DOLCE FAR NIENTE: THE ART OF TAKING IT EASY?

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I’m absolutely convinced about the fact that one of the toughest challenges for the modern man i to enjoy some time in relaxation without feeling guilty. By relaxation i don’t only mean a weekend in a spa or a 5 days all inclusive package to the Caribbean, but spending at least one month every year living in a place where life really slows down and one can recreate a more human routine.

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In Gili Meno, whoever is looking for this kind of pace of life, can really enjoy the simple pleasures that nature can offer. Waking up early to catch the sunrise is a good way to start the day and feel connected with Life and its natural rhytms.

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I love photography and taking pictures of my travels is my way to keep my memories alive throughout the years, but it’s also important to let the Nature display its beauty without having to constantly worrying about snapping the perfect photo. This is why a longer stay in a place can allow you to forget about your camera and leave i the room: you can always take a picture the next day!

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In this part of the world, once the sun comes up, it gets hot real quick, so i enjoy coming back to my little house and treat myself with a yummy breakfast. I normally eat very little in the morning but in this case i had to celebrate an important occurrence so i didn’t mind asking my neighbour to prepare some amazing pisang goreng (fried bananas), an homemade coconut cake and two cups of Lombok kopi, the traditional strong local coffee.

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An healtier and lighter option can be a choice about fresh local fruits, like the delicious mangis (mangosteen).

IMG_2426To relax doesn’t necessarily means doing absolutely nothing, but instead doing whatever you like without any presssure. It is a proper art to learn to organize your freedom and when you have a month to spend in a sedate place like Gili Meno it’s important to schedule some of the work you have to get done. In this case i had to prepare a setlist for an upcoming festival and rehearse the whole set few times.

IMG_2406After a few hours of “chilled” activity, the addiction to the local food rings the bell of my stomach and in the intense heat of the midday sun i love to walk to the nearest warung to get some nasi campur. It is normally so hot that even the chickens disappear and go to rest somewhere in the shade!

IMG_2099I love the daily appointment with the various ibu, the women that cook fresh food every early morning and sell generous portions to the local people at very honest prices. With pretty much 15.000 rupees (1 Euro), you can fill your tummy wiith this well known dish.

IMG_2409The beauty of nasi campur (mixed rice), is that it can change everyday: sometimes you find fish in spicy sauce, vagetables cooked in fresh coconut, tofu curry and fried tempeh.

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In the afternoon, when the heat gets more bearable, i can go to see my friend on the beach and set up the amplifier for some busking sessions: it’s a good way to keep my voice trained, refresh the repertoire and making new friends. Sometimes i even manage to sell some cd to the tourists!

IMG_2384My friend Ofick often spends the afternoon fishing just behind his shack, a very organic way to provide your own dinner!

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