We would only have to pay the fuel for the boat. Me, as a half Indonesian, I usually know that I should always ask after the actual price! Because I trusted my girlfriend however and I didn’t want to question her actions (which have always been a point of contention…), we made that small snorkeling tour.

In the evening after the tour, back to the island, my girlfriend ask for the price for the fuel. He said he had never told that we just pay the fuel! and wanted a different price, which was at least 7 times higher. That wasn’t the deal… He was very angry, and we just went away, because he still had to pick up other customers.

We went to a kinda security guy and told our story. His opinion was neutral and he said we should wait and then try to clarify the misunderstanding and find a solution for both parties.

On the way back to the hotel (it was dark), Balgiaz came towards us with some other man and point his flashlight directly on our face. He wanted the money immediately and there was nothing to discuss. We tried to stay as calm as possible and asked him to come along, where there was light. We wanted to go to that security guy. During the way he already started to harass us with phrases like “f**k you, you liar!”.

When we arrived, Balgiaz and the security guy spoke in Indonesian with Gili dialect I could not understand. The man was very calm, Balgiaz however was very furious and started swearing in Gili-Indonesian.

No matter how much we asked Balgiaz not to insult, or we tried to explain how we understand the situation, or we would be willing to pay half of the unfair price (he would still make profit), he became more aggressive:

“F**k off! You are liars! You are so sick! I swear that I am right! Tomorrow we go to the police station and I swear, when I tell them the truth, they will punish you! Because you are sick! ”

We tried to remain calm and explain ourselves.

He threw his phone on the floor and threatened us: “I already smashed a tourist, because he did not want to pay. You are lucky you’re woman. I do not hit women, but if you were men, I’d smash you!”

The “security man” watched motionless, then said quietly, “you better pay”. I stood there with my girlfriend and just repeat her words. Then he reached for another object, just about to throw that object at us. I was emotionally overwhelmed, my blood froze in my veins and I could not move at the moment. Then my girlfriend lifted her hands in front of him and said that she was willing to pay the full price he wanted.

As Balgiaz took the money and disappeared, the security man turned to us and said we better should forget this incident and try our to best to enjoy our holidays. We asked him why Balgiaz was that furious and why he was not even agreeing for a compromise. Then he told us, Balgiaz went to the hotel we stayed overnight and the owner told him that we’re lesbians. We said nothing and went back to the hotel.
We locked the door and tried to sleep. I tried to calm down my girlfriend and hugged her. I said, “I’m here for you no matter what happens.” She pushed me away with the words “This is exactly the problem…”

The next day we traveled to Lombok, the incident still weighed heavily on our shoulders. The mentality of people in Lombok are more aggressive than in Bali, every day we experienced at least one traffic accident. To our relief, we met a Spanish couple and we traveled together as a group. Whenever we talk to Lombok people they behaved more kindly to the guy in our group, than to us women who are traveling alone (we often got asked if we have a husband or where is our husband). Anyway, it was nice to travel with the couple, supporting each other, sharing joy, but soon our ways parted and we had to return back to Germany. Me and my girlfriend arrived in Germany very exhausted…

The end of our holiday was unfortunately the end of our relationship … ”

Thank you for listening… I hope I can make a difference with my story… I’m glad I’m home again… but I’m still in sorrow…

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