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Tamarra’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 13 Sep 2006

Location: Medan, Indonesia

MapHello Again! I have some time to kill because I am in the big city of Medan and I have no interest in sitting in my room on my own! I also have no interest in exploring the city at 7pm on my own. So here I am at the internet cafe! I thought I would write about some of my observations so far in Indonesia:

1) How many family members do you think fit on a motor bike? If you guessed five you would be correct!

2) Women in skirts ride the motorcycles side saddle, which is a scary thing with all the pot holes! I straddle and hang on for dear life!

3) What does the corner stall sell? Pretty much everything! Except it is not one corner stall it is stall after stall all selling the exact same things

4) Bukittinggi and the rest of Western Sumatra is a matriarchal society. Al property is owned by the females. I LOVE THIS!!

5) Riding on the back of a motor cycle is a scary thing especially when you are going up a mountain with 44 hair bending turns!

6) It is the law that you must wear a helmet here but no one said it had to do up! I have requested ones that do, seems like a good idea to me!

7) When they say a bus trip is going to take 16 hours you can be pretty certain that it will take almost double! The roads here leave a lot to be desired!

8) The people in West Sumatra are WONDERFUL! I was not harassed, hit on, or begged for money! They are kind and more than willing to lend a hand. I am concerned that I did the best part of the country first.

9) When you decide to go to an Island (Nias) and then hear that 7 boats this year have sunk going there, you decide to skip the island! I also heard the people were not so hospitable and that the weather isn't great at the moment. Three strikes your out!

10) They like their food HOT! As in spicy, firey hot! I have cried, sniffed and yelped! Most of the time I say NO SPICES! They laugh at me! My stomach hasn't been bad there is always a week long adjustment period but nothing tragic.

11) I have seen more types of flowers then I knew exist. They grow everywhere! I love this.

12) At the front door of the houses are one of two things a) rice field b) square concrete pool full of water, used for growing fish, laundry, swimming, bathroom needs, and then later eating the fish! GROSS!

Tomorrow I am heading to Bukit Lawang about three hours from Medan to go on a jungle safari to hang out with the Orangutans. I am very much looking forward to this!