Tuesday, May 06, 2008

From Indonesia with love - Day 1, Part 2

Continuation from Day 1, Part 1 here.

We booked ourselves semi-private transport to Lake Toba (average 4 hour trip) after discarding the notion of traveling with the locals on bus (the transport cost us RM 28 per pax). I thought it was cute how they refer to cars as "mobil" and vans as "bus". Oh, if you say "kereta" to them, they'll think you want the train instead of a car! They really pack their trips to eke out the most profit and our "bus" had a full passenger load of 8 passengers and 1 driver. If you're smoke intolerant like I am, Indonesia is so not the place to be. The locals smoke everywhere and all the time, even in the enclosed confines of a vehicle. *choke*

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You can't really tell from this pic but they drive really really close to each other! Like just inches away. If you think KL drivers are scary, you haven't met Medan drivers yet. ;-P The horn is an instrument to be used all the time - to say hi, to tell the other vehicle to speed up, to tell the other vehicle you're overtaking, to stop pedestrians from crossing the road, bla bla bla... if anyone wants to look for budding rally drivers, look no further than Indonesia...

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This is a place we stopped at briefly for toilet break and to stretch our legs. You can get local delicacies here, but we were afraid that our *delicate* stomachs couldn't handle it so this time around we just look-see look-see only (one of my tripmates tried roadside food on the way back). Dodol seems to be a specialty... we bought some back but I dunno what happened to it. Maybe my colleagues finished it? LOL.

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Pretty church in Parapat. This is one of my favorite pictures. *wistful smile* Parapat is a town on the shores of Lake Toba. The whole Lake Toba area - Parapat, Tuk Tuk, etc - is mostly Christian due to the indigenious Batak people who were converted by missionaries. So, there's a lot of non-halal food there and you can freely use the word "babi"! My Muslim tripmate had a bit of a hard time finding proper halal food. They are also deeply religious people and we saw many people going to church (it was the Easter Sunday weekend).

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This shot of Parapat was actually taken on the day we made our way back to Medan but I don't have a shot of when we boarded the ferry due to the mad rush (the ferry was about to depart). This was the adventurous part where we got lost. Ehehehe. Not our fault!

We asked the locals which ferry we needed to take to get to Sosorgalung harbor, which was near to our guesthouse, but instead got directed onboard another ferry, which eventually berthed at Tomok harbor. (The ferry fee to Tomok is RM 1.40 one way, if anyone wants to know. LOL.) Tomok is like a 10 - 15 minute drive away from Sosorgalung. We only found out after the ferry left the harbor from Parapat and friendly locals tried to chat us up. I don't know about the guys, but I was certainly panicking inside cos it was getting dark (even though it was only around 7.00pm) and we didn't know how to get to Sosorgalung. We had no choice but to get off at Tomok because the ferry would be going straight back to Parapat, and we were thinking that it was the last possible ferry. The moment we got off the boat, here came the touts again. They wanted to "sell" us on the idea of taking private transport to our guesthouse for an extorbitant amount (RM 70). We said no, but they were very insistent, even following us to the little shack nearby where we had our dinner in an effort to stall them.

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Here is my mee goreng dinner. I didn't enjoy this meal very much because I was worried. It was dark, we were in a foreign place, I didn't know how we'd get to our guesthouse and we were persistently being "cornered" by the touts on our transportation plans. They knew we had no transport and would be pretty desperate. We certainly didn't want to pay that much because the guesthouse owner told us when we called for help that a local price would only be around RM 10. Don't worry, the story ended happily because as we finished our dinner, we negotiated a closer-to-normal transport fee (RM 17.50) and reached our guesthouse safe and sound at last!

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This shot of a guitar on a sofa doesn't belong to me, but I uh, am *borrowing* it to show you the guesthouse living area. We cleaned ourselves up and chilled out for a bit at the living area even though it was past 10.30pm to enjoy our welcome drink (on the house) and watch some DVDs since the satellite dish wasn't operational due to a lost remote. And owh, here is where I got this post's content from. Lawl.

Are you still with me? Let's go to Day 2 next!

Those looking for more private photos *ahem* (like those with my face in it) should go to my Facebook. There are lots there. LOL.

9 spins:

L B said...

Why do I feel so knackered each day with you? I am so ready for the bed already in the guesthouse. You go play that guitar, ok? Or watch James Bond.. *stretches out arms.. opens mouth..*

giddy tigress said...

I want to be kiasu and chup first before I call it a night...will read in the morning...hehe

ehonchan.com said...

wahh.. im almost late for my bus. actually im late. :P blame u for the long posts!! but it's good. :D i also want holiday!!

rinnah said...

l b: Just reading about my Indonesia adventures also can tire you out? LOL. I can only watch James Bond... my tripmate was the one who took the picture of and played with the guitar, entertaining us. *grin*

giddy tigress: *waits patiently for GT to return in the morning*

ehonchan.com: So long posts are good, yes? More coming your way soon! I also want another holiday...

giddy tigress said...

Hope you didn't wait too long...I'm back!!!

Indonesian drivers will be totally at home in India then, where the horn is a compulsory item used whilst driving.

I love pictures of old churches in the countryside. They have this rustic, chapel appeal.

Collin said...

papa tells me Indo has the world's longest parking lot...hee! Must be easy for jiejie to take those very still shots on the road. ;-P

rinnah said...

giddy tigress: Nope, you weren't long at all! Yeah, use of the horn is like a must for all of them... I wonder how they can drive with all that cacophony! The church is so pretty, ain't it?

collin: Ah, jiejie was quite lucky because she didn't encounter the world's longest parking lot while she was there! It was a long holiday weekend, so most of the vehicles were not on the street. Hehe, most of the pictures were quickly snapped off from a bumpy, moving-at-high-speed vehicle! It's a wonder they turned out so well...

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