Justins Nunukan!

Trip Start Feb 08, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Justins House

Flag of Indonesia  , East Kalimantan,
Monday, September 3, 2012

I woke early in Tawau to get to the port early to find out when the first ferry to Nunukan was. Turned out it was at 11:30 so dossed around town for a bit, found the 1 book shop in the entire town which had the tiniest English book section. Anyway, returned later with a bag off bakery goods and a new book and waited for the ferry. Unfortunately the port was right next to the fish market and it stank! Waited a long time and there were no foreigners to be seen. Eventually got through immigration only to wait again. This is where I met a guy called Justin. A friendly Indonesian guy asking me where I was from etc. I'd read that it was normal for most Indonesians to ask you questions and sometimes quite personal. He told me about his family, 2 boys and a 3 year old daughter in Nunukan. He knew a few other people including a woman who gave me a fantastic seat on the small boat with loads of leg room.

I saw a ferry arrive from Indonesia and loads of people were jumping off it quickly onto a small longboat and lying down to avoid being seen by immigration officials!

The boat took 1 hour and I followed Justin to immigration, he actually took my passport to the front of the queue and started speaking to the officials who seemed to be his mates who stamped me through straight away! Got a taxi with Justin and his other friend into the town centre and he paid for me. He was just so helpful and friendly and seemed like a genuine guy. We went to a shop where he worked and picked up his motorbike and he took me to an ATM to get some local currency, then to the Pelni booking office to sort out my Ferry ticket to Sulawesi the next day. I asked for 3rd class, Justin spoke to them and somehow I ended up with a 2nd class ticket for the same price! He then offered me a bed at his house! I was a little apprehensive but ive been travelling long enough to know who's dodgy and who isn't and Justin was just a genuine friendly family man wanting to help. On the way to his house he asked if I liked radio, and he took me to the local radio station which he seemed to manage too! We went on a little tour of the station and saw the editing studio etc! Looks like Justin is the guy to know in Nunukan! haha.

We got to his house and I said I needed to use the internet so he said hed take me to an internet cafe. He brought out an amazing bright purple Yamaha motorbike. I said I ride bikes and he let me ride it into town! Geeza! He took me into a small fishing village and out onto a wooden pier where some kids were playing and jumping into the sea.

Finally we got back to his house where I met his family. Lovely people and I ended up playing football with his 2 boys and pretty much all the other kids in the village out in the street. Such great fun! :D

Had a shower which was a classic Indonesian shower, a bucket of water and a scoop. He lived next to his sister and pretty much his extended family came round to say hi and have lots of photos taken with me. The kids wanted to show me their break dancing moves and then we sat down for dinner. I sat with the men in the kitchen whilst the women sat in the sitting room and had fish, roti bread, noodle soup and rice. Lovely!

That night he wanted to take me out on the town so we got on the bike and rode around. Ended up at his radio editing studio and met a load of other cool younger people. Eventually we got back to this house and they had put a mattress on the floor for me and I crashed out.

Not a great night's sleep with dogs barking, mosquitoes and prayer calls from the mosque early in the morning. Justin made me breakfast before taking me into town to sort some stuff out, had lunch a local Warung which served Sulawesi food, a sort of beef soup with rice packaged in leaves. My ferry was leaving in the evening and at 5pm Justin took me to the port. I said goodbye to his wife and kids and thanked them for they had done for me. At the port he walked me all the way onto the huge Ferry, 'The Bukit Siguntang' and helped me to my cabin. I couldn't thank him enough for all his kindness and I'll never forget him. He gave me a silver cross as a good luck/goodbye present. Such a nice man! :)

I was in a 6 bed cabin with shared toilets (Horrendous toilets!!) I walked around the big ship and was pretty much a celebrity. Everyone wanted to say hello, always, 'Hello Mr!' Had lots of photos with random people and we set off around 7pm for my 2 days journey to Pare Pare on Sulawesi.

The next day was a full day on the boat. Went for a walk around to find food. Not much to do so spent a lot of time in the cabin reading and catching up on sleep. At dinner I went to 1st and 2nd class dining hall and had dinner with 5 Indonesian girls, we tried to communicate but mostly it was them giggling together, haha. Went to bed for my 2nd night on the boat knowing the next morning I would be docking in Pare Pare.
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