Honest coconut seller of Merese Hills Sunset point! - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Honest coconut seller of Merese Hills Sunset point!

This is the first blog post from my current ongoing Indonesia trip.
Yesterday evening we visited Merese Hills, a popular sunset point in South Lombok. As we climbed up and waited for sunset, I saw a vendor selling tender coconut water. I was tempted to have one but didn't want to pay too much. Sensing that vendors might quote higher price to outsiders, I found out from our tour guide the local word for "How Much". He said Indonesian for 'How Much' is "berapa"

Armed with this newfound knowledge of local language, I approached the seller and said "Berapa?"
And he promptly answered!

But then I realized I have a new problem now. Vendor had responded something in Indonesian language. Because I don't know the Indonesian language, I couldn't figure out what amount did he quote for his tender coconut. Did he quote 20000 rupiyah? or is it 25000? or something else? My trick of asking price in local language had totally backfired!
Above photo clicked by Dipanshu Goyal who blogs at Duniadekho

So now I had to salvage the situation and figure out the amount in English. I did some quick maths to guess what could be his quote. Previous day in Kuta beach in Bali beachside vendors were quoting 25000 IDR (INR 125) which I felt a bit high, so didn't buy. Yesterday in Kuta Mandalika during our lunch shop a lady selling tender coconut quoted 25000 but when I quoted 20000 IDR readily agreed. 

During my 2006 trip I had consumed tender coconut for as low as IDR 7000 in some places in Bali but normal price was around 10000-12000 in less popular areas and 25000 in tourist spots like Tanah lot temple etc. During my 2017 trip it was a bit higher. [Read about my findings from around the world on Tender Coconut] Armed with all these statistics, adjusted to inflation, size of his tender coconuts and the fact that he had carried them uphill, I made an assessment that INR 20000 could be a reasonable price for his coconuts.

So I gave up conversing in my non-existent knowledge of local languages and asked him 20000?
If he had said 'Yes' I would have probably agreed and bought a few right away but the vendor was very honest and said 15000. 15000 IDR is INR 75 and a good price under the circumstances. So we had about 5 coconuts in total. I had Two, Swati Jain, Manulika Pramod and Indrani Ghose had one each.

He even had a VVIP Lounge setup for his customers- A mat on the floor to sit on and sip tender coconut, watching sunset! No extra charge for lounge access. God bless him!
He also allowed me to chop the coconut myself- had some good time chopping my own coconuts. He had also assigned names to monkeys that come to his shop to scrape leftovers from open coconut shells.
Merese hills is a popular beach and sunset point in South Lombok. We enjoyed our evening visit to the hill. The hike is very short- just a few hundred meters and view is great. For those who can't walk uphill, there's a motorcycle drop facility as well.


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