About my last days in Indonesia...

16 augustus 2017

Running from airplane to airplane I found some time to write this last blog about Indonesia.

After spending a lot of time in beautiful but very touristy Ubud we (my mom and I) went to Lembongan, an island of Bali famous for diving and it is supposed to be 'of the beaten track' well there were a lot of tourist 'of the beaten track' on this part of Bali! ;-)
There were still many tourist, it's still Bali. The island is beautiful and relaxed. When I went diving I saw so many Manta rays, and many beautiful colourfull fish, wow!
Around the island on a scooter with my mom to see a lot more of it's beauty, a wild ocean and many cliffs make beautiful scenery especially during sunset.
Since we're in Asia and there was a full moon... there was a full moon party to attend ;-) well this party wasn't that crazy as it probably is in Thailand but is was a lot of fun! Nice.mix of tourist and locals. (My mom skipped out on this party)
After a lot of relaxing on the beach it was time for our next destination, Sulawesi.

Flying to Sulawesi, Makassar and suddenly no more white people, all the tourist gone! Checking into a hotel to leave the next day. We only needed to arrange a driver, and the hotel was having some internet problems.
So in my best Bahasa Indonesia, bodylanguage, writing everything down and some English I managed to get us a driver. It only took 2 hours at the reception, some phone calls and a lot of energy to get clear what we wanted.
When we left the next day the driver turned out to have brought his friend with him, both of them spoke a little bit English. Four of us in a car, music a bit to load, getting some local food whenever they stopped, and driving a bit to fast.
They asked what Indonesian food we liked and I told them that I'm a vegatarian... what a rookie mistake!! Troughout the day they kept saying "So you vegetarian? So no meat?" Me "No I don't eat meat" Drivers "No no no no no....And you eat fish/chicken/beef" Me "No I don't eat fish/chicken/beef" Drivers "No no no no....."
After the first time they asked "So, what do you eat?" They thought as a vegetarian there is nothing is left to eat. I told them "I like gado gado", so evey single time there was a place where they sold gado gado they didn't forget to inform me "Gado gado, look they have" and there are many, many places where they sell gado gado along the way.

We went to a indiginous village called Kajang, people live without electricity, they only walk barefoot (so we needed to take off our shoos and flipflops too), only wear black (so I rented a black 'sarong' to cover my trousers) and we could enter the village. People in the village didn't appreciate pictures, so I couldn't take pictures of the people. We went to 'the king' of the village and there I could ask many questions.
I asked "Why only black clothes?"
King "Because it was always black since our ancestors"
Me "Why no shoos?"
King "We don't like modern things"
His family turns out to live in Malysia and in Jakarta, that seems pretty modern to me! Interesting to see a village like this. But talking to the king brings a lot more questions then answers.
After a photoshoot just outside the village gate with local students we left for Bira, a small village at the beach.

At Bira we had relaxing days, beautiful weather. I went diving again and saw many sharks, snakes, tuna and other fish. Another day we went snorkeling being on the boat was quite 'out of the comfort zone' for my mom. But she did it! The sea was a bit rough and we had quite a strong storm, a tropical storm for about 10 minutes.
The place is beautiful, we met nice people and had a nice time at Bira. It's still quite a touristy place eventhough there aren't that many tourist.

After 4 days in Bira we went back to Makassar. The driver, a hyper active guy who runs a homestay and restaurant in Bira, told about his Dutch ex-girlfriend. I asked how his parents thought about a Dutch girlfriend after they fought against the Dutch. He told that his parents only focus on the good things "They look at what the Dutch brought, not what they destroyed" I just read an article about the underestimated damage that the Dutch brought to Sulawesi. (More death and worse actions) It's hard to wrap my mind around, how Indonesian people live without holding any anger towards Dutch, people seem to really live in the moment they are so forgiving and sweet!

Makassar city doesn't have a good reputation when it comes to tourist destination. But I liked Makassar a lot!
When we arrived we left our bags at the hotel and wanted to go and see something. A taxibicyle asked if we wanted to go to a local market. So we did, many vegetables and fruits and many many people that said "Hello mister" or "How are you mister?" Sometimes I try to correct them "No you mister, me miss" but it happens like every 2 minutes, most of the time I wave my hand or ignore. On the end of the market there was a football tournament for libaration day (17th of August) a beautiful improvised football field. Later went to a store and to the local harbour.
In Makassar the highlight is Fort Rotterdam, it has quite some history about colonialism of the Dutch, Japanese and Malesian. I went with a local girl to a small island where about 500 people live and danced with girls who were practicing for liberation day. The next day I brought my mom to the airport and the local girl, her friends and I went to beautiful unique rock formations. After the rock formation I needed to rush to the airport since I almost missed my flight!

Before I wrote about Belanda(Netherlands), there are 3 possible explenations why they use Belanda.
1, Big nose (as I wrote last time)
2, Javanese meaning of someone who stands between two groups making them hate each other, seems like a good strategy to win a war.
3, Blond hair but due to bad prenounciation it became Belanda.

Thank you Indonesia for two beautiful months. Time ia flying when you're having fun. Two months is not enough to understand this beautiful big country!
I've learned so much, I met so many nice people, the culture is really interesting!
And in some hours I'll be in Belanda again.

I'm sad to leave but also glad to go home and see family and friends again for one month. Then I'm off for new adventures going to Latin America again! :-)