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Indonesian victims of the bombs of hate
Ni Luh Erniwati, widow of Sari Club head waiter Gede Badrawan with their son, Made Bagus Aryadana, who was one and a half years old at the time of the bombing. Picture: Steve Pennells

Jalan Legian was always crazy around midnight but this night was particularly bad.

Traffic had backed up from Kuta's famous bemo corner -- where drivers smoke kretek cigarettes and tout for business -- to the thumping dual meccas of the Sari Club and Paddy's Bar, the go-to joints of Bali's party strip.

If anyone needed a reason to understand why tourists loved coming here, Gede Badrawan personified it.

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Bali Remembered: Video interview: The Indonesian victims

He was famous on Jalan Legian. He would greet Australians when they entered the Sari Club with a mock accent - "G'day mate" - and laugh loud at himself before offering them a drink.

His job was to make people feel at home and he did it well.

In 10 years he had risen to the job of head waiter, working six or seven nights a week refining the schtick which made him so popular.

It was one of the reasons Ni Luh Erniwati fell in love with him when she got a job there as a waitress.

They met at the Sari Club in 1991 and got married two years later with most of the close-knit staff as guests.

But she wasn't there this night, when the traffic was at a standstill outside the front of the bar in which she found love.

She was at home just over a kilometre away, close enough to feel the blast that would take her husband from her.

The clock had just struck 11pm when Tumini, a bubbly Balinese woman, walked into the packed Sari Club, past Gede Badrawan and across to one of the few free seats in the crowd of "Bules" dancing around her.

She had come to meet a friend from Jakarta and sat down to wait for him, ordering a drink that would never come.

Fifty mentres down the road, nudging their way closer through the banked up traffic, three workmates from a local printing company were trying to get home after a dinner with one of their biggest clients.

Getut Indro Suranto, a stocky, Javenese man who had moved to Bali a few years earlier, was driving while his colleague, Thiolina Marpaung, was in the back seat.

They had just managed to edge their way to the intersection when it happened: a blast. a wave of energy, smashing cars along the street together like dominos and knocking both of them cold.

Getut Indro Suranto bears the physical scars from the bombing. Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian

In the small side street behind Paddy's Bar -- where the explosion had come from -- the night supervisor of the White Rose hotel was seven hours into his shift and had just gone into his windowless office to write out the evening report.

Sonny heard the blast. Loud. Like nothing he could describe. Then darkness. Part of the roof fell on his head as he stumbled out to find out what was going on.

A power pole must have gone down and hit the hotel. That could be the only explantion, he thought.

In the van on the street, now crumpled against two other cars, Getut and Thiolina thought the same.

"People were screaming," Getut recalls. "They said 'let's come out, let's go out, there's going to be another

Then came the second blast, this one bigger and closer to them. The whole steet went black, from Bemo corner all the way to Legian. Thiolina could make out the dim figure of Getut slumped over the steering wheel.

"I thought he was dead," she said. "All I see is dark, with just a little fire in the distance. I called 'help,help' in the car.

"And then these hands... big hands. I don't know who... they pulled me from the car."

She would later insist they were "God's hands", too big to belong to a person and with superhuman strength which pulled her from the van and placed her gently on the ground, saving her life before the car exploded into flames.

There had to be a reason all three of them lived while everyone in the cars in front and behind died.

"It was him, I think. It was a miracle," she says.

Thiolina Marpaung, saved by 'God's hands'

In the Sari Club, Tumini was dazed and in excruciating pain. A fan had hit her on the head and her dress was on fire, literally burning off her as she ran towards a window and leapt through it, "I called 'help, help' but there was nobody to help because everyone was panicking and confused," she said.

She looked down. Her body was burnt, her stomach had been cut open and part of her intestines were hanging out. She saw a hotel pool and threw herself in, holding her stomach closed with both hands.

"Many people were jumping in the pool... to stop the burning," she says.

Sonny staggered through the debris at the White Rose when it was finally confirmed it: "It's a bomb... it's a bomb," yelled a man running from the direction of the Sari Club.

The hotel guests -- all Australians -- were screaming.

Forty-four-year-old Sonny had done a fire safety course a few months before and grabbed bottles of cooking oil from the room and flung then away from the fire.

He took an extinguisher to put out flames that were edging towards the neighouring Dewi Sri hotel and then went to help the guests. They were old and too big for Sonny's thin frame.

"They screamed 'help me, help me'," he said. "I found strength. I thought 'I don't care who you are... I pick you up.'"

He staggered up and down the hotel's three floors, carrying injured guests on his shoulders to safety.

Eventually the hotel generator started, throwing the first bit of light on the Kuta devastation.

It was three o clock in the morning, four hours after the blasts and with all the guests now safe, when Sonny had the horrifying
realisation: "why has my wife not called me?'".

He called her friends, her family in Java, everyone she knew. They had heard nothing.

He went to every hospital around Kuta, looking for Lilis.

Tumini shows the scars on her hands from the bombing. Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian

She was a cashier at the popular Bali Nikmat Restuarant and her shift finished at 10.45pm. The route home took her directly past the Sari Club. In normal traffic, she would been well past the blast zone when it happened. But not this night, when the traffic was crazy and even the motorbikes couldn't snake through the jam.

A kilometre away, Ni Luh Erniwati heard the bomb from her Kuta home.

She knew it was bad but Getut had taken their only motorbike to work that night and she had no way to get there.

"I am worried. I am waiting that night for him to come back but he doesn't," she says.

"I didn't think it was a bomb but many people living around me were talking about a bomb in Sari Club. I didn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it. I didn't sleep. I kept praying: 'Please bring my husband back home'.

The next morning, a friend took her by bike to site of the club. She burst into tears.

"When I was walking in Legian Street, I saw all the buildings already broken. Many people were there looking for people.

"A lot of people were just there to look at the damage. But I was there to look for my husband.

"And I saw that the Sari Club was already gone. And then I knew my husband was dead.

"Going there now is always hard for me. It is the place I met my husband. And the place I lost him."

It wasn't until three months later that Sonny was given official confirmation his wife had died. DNA evidence had identified half a jaw, a thigh and a piece of her stomach. She must have been right in front of the club when the bomb went off.

"That's all. Three pieces of my wife," he said.

He buried her in a Muslim cemetery in their village 30 minutes from Kuta.

Lilis is listed as victim number 20 on the Bali bomb monument, five spots above Gede Badrawan - Mr Jalan Legian - the man from the Sari Club with the infectious laugh.

"For three years, I felt every emotion," Sonny said.

Sonny, the former senior supervisor at the White Rose Hotel who lost his wife, Lilis, with their children, Dimola, 14, and Dimas, 13. Picture: Steve Pennells

"Everyone was saying.. terrorists are muslim. I got angry. I tell them 'hey, not every muslim is like that'.

"They said it was jihad. That made me angry."

Ten years after the attack, in his small home near Kuta, Sonny wipes a tear from his eye as he hands over a photo of Lilis, a pretty 34-year-old staring straight at the camera in the serious way many Indonesians pose for pictures.

"Do you want to meet my children?" he asks.

He calls in their son, Dinda, now 14 and daughter, Dimas, now 12, into the room.

What did they feel about what happened?

"They are angry," Sonny says, "They say f... the terrorists."

"I tell them not to say that word. It is no good for them. They are children."

Tumini went through eight operations in Indonesia and another six at Royal Perth Hospital. Thiolina and Getut spent months at RPH.

Getut Suranto's body is still ripped apart by shrapnel, some still embedded in his flesh. Half his lung has been removed.

It took months before his two-year-old daughter would go near him.

"She looked at me and I was not her papa," he said. She did not recognise me. She was so scared.

"She was crying when she looked at me. That was so difficult to see her like that. She was scared of me. She wasn't brave enough to come close to me.

"I told her. This is the way I am now. This is the destiny of my life. It won't happen again, I told her. Don't worry."

The three people in Getut's van all survived. Their religion should not be relevent but Getut insists it is. He is Mulsim, Thiolina, from North Sumatra, is Christian and their other colleague in the van was Hindu.

"Every religion was in that car," he said. "The bomb changed things in Bali. Everything Business. Tourism. The perception of muslims. I tell people that it is a different muslim who does this. They have a different idea, a different perception about the jihad.

"They said that they believe that if they can eliminate outsiders, it is jihad. But that is the wrong perception.

"My jihad is working - working for children, working for my wife. A
different jihad."

One name is missing from the official list of the 202 dead etched into the towering monument at the former Sari Club site.

In the weeks and months after the attack, Tumini tried to find the friend from Jakarta she was supposed to meet in the bar that night.

"Until now, I don't know what happened to him," she says. "I asked his family and they don't know.

"I think if he was coming to the front of the bar. And the bigger bomb came. Then he was there. He is dead."

In the morgue at Sanglah hospital, head of forensic installation, Dr Dutut Rustyadi, rifles through a list of the dead and those who were identified by DNA and dental records.

Three bodies and 38 separate body parts were never identified, having decomposed too much to be tested.

After eight months, they were cremated according to Hindu tradition and scattered anonymously in the ocean off Bali.

Did he believe the real death toll was higher than the official list of 202? He shrugs his shoulders.

"We can't estimate. We don't know," he says.

"Those body parts could be from the 202. But they could be from others. We will never know"

The West Australian

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