Saturday, April 14, 2012

Photos

So lately we have been updating the blog a lot and i know its a lot of reading for you. So today we got only some pictures from our production. Hope you like them!




Chinese temple - Bali

Heart shaped dead bug

Mruvky on a rope

Nusa Dua - Bali

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Orangutans in Bukit Lawang









Today we are going to continue about our Sumatra trip.
Bukit Lawang is one of the last places on earth where you have an opportunity to see orangutans in their natural habitat, so basically wild orangutans. This is the only place like this in Sumatra and there are only two in Indonesia.


Fun fact: Orangutan is derived from Indonesian orang hutan what means “forest person”. Indonesians really like to joke about it and when you ask if they like orangutans they will most likely say “no, no! I like orangkuta!” what means a city person.





Everything in Bukti Lawang is quite impressive. The main village is situated on one side of a very nice river. On the other side of the river is a rainforest with many jumping monkeys and very lively wildlife. It’s very peaceful and tourist friendly. The problem is that after some time living in Indonesia you will learn not to like tourists a lot. You yourself are a tourist but you don’t like meeting other tourists. That was a big problem in Bukit Lawang and don’t get me wrong it wasn’t “packed” with tourists, but they were there.

Because of that prices for accommodation and food are higher than normal what was a bit annoying, but after we told them we are poor students we bargained a good price.

 Rooms were beautiful with view of the forest, with monkeys jumping around the roofs and balconies and the sound of nature surrounding us.

Because we were in a hurry we had only one night in Bukit Lawang so after taking our stuff to our rooms we went directly to orangutan feedings which are held twice a day. On the way to the feeding station we met countless numbers of monkeys literally 10cm from us. We were lucky and two orangutans came for the feeding; mother and a child. They were magnificent and after half an hour of taking pictures we went back. After we came back there was a massive storm after which electricity blackout in whole Bukit Lawang occurred. Fortunately our Slovakian friends brought Slovakian alcohol so at least I had something to do!

Bukit Lawang is a must see place in Sumatra. It was one of the most beautiful places I have seen in Sumatra and I recommend it to everyone who is planning to travel around this crazy island. I regret we had so little time and couldn’t spend more time there. I would go back immediately if I had an opportunity.

Next destination for us was Lake Toba what is the deepest and biggest volcanic lake in the world.

Stay tuned!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

few pictures from the volcano climb

at the beginning, 2/3 of our group

this is how the swamp looks during the day, we went through this during the night

our shelter, funny how it looks big in this picture (it was fucking small inside)

on the way down, this is where we got lost on the way up

gruppen sex

Crazy volcano climb, or how we almost died


I know most of you won’t even start when they’ll see the size of this entry. But I really think it’s worth it. It’s one of the craziest experiences I’ve had in Indonesia. So sit back and enjoy.

The whole story begins on Friday at around 5 p.m. We were supposed to go climb the Singgalang volcano with a group of Indonesian students from Bukkitinggi. They asked us if we want to come and we said yeah, why not, it will be a nice experience.

So Friday at around 16:30 it starts to rain heavily in Padang Panjang, from where we are about to take an ankot to Bukkitinggi where we are supposed to meet the others. We don’t like the rain and refuse to go in such weather. It’s normal because we are not prepared for conditions like climbing the volcano in heavy rain, we don’t have proper clothes, proper equipment for that. So we tell them not to wait for us and that we will come and climb the volcano tomorrow morning and meet them at the top because they wanted to stay there for two nights.

Now this is something I need to tell you about Singgalang volcano. We didn’t know much about it and we always wanted to climb Merapi not Singgalang. So we knew Merapi wasn’t dangerous and the trek was pretty easy. We didn’t know shit about the one we were about to climb. So we asked people around and, well the reactions were pretty similar. People are scared of that mountain. We were told that many tourists have gone lost, we were told stories about some people living in the forests of Singgalang kidnapping tourists and shit like that. The kidnapping didn’t scare us because we knew Indonesians like to exaggerate and make up stories. But getting lost on the way was real danger, it could easily happen to us. So they told us to always stick with the group and don’t split. Go with some guide or go with locals. Well we were naïve enough to go alone.

Another thing was that one girl told us that the trek is only about 2 hours. So even if you get lost, two hours is nothing and eventually you will find a way back. So the plan was to wake up early in the morning, take our stuff and climb the damn thing

So we did everything they told us to do and we ended up in some warung at the start of the trek. We had some nasi goring (fried rice) because we didn’t bring much food, only two oranges and some nuts. It was only two hours walk and the group was waiting for us up on the top of the motherfucker. So I was being friendly as always and started to talk to the oldest guy in the warung. He told me crazy stories about people getting lost and stuff and so i asked how you can get seriously lost in a two hour trek. Well apparently it was a 7 hours trek, but we didn’t believe him because the girl told us its only 2 hours.

So we started to walk. I was dead even before entering the forest. But yeah whatever. So we went to the last gate before entering the real trek. Guy asked us if we are sure we don’t want a guide. “Yeah, no guide, we are fine.” So the first part was this bamboo forest. It was steep, slippery and you had to crouch the whole time, so crouching for an hour and a half, leeches fucking everywhere. Then we started to see some height signs and we were on 1650m above the sea level. The goal was to get to 2800m and so we realized it WILL be around 7 hours trek.

Long story short, trek was shit. It was steep as fuck and it wasn’t like steep parts, it was always steep so my poor chopstick legs couldn’t go on without making breaks. I had damn bar on my back with 4 x 1,5l water bottles and 5 x 0,5l beer cans. The air was very thin so i had problems breathing.

So we were on the trek for about 6 hours so far and we all were very hungry. I had eaten one nasi goreng that day and was trekking for six hours. But we didn’t have any food! So we kept pushing it, until it started to rain. Not a normal rain, it was a massive rain and because the path was so steep it started to make these little waterfalls. It was pure slippery mud and we couldn’t go further. We actually couldn’t do anything, and going back seemed more dangerous. So we found this so called shelter and waited there for the rain to stop. But it wasn’t stopping and the time was running. We couldn’t risk going on in the dark because we had only one torch and the condition of the way up was total shit. But as I said it was impossible to move in the rain. So it got dark, but i mean Dark dark, pitch fucking dark. We were wet and cold because we were above 2400m. The shelter wasn’t very good because it was raining everywhere. We couldn’t make fire because it’s a rainforest you know. We didn’t have sleeping bags or whatever. I was falling asleep while standing, other guy was dying because his feet were freezing and last guy was trying not to collapse mentally.

We decided we either stay there and freeze or we try to move on after it gets a bit better. The problem was that we had only one torch. So we were moving extremely slow. Fog was everywhere we didn’t see for more than few meters ahead but there was basically only one path. But then we suddenly were in the rocky part and we were supposed to be following an electrical cable so we always were. The rocky part was bad because it was basically one big river and our shoes weren’t good enough for that kind of terrain. It was one big steep river. If one of us slipped there, he’d be dead. Bam, finito.

We had to move on because we were hungry and cold and we had to get to the camp. But because of the fog we lost the fucking cable. It was so obvious that we are lost. Nobody was freaking out but you could feel the desperation in the air. The volcano is huge; if you get lost you are pretty much done. So we were thinking about finding a bushes and cutting through them so we can sleep underneath them or whatever. But how would that help? In that time we were trekking for 9 hours. So guys said we better keep moving and staying is bullshit. What i didn’t like because you just get more lost if u choose the wrong way, but yeah ok. So we found the damn cable and nothing felt better than that. We were so relieved. Nobody said it but without it we’d be pretty much fucked. 2600m above sea level, soaking wet with almost 0 degrees throughout the night. Not good.

We kept moving it was still very slow and shitty but we finally got to the top. By that time we were hiking for 10,5 hours. So we went to the lake because there’s a lake on the top. We didn’t see others camping so we decided to just scream. It actually worked out and we saw them right across the lake. But didn’t matter! We could feel the warmth of the tent and sleeping bags, and taste the mie goring (fried noodles). Out of excitement we went the wrong way. And from rain forest it turned into hardcore jungle. I almost broke my leg like 5 times but we were close. We could see their flashlights, so I just said fuck it lets get straight to them. So now we have cuts and bruises everywhere, ruined every piece of clothes we had.

After that nothing special happened except there was no tent for us and we slept with 17 other people in one tent, one guy constantly farting right into my face.

Next day we climbed down from the volcano, exhausted, hungry, and cold with a story to tell. After this trip my legs hate me but worth it! The whole thing was kind of impressive because in the time of desperation we didn’t lose it. We kept pushing it until we got where we wanted to get. I’m actually proud of us.

 But I still can’t move from my warm, warm bed.

Monday, April 9, 2012

We are alive!

What's up?

We came back from the volcano today. It was horrible guys.

We almost died. I am not joking!!

But we were lucky and we are still alive. We didn't sleep much through the night so I am very tired to write the whole story, but it will be here tomorrow. I promise. It kicks ass.

So come back tomorrow to read how we almost died.

Oh how I missed you my dear bed.

Good night.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Climbing a volcano

Hey dudes.


Some of our Indonesian friends asked us yesterday, if we want to go climb a volcano with them today. And we said fuck yeah.


So we are packing our stuff right now and we will go up there soon. There are two volcanoes surrounding the village where we live now. One is called Merapi and is still active, the other one is called Singgalang and it is not active anymore. Today we will go to Singgalang and maybe next weekend to Merapi. Singgalang is also a little bit higher than Merapi. The elevation of Singgalang is 2877 m (9439 ft).


There should be a crater lake on top of Singgalang and locals say that it is very deep, so who knows what creatures live in the lake.


We are going to stay up there for two nights in tents so wish us luck.


This also means that there will be no posts until monday, but make sure you come back on monday for some fresh stories.


Hatatitla!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sumatra trippin'


Today I will tell you something about our little Sumatra trippin’ we did few months ago so sit back and relax.

We started the trip from Padang which is a capital city of West Sumatra and we live around 1h away. We flew from Padang to Medan which is in North Sumatra. The point of this trip was to go to Bukit Lawang which is one of the last places on Earth where orangutans live in wild nature and then from there we went to Lake Toba which is one of the biggest and deepest crater lakes on Earth. And both of these places are near from Medan. So we went to Medan one day before we were supposed to meet our friends there.

One day before this trip I found one guy on couchsurfing and he told me that we can stay with him for that one night. So we arrived to Medan and took a really expensive taxi from the airport to the nearest shopping mall because it was the only name of something in Medan we knew. After few hours of waiting we met with this guy and went to his place. Little room somewhere in the middle of Medan but very nice. He did speak English and was an agnostic what is very rare in Sumatra hehe. Very cool guy. There was only one big mattress in the room but big enough for three people. So we were talking the whole evening about shit and then few minutes before we went to sleep he told us that he is George Michael. Another shock for us because homosexuality is really repressed in Indonesia. We are not homophobic but telling us few minutes before we went to sleep on one mattress that he likes bananas more than peaches is a little bit weird. He didn’t try anything during the night so both of us woke up in the morning without any trauma after ass rape.

the Great Mosque in Medan
Ok long story short, the next day our Slovakian friends came. One guy and one girl from Bali, another girl from Jogjakarta in Java and one girl who came to visit us from Slovakia. We were staying one more night in Medan so we found cheap hostel but for that price it was veeeery nice. Quick shower and lets go for beers. Wuhuuu. But there are not many places in Medan to drink because it’s very close to Aceh which is one of the most Islamic parts of the world. It took us some time to find a place with beers but we were successful.


Then after few beers we decided that we should go to Bukit Lawang early in the morning to be there soon. We arranged a car with a driver for the morning to take us there. We talked about the price before the drive but after we arrived to Bukit Lawang the driver thought that he could make some more money from us so he kept following us everywhere when we were looking for accommodation. I don’t like to admit it but that’s very Indonesian. They try to make as much money as they can of foreigners. Even if we say that we are poor student who study here thanks to Indonesian government and their money.

And I will write about Bukit Lawang tomorrow so you don’t have to read a lot at once. How nice am I to you ha?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

photos West Sumatra


                       Head of TV department taking landscape pictures during the crazy weekend trip


                                                      Chill near the waterfall


Waterfall near P. Panjang


Landscape taken during the freaky weekend


women in traditional clothes before performance


                                crazy guy doing crazy things during the performance, West Sumatra

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Second part of the "Weekend of our dreams"


I am really happy that you liked the first part of our incredible story so here it continues (sorry that it is a little bit long, but worth reading I think):

So it was saturday evening and we were still bored, we had really nothing to do there. We knew some of the student there but they had some tasks to do since it was their teambuilding so they all were busy. We did hang out with some of the teachers for some time and it was kind of fun because they knew a little bit English so we were finally able to talk to someone more than just a stupid small talk.

The evening program was like on every other school trip, watching movies, playing some “get to know each other” games and so on. It was funny watching it. And here comes the weird part of the evening. First of all I have to say that Indonesia is a very mystical and spiritual country and most of the population believes in another world, the world of the spirits or ghosts, which is a part of our world but we just don’t see them or interact with them. Some people say that they are able to see the spirits or communicate with them. And sometimes some people get possessed by these ghosts. I personally believe that there is something paranormal going on but I don’t know what and why.

So we are sitting downstairs watching a movie and suddenly we hear screams from upstairs. Weird screams. First we don’t really pay attention to them, because we thought that it is just the freshmen acting like little kids but then some people rush upstairs and also some of the teachers so we know something is not right. After few minutes, while the screams still continue, I decide to go check it out. Some people on the stairs tell me that one girl got possessed by a ghost and they don’t pay much attention to that.

So I came upstairs into the room where this girl was and she was lying on her back, few people were holding her arms and legs and massaging the fingers. One guy was sitting on her chest holding her hair saying something in Indonesian and then spitting water into her face. It was really intense thing to watch. I didn’t know at all what is happening. She was still screaming and fighting with the people holding her. After few minutes she “woke up” from this thing. She looked very disoriented and didn’t know what happened at all. But she didn’t remember a thing from the whole afternoon and evening.

I literally wasn’t breathing and had a head full of questions. So I went to talk to some of the people who were holding her while the guy on her chest was trying to get the spirit out of her. They told me that she got possessed by this spirit during the afternoon, because they saw that she was acting weird. And in the evening they were sure. The thing is that here the people believe that there are two types of ghosts, good ones and bad ones. The good ones just try to communicate and the bad ones will probably try to hurt someone.

The one that got into this girl was a good one they told me. It just wanted to communicate. I don’t know exactly how and when is it possible for the spirit to get into you, but since we are here in Indonesia I eye witnessed around 5 or 6 ghost possessions. It was very weird every time and until now I don’t know what to think about it. If it is really real or what is it. Other thing that when you get possessed you don’t remember anything after that moment until the spirit leaves your body. I heard stories of people who are possessed for several years and nobody is able to get the spirit out of them. When we were in Bali I was talking to a lot of young Indonesian people who had similar experiences or some of them are able to see or communicate with them. Hindu people believe in this spiritual world even more then Islamic people. We even have one American girl here in Padang Panjang with us and she says that she is also able to see or communicate with the spirits and she has a lot of experience with them from what was she saying. And I kinda believe her.

So after this whole ghost possession thing we didn’t really sleep the next night since we were in the middle of forest on the top of a hill heh. We were happy that we go back to civilization the next day. It’s up to you if you believe me or not, but this story really happened. It was few months ago but I still have the whole situation it that room alive in front of my eyes. If someone has a question feel free to ask anything. I don’t even mind if you write that it is bullshit in the comments. And if someone wants I can write a whole another post about these things here in Indonesia.

Peace 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The weekend of our dreams



Internet in this beautiful place wasn’t working yesterday so sorry about the delay. Today’s blog will be a little bit longer, but it is a interesting story that happened to us few months ago. Here it is:

So since this is a university scholarship program, we had to choose something to study here. Our intentions were to travel not to study, but we had to choose something. So we chose photography in the TV and Film department. The classes were really boring because we didn’t understand anything. And this department was organizing a TV camp one weekend. Everybody was really excited about it so we paid 50k rupiah for this thing and decided to go with them.

There were two buses ready for us in the afternoon on thursday. First shock was that there were too many people outside the buses to fit inside, but the space- time continuum here has really different attributes than anywhere else in the world so we did fit in somehow. Intredasting 2h drive. Then suddenly we stopped in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a hill. Fog everywhere so we didn’t see anything. Then all of them started to continue on the road up the hill and the buses stayed there. 
We realized that the buses were stuck there because the road was in very bad condition. Like everywhere in Indonesia hehe. We felt like in a movie because when we said this can’t get any worse it started to rain. So when we came to the cottage we were soaking wet and it was around 10°C outside. I didn’t think that it can be this cold in Indonesia. Except from the mountains, but this was a small hill.

At least the cottage did look quite good but again, too many people for the rooms. There were 4 rooms and it was around 70 of us. But we put our stuff in one of the rooms and didn’t care about anything else. It was already evening and time for dinner. They put stripes of waxed paper on the ground and on this paper they put rice, noodles, eggs, some meat and whatever else they had, I don’t even know. Everybody sat down around these stripes of paper and started to eat. No forks, no knives, just your beautiful right hand and your skillful fingers. Most of Indonesians eat with their hand fiy. After dinner they cleaned everything from the ground and started watching some movies. But we were really tired so we decided that we should go to sleep. But everything was already taken so we ended up on the terrace with no warm clothes because we didn’t know it’s gonna be so cold there. They gave us a mattress and also when they saw that we are shaking from the cold weather, they dug up some blankets for us from somewhere. Aaah finally some sleep we thought. No way. The little freshmen fuckers were running around playing catch or something like they were 10 years old. We finally fell asleep around 4.30 am.

Ha but they woke us up at 6 am, I don’t even know why. The fog cleared and we finally saw the beautiful view from the top of the hill. We found out that this TV camp is something like a teambuilding for the freshmen and they were doing some teambuilding activities but everything was in Indonesian so we didn’t understand. So we were walking around the whole place, bored as fuck. You know, if you wake up at 6 am, the day is really long and neverending. But we totally forgot about the boredom when we were sitting on the terrace and suddenly mr. spider was walking on the wall behind us. Ha you think that it was a small cute spidey. That creature was bigger than my hand. I thought it is going to eat me. Try searching for indonesian banana spider on google. It is harmless for humans but it scared the crap out of us. And also at that time, we didn’t know that it is harmless. And then some guy killed him with his bare hand and a facial tissue. We didn’t sleep well the next night because we thought that his friends are waiting for revenge, and some other things that happened during the night. But I will tell you the next part tomorrow.

To be continued.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

some photos


this was around 40cm long


name of the local football team


after the 2009 earthquake in West Sumatra

My buddy Allah



so today’s topic is religion! Very sensitive topic so I’ll try to be gentle.

On the beginning of our year in Indonesia we had a dilemma. Dilemma was pretty clear and it was about religion in Indonesia. Hinduism was much more attractive for us than Islam so we tried to go to the only Hindu place in Indonesia > Bali. But many, many people applied for the scholarship we got scared and we really wanted to go somewhere so we picked a place nobody wanted to go to. Sumatra. And Sumatra is one of the most orthodox and one of the strongest Muslim places in Indonesia. So we tried to avoid Islam and ended up in Sumatra. Makes no sense huh?

I haven’t made up my mind in the question of religion. I don’t like radical atheist because i find it as narrow-minded as following something you don’t understand. To say that believing is the result of brainwash is nonsense, even though some f***heads made it a great business. I’m not talking about that kind of religion, i leave the church as it is and leave everyone with their own opinion. Like Gandhi said: „I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” But after all i see myself as an atheist, not particularly proud of it.

We all know urban myths about Islam and to tell you the truth I had kind of twisted view of Islam before. Islam has a huge problem in the world. The problem is that it’s not understood. Even Muslim people don’t understand Islam properly. It’s not about extreme ideas but keeping people in big ignorance and kind of a fear.

Sometimes we get this feeling that fear is a big influence in every day’s Muslim life. I have a feeling that most of the restrictions they obey are because they are afraid (we pretty much do the same, don’t we). It doesn’t matter if they fear Allah, their parents or Ku Klux Klan, this fear keeps them obedient and everyone likes that. They don’t know they can do this and that and that half of the restrictions don’t make any sense and its futile explaining that to them. It’s essential to realize that we are in their country so we shouldn’t feed them with our western „knowledge“.

How do we feel Islam?
Well, one thing is what we call „Allah time“. It’s several times a day and its basically praying time. You can hear it all around the city in many, many mosques. Why Allah time? Because the Dj starts the beat, mc starts to rap and everyone begins to breakdance on the rugs. The first Allah time of the day starts at 4:30 am.

Except that we have these sexual restrictions. It seems like nobody has sex in this place unless married. Girls are not allowed in boys houses and vice versa, most of the girls are covered, and the topic of sex is greatly tabooed. It’s very funny. When you talk about sex they start to giggle and act like we acted when we were 14 years old.

It’s not easy to write about religion. It affects too many people and sometimes you just don’t know what can be disrespectful. That’s why I hope it was acceptable and clear enough.

Keep posted and see ya next time.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is Indonesia racist?



Indonesia is without any doubts one of the most racist countries I have ever visited. But it is racist in a different way. Not like what we know in Europe, America or in any other country of the western world. I don’t know how to call it so i will call it positive racism (but in my opinion any kind of racism is wrong).

White people are glorified here from the first moment they step out of the airport. It is very funny to watch Indonesians how horny they are when they see white face. Most of the people here treat white people as celebrities. Except Bali, there they are used to tourists, but also there we had some weird situations because of our white faces.

We went to one shopping mall when we were in Jakarta, and few days before they had some terrorist bombings in catholic churches, so policemen were all over the city, in the hotels, in public buildings and also in front of shopping malls. And they had these metal detectors through which you have to go to get inside, like in the airport. And we, a group of white asses, are going inside through the detector and every-fucking-one of us did beep. We were expecting some troubles but the policeman just smiles at us and waves at us. If I was a terrorist, this would be that lucky moment I am hoping for my whole life hehe.

They treat us the same here in Padang Panjang where we live. Everybody thinks that we are something better because we are white. Just yesterday one guy told us that we are so much smarter that people in Indonesia just because we are white, just because we are from the west. When we go to the market to buy some food everybody is looking at us with open mouth. They whole world literally stops in the moment when they see a white person. This happens all the time and we live here already for half a year. I can not even count how many people took pictures with us when we were walking on the street somewhere. This whole thing gave me one life lesson. I don’t ever want to be famous!

Maybe it sounds like fun but it isn’t heh. Everybody knows what we do all the time. Everybody is watching us all the time when we go somewhere. Everybody knows where we live. And most important thing is that they all think that we have shitloads of money, because we have to, we are white and from Europe so we have to be rich. But we are not. We have to explain all the time that we are poor students who live from the scholarship, which we are getting every month. In the beginning, when we didn’t know the prices for food in market, they always overpriced it for us. For example instead of 5 000 rupiah for 1kg of tomatoes they asked for 10 000, and for Indonesia that’s a big difference. Now we know the prices for almost everything but they still try sometimes.

Always an entourage.

 Gregi

Another set of photos

Here are another interesting photos from our trip. Later this day I will post some "cool story bro" stuff so make sure you come back here later. Thanks dudes

Jakarta by day



This is typical Indonesian bathroom



Bus station in our "city" Padang Panjang



Yes we live under active volcano

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Photos





It literally took me 107 minutes to upload these 4 pictures

from the top:
1. Jakarta by night (view from the hotel room)
2. Typical Padang architecture near school campus Padang Panjang
3. Relax at the Padang beach with fresh coconut and cheap smokes
4. Damaged Padang building after earthquake several years ago

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lets shoot some west Sumatran asses!


So we went to Sawahlunto this weekend for a local paintball tournament. We applied a month ago and were very very excited about it. Mostly because it was something to do and the frustration from local people here was growing fast. So we bought some clothes and prepared ourselves for the tournament.

The problem was that we reaaally underestimated the whole thing. The winning team would get $1000 and that’s pretty nice money for us, foreigners. Imagine what it is for locals when they earn $120 a month. So yeah we went there, our team average age 22, full of enthusiasm and happy we could get out of PingPong for a while.

There were 11 teams including us. 3 teams were policeman, 1 team were hunters, 1 team were professional shooters from Sawahlunto and 3 teams were people working in the paintball park. I have never played paintball before and these people were either working with guns or working in the freaking place where the tournament was held.
Long story short, we won one game and lost two games not winning $1000. But apart of that it was a very fun weekend and it was worth going.

This is just a little entry from the weekend. More from Indonesian adventures coming.

keep posted J

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How Europeans feel in Padang Panjang



First feelings from this place were really weird. In the first days, we thought that they really put us in some kind of Auschwitz or working camp, because no sign about our passports and we were filling in some weird forms all the time. Funny was that those forms were only in indonesian and we only knew how to say hello and thank you. But at least someone always helped us. For me, the funniest process was a field trip to the police headquarters for this area to give them our fingerprints and they also gave us more forms to fill in. We had to describe how our head looks like, what type of eyes do we have, what type of chin, ears and so on...it was very racist I tell you :D While we were waiting for something “really” important, i was walking around the police station and I found a very interesting wall. It looked like their trophies wall. And between those trophies were pictures on the wall...it looked like a story so i looked closely and i found out it is a photo documentation of a murdered body and the whole investigation and also when they captured the murderer. I suppose that it happened somewhere here in this city and they are very proud that they were successful with the investigation of the only one murder in the history of Padang Panjang.
We spent few days just walking around the town and after these few days we were slowly getting used to the fact that everything is new for us because it is completely different than in Europe. But there was one thing, and to this day it is (we are 6 months in this hell already), which is very hard to get used to, and that thing i show all the people here stare at us. Literally they stare with open mouths. They don’t look at us, they fucking stare like I have an elephant on my forehead. I am very surprised that no one did crash on his motorbike while staring at us and thinking if he was dreaming or really saw a group of white people. To the sentences like “hello mister” or how are you mister” we were allergic after first few days. That’s all they know and everybody tries to impress you with these sentences and they shout it even from distance. Fuck it, being famous is not easy. On the other hand, people here are very grateful and all the time when we come somewhere or sit in a warung somewhere, they are very happy that we are sitting in their warung. Then they talk about it for days with their friends.
Since we wanted to see more of the beautiful nature around us we went on a little trip. When we went to Padang Panjang from the airport in Padang for the first time, we saw a nice waterfall. So we decided that it’s not that far away so we went to check it out. The waterfall has around 30m and it is right next to the road from Padang to Padang Panjang. So everybody stops there to take a photo. The entrance fee was 2000 rupiah and that is really nothing even in here hehe. So we payed and went a little bit closer. The water under the waterfall looked really dirty because of the trash everywhere on the ground but some locals were in the water not giving a fuck. We didn’t wanna risk some new type of disease so we were just standing on the rocks around the water. We took some pictures and then we saw some monkeys in the trees. I fucking love monkeys!!! They were the first monkey we saw in Indonesia so we were really excited. But they were not excited as we were and they were just jumping from a tree to tree on the top of the waterfall. So we decided to go after them inside the rainforest. Great idea, since we had maybe one hour before the sun went down, right? Fuck it, we wanted to see monkeys! There was an old railroad going the same way from Padang to Padang Panjang but I think it’s not used anymore. So we decided to follow this railroad until we will find a good point to enter the rainforest. Believe it or not we found one. It was a very small trail and it was even getting smaller and smaller but we continued deeper into the rainforest. But after about half an hour of walking we didn’t find any sign of monkeys so we turned around and decided it is better not to be in the rainforest after the sun goes down. This little adventure ended successfully and no one was eaten by Sumatran tiger but our friend found a little leech on his stomach. We were really happy that it was just this one leech because the rainforest here is full of these little bloodsucking motherfuckers.
After two weeks in here we went to our classes for the first time. They told us that that some of the classes are compulsory and some are not. But we did a little uprising very quickly and we don’t have compulsory classes anymore hehe. We could choose anything to study: music, dance, theatre, photography, etc. We were thinking about going to pottery class and making our parents some nice ashtrays but instead of that we picked photography class. First class was quite funny because all of our classmates looked like they never had a camera in their hands. The biggest minus of this school is that you can smoke everywhere. Even in the classrooms. When I was going to this country I knew, that they smoke everywhere, but this was too much when 20 people smoke in one not very big classroom. Alan as a smoker didn’t give a monkey’s crap and when someone offered him a cigarette he didn’t hesitate for a second and smoked that little cancer stick with a smile on his face in the middle of the lecture.
The greatest thing was when we finally found a house for rent. 3 bedrooms, big living room, kitchen, one extra room but we don’t use it and very small bathroom with mandi (shower but Indonesian style). We also have access to the roof because the roof  is on da fire. Yeaah from the roof we have a really good view. The biggest plus of our own house was that we don’t have to share the bathroom with 6 other guys. The family who owns the house lives downstairs but they have their own entrance and we have our own. But they are very nice people and they gave us everything. Everyone got his own bed, they gave us a sofa, small table and a huge carpet to the living room and also some kitchen stuff.
So that’s it about our first feelings and experiences.
To be continued tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Gregi

Monday, March 19, 2012

Padang Panjang Ultimate Survival


So the flight was all right, flight attendants were ugly, stewards were homosexual, space for legs was small and I woke up with open mouth with drool all over my shirt. Low cost classic.

Airport in Padang was nice, clean and built in their Padang style with gorgeous roofs. No problems with the luggage fortunately and mini bus was already waiting for us to get us to Padang Panjang. Bus was old and not very nice looking and we weren’t very excited about going in but we didn’t know that it was actually above standard for this place. Smoke some cigarettes, take some pictures and look around the way  to god forgotten town between three volcanoes. I have to admit that the way to p. panjang was beautiful and I was impressed. All the houses, everything was green and it was very exotic looking. Weather was perfect, sun was shining, little bit hotter than we are used to but that was expected and all in all after Jakarta it was a very pleasant experience.
We stopped on the way to eat something in a local warung (restaurant like thing). Fuck me it was funny as hell. We just came not knowing what’s the padang cousine like and they just started to bring food. More and more food until the table in front of us was full of little plates with all kinds of meat and veggies. Everything looked like it was made three days ago, which we learnt later was most probable. Afraid to eat it we ended up eating only rice with chilli what we thought is the safest thing to eat. The real funny thing was that the girls working in that warung started to take pictures of us immediately. It was crazy, they didn’t care one bit that we were eating they just took out their phones and started to take picture of all of us without one freaking bit of respect. It was like we are some kind of stars eating in their place though it didn’t feel very nice. Very intense.
After the meal we continued our journey to p. panjang. I fell asleep out of fucking nowhere and baaaaam woke up in the middle of a rain forest circling the small road we were on. Monkeys on the trees jumping all over the place and everything was really brutal. I just told gregi that fuck Bali we are in a better place. But we weren’t in p.panjang yet. When we finally arrived it seemed all right. The weather was cloudy and it was raining a bit but I just thought it’s bad luck. Typical padang architecture everywhere and everything seemed quite nice. I was expecting one main street and that’s it. It wasn’t like that, it seemed pretty big. I don’t know if my judgment is not okay because I miss judged the Jakarta hotel as well. Our coordinator took our passports for some paperwork and since we didn’t have a place to sleep yet they said we can stay in campus. So they took us there and when the bus stopped in front of this little house I prayed like fuck it won’t be the place we sleep in. It was.

Inside there was kitchen, living room and 4 bedrooms. Guys from Madagascar didn’t want to split so they took the mattresses and slept in the living room together. We took room with two beds. One better than the other and I with 190 cm had massive troubles in that 150cm bed. Because I’m a midget Indonesian. I was practically sleeping on wood since the mattress was paper like and geckos were fucking everywhere. Not that I don’t like geckos, I really do but I don’t like them shitting on me while sleeping.

So mildly depressed we wanted to look around the city and so we did. The problem happened when we wanted to leave the campus and security told us that we can’t because we don’t have our passports. Paranoia started to work instantly and we were just what the fucking for a moment. We told him that they were the ones who took our passports and we have nothing to eat. So they finally let us have food somewhere and going back from the walk the depression from the place just grew. So I took out 0,7l jameson and knew exactly what we have to do. Bottle was finished in 15 minutes.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

JAKARTA, JAKARTAAA


So let me continue with our intense story.

So after like 3 hours of waiting they put us into 4 minivans and because there were many of us they had to take our luggage in a separate pickup like truck, covering the luggage with a blanket. After that an hour trip to a hotel through crazy streets of Jakarta and no matter how excited the thing was after over 5 hours of waiting on the airport we all fell asleep. When we arrived to the hotel everything seemed fine, hotel looked nice from the outside and everything seemed to go smoothly. So we took of the minivans and waited for the damn pickup with our stuff. But the fucker wouldn’t come so without our stuff we went to check our rooms. Like I said it looked all right from outside. There were 24 beds in our room, one fucked up ventilator which was spreading the syphilis from the 50 year old, homemade air conditioner. Adding to that from these 24 beds 18 were taken by Chinese guys who had no intention to react to the very loud ‘Hello!’ from our filthy mouths.

So we said bye to long awaited rest and went to get something to eat. Food was good but the woman working there was so confused and messed up so many things that I think I got something for free. Gregi with another friend went with their laptops to the wifi zone and I went to Slovak crew for some alcohol which wasn’t such a great idea in the 99% humidity and 35 degrees heat. It just made me hotter.

Sleep was unexpectedly good, except when around 2 am another bus came with more Chinese students and they took them right into our room which was already full. So they slept on the ground. When I woke up around 3 am it looked like a chinese work-camp. Pure awesomeness.

The next day we were supposed to change hotels so after breakfast buses picked us up and moved us once again to a new place. I sat next to an Uzbek girl with amazingly hairy legs. Hotel was good, this time from inside as well; the only problem was that there were three people in each room. But the rooms were for two people only so three guys had to share a twin bed. So we took turns on who should sleep in the middle.
Because there was nothing for us to do the first day, we decided to walk around Jakarta a bit.
2 mistakes-> 1. We actually walked   and 2. We thought Jakarta is pretty and you can see something nice in there.
But when after 10 minutes of walking I had literally black face from the exhausts I finally understand why they wear those things on their faces. We finally found some kind of shopping center in which there was supposed to be nice fountain or whatever and right next to it there was a big store. So we went to buy water in the store, some beers as well for the evening in the hotel and something little to eat. I was the only one with a backpack so I had to take all the beers myself. FML. We saw an awesome sexist “ladies parking only” sign as well.
 On the way back we went to these little streets which were way more attractive than the main street full of bikes and cars. It wasn’t pretty but it was really authentic. You could see the poverty, you could see the way of living of these people and I think it was the highlight of our Jakarta walk.

Back in the hotel just some beers, and monkeys on animal planet.
 
On the second day there was program for us from the morning till late in the evening. We haven’t slept much though so after we listened to some old creepy woman talking about sex in Indonesia I went back to the room and slept. Then went for the lunch and back to sleep again. In the evening some guys from Slovakia had an idea to hit the town, have some European fun and with my 4 liters of hard alcohol in my luggage it was an obvious choice. So with Jameson in one hand and Bintang in the other one we walked around Jakarta finding a spot where we can have some Indonesian fun. We found a reggae bar in which we stayed until 5 am. Pretty drunk really.

The weirdest part of it all was that we actually woke up at 17:30 the next day. Like a damn boss. The opening ceremony was about to start and we haven’t eaten anything yet so we ran to the first warung we found and ate something, then put on some nice clothes and opening ceremony here we come. I was still pretty drunk so while everybody was dead serious and afraid of what is going to happen this year, I danced in the corner of that huge room. We met with these other students who were going to Padang Panjang as well and our coordinator told us that our flight is at 8 am next morning. After 75 minute flight we arrived to Padang.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

PRAHA -> DUBAI -> ARRIVAL TO JAKARTA


Before our intense trip to Indonesia there was a little stop in Prague from where we took off. Because our cool friend is living there at the moment he offered us that we can stay in his place, so we decided to go few days before our flight. These few days full of alcohol and Prague parties were, well let’s say pretty good start of our yearlong adventure.

The night before our flight it was raining heavily so we decided to stay home and have a calm evening with some beers and chat in our friends’ apartment. In the morning it was still raining pretty bad so we didn’t go anywhere around Prague as well, too lazy to walk around in the rain and the excitement of the trip was getting bigger. We bought some bagels and veggies and prepared something little for the 24 hour flight. After we finished we said goodbye to our friend, thanked him for everything and were on our way to Prague’s airport.
On the airport check-in without any problems, Alan’s last cigarette before the flight to Dubai and we were on our way to find our boarding gate. While waiting we met up with our next friend from Slovakia who was taking part in the same scholarship program and was on her way to Jakarta. Classic flight - movies, series, bored looking at the screens in front of us.

In Dubai we met with another guy from Slovakia who was taking the same flight from Dubai to Jakarta. So we walked around the airport, found a place to eat for free if you wait for connecting flight more than 3 hours (where we spent almost two hours), found a smoking room where you couldn’t see your feet through the smoke and looked a bit around the duty free shops for the alcohol we knew we’re not going to see for a long time. After these 4 hours of waiting we moved to our gate and the change of people’s appearance was drastic. Women in gilbabs and men in long white robes and awesome beards were a big sign of how Indonesia is going to look like. Our narrow minded thinking was stuck to just one thought of getting to Jakarta safely and hoping none of these guys take Islam too seriously. Flight was exactly the same just a bit longer with more food and more free beer. The flight attendant was pretty surprised when we asked for a nice cold beer at 5 a.m. when everybody was waking up asking for tea and coffee. What the fuck woman you’ve never seen Slovakians or what.

We arrived in Jakarta at around 15:30 local time and intense stuffiness and heat welcomed us. Well inside of the terminal it was pretty all right so we tried a lot not to go outside. Fortunately we had to wait in queue of around 80 people to check our visas in that beautifully air conditioned place. The whole visa checking was hugely weird because someone had to take picture someone hadn’t, someone was there for literally 15 minutes and we were done in around 20 seconds. After this we went to see if this awesome Indonesian system actually works and tried to find our luggage. Damn it felt good when we found it. At last we had to go out so we could meet up with some people to tell us what the next plan is.


The problemo was that when we actually went out there was nobody from the programe. So we stood in fucking 40 degrees heat for like half an hour not knowing what to do, smoking cigarettes like crazy what wasn’t very pleasant in the heat and humidity, and listening to annoying “Taxi mister??” for fucking everywhere. Yeah, around half and hour later we found the guy who took us to another room full of other students were we waited for another couple of hours. Gladly they gave us 500 000 rupiah (around 40 euros/50 US dollars) for these three days we are going to spend in Jakarta. Yeah our great east European nature told us to go buy beers with our new money and so we did. We drank some beers in the room where everybody was waiting and then some mini bus picked us up and took us to the hotel. But that’s for another time.