Friday, June 5, 2009

In Sulawesi

I traveled to Gili Tragawan off the coast of Lombok (Indonesia) last week. It was a fabulously relaxing place. A small village on an island about 45 minutes off the coast by fishing boat. It's a chain of three islands Gili Tragawan, the largest, Gili Meno (middle) and Gili Air (the smallest and closest island). I met more people from all over the world than I've met in my whole life. I talked to people from Germany, France, Holland, Austrailia, England and Belgium over the past few days, I've actually be practicing alot of old rusty French from high school. Didn't really expect to use that on this trip!

Yesterday I was waiting for quite a while in the Materham airport in Lombok and met a new friend from Jakarta, a business man who was trying to get to his wife in Yojyakarta who was in labor. He was so stressed out about getting to her then the flight was delayed for 5 hours and then he was going to miss his connection. He was so worried about his wife. He said, "She is small, I worry about her giving birth. She is not big like you. She is very little and cute." Too funny and cute.

I missed my connection along with many others in Surabya and the airline put us up in a hotel. It was actually the nicest one I've stayed in with aircon what a treat. We needed to get up 5 hours later to get on another flight. Journalists were at the aiport doing a story on the airline company Lion Air because I guess they are notorious for being late. Opps, way to pick the best airline.

Today I'm in Makassar Sulawesi and it is a HUGE city and rather overwhelming. It started to rain in the afternoon so I studied my Bahasa Indonesian in a restaurant. Later I took I walk and it started pouring and a nice store keeper asked me to sit down in her shop. I ended up staying for two hours talking and practicing Indonesian and teaching her teenage kids English. Their English was a lot better than my Indonesian. Saya belajar bahasa Indonesia= I'm studing Bahasa Indonesia.

Tonight I'm contemplating taking a cross town taxi to meet up with some "couchsurfers" from They are supposedly cooking together at a guy's house across town. I have an address. Do I dare to just hop into a taxi and cross town at night. I would really rather not, but maybe I can find some one to go with me.

My time in Indonesia is going pretty fast, there is so much to do and so many places to see.

I've been sick a few times but nothing too bad, but I really have to be careful with food. I am conservative but they tend to cook things and save it to serve another day and I don't think they reheat it enough and it is to my demise. Now I have a cold. I guess I'm getting introduced to alot of new bugs.

Tomorrow or maybe the next day I am taking a bus to Rantepao 8 hours north to study the culture of the Torajan people. They have very unique burial customs and have many ceremonies and festivals that go on through out the year associated with the burials. Yes I know very weird that I want to see a burial ritual, but it sounds incredibly interesting and extravagant. I may take a trek to visit these indigenous tribes.

I'm currently staying at the New Legend Hostel in Makassar.

Ok, I need to get going back out in the rain and go back to my hotel before it gets too dark. Hugs.