Saturday, April 07, 2012

The "Love Hotel" - Evading The Morality Police In Banda Aceh

There's no stopping people in love from 'getting together', even in ultra-conservative Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Apparently there's a military-owned motel, called the 'love hotel', which is off-limits to the morality police, so it's doing a booming business amongst the not-so-overly-religious types (although there is a prayer mat in a cupboard for those who might feel a little guilty).

According to a soon-to-be divorced 45-year-old man named "Fauzi", who's a regular there with his 25-year-old girlfriend until they can get married,

"Everyone comes here. Married, not married, military, police, civilians."

Although the hotel looks like one of those flea-bag, rent-by-the-hour cheapo hotels, Fauzi doesn't seem to care.

"All I need is a bed, air conditioning and a toilet."

Unfortunately for the majority of people in Aceh, Sharia Law was instituted in 2001 as a concession from the central government to quell a rebellion in that region of Indonesia. Fauzi claims only about 10 percent of the people there want Sharia,

"and they would all be over 50."
Unmarried people caught by the Sharia police being in "close proximity" (drinking, or gambling) face public caning, fines and in some cases prison time, but a law to implement death by stoning for adultery was shot down by the governor Irwandi Yusuf.

But that won't stop young people in love.

As they say, where there's a will, there's a way.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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