There's no perverts in Banda Aceh says the LP book

Trip Start Feb 08, 2011
Trip End Dec 21, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Sumatra,
Saturday, February 26, 2011

6am I finally arrive in Banda Aceh after a 15 hour bus journey.  I feel grateful that the bus manager/driver has looked out for me for the entire journey as I'm the only foreigner on the bus.  He calls a cab for me and agrees a price for me with them, whether to my advantage or not I don't know but I'm, thankful for his help anyway!

So much for the guidebook saying that there's no pervy men here, literally a few seconds after I get into the taxi I realise that the cab driver is a pervert, I want to put on my headscarf and he tells me that I don't need to (probably coz he wants to see my head), I'm grateful that I'm covered in clothes from head to toe!  He asks me for my number and I instinctively give him a wrong one rather than refusing to give it to him incase he turns nasty and he asks me if I have a bf and again I say 'no' as I fear tat he'll turn nasty if I reply yes, like I did the previous day.  He offers to stop multiple times for me, to show me the mosque and other famous sites and for food and drinks but I decline them all, I just wanted to be at the ferry terminal ASAP, where there will be people and also I don't know if he would increase the price for stopping and showing me the sights and I really didn't want to be with him for a second more than necessary!  I ask him for his number at the end of the journey to make him keep the price that he promised the driver and I promptly disappear into the ferry terminal hoping that no locals want to speak to me (wishful thinking!).  Barely 10 seconds pass and I'm greeted by another local- Fermandez who works at this ferry terminal- Uleh leh, he asks if I want to eat and drink and as my ferry doesn't arrive till 11am (and its only 7am) and theres obviously nothing else to do here so I agree, expecting to have to pay for his food and drink!  He tells me about Pulau Wey and Banda Aceh and seems like a genuinely nice guy and offers to show me around Banda Aceh on my return from Pulau Wey, unfortunately I'm too tired  and feel sick to actually listen and respond to him.  He later leaves me be and returns to work and actually pays for his own food and drink!  maybe, I will call him after all on my return and allow him to show me the sights of Banda Aceh lol.

Thank God for Firmandez!  Later a friendly local befriends me and says that he'll help me to buy my ferry ticket.  The ticket agent says its 85,000 INR and the ticket clearly says 17,000 INR and the back says 1,500 INR totalling 18,500 INR and he says 85,000 is local price, we argue as Firmandez and the LP guide clearly said the ticket ought to be 30,000 AC and 10,000 without AC and he's obviously helping the ticket agent to rip me off and he tries to shove the ticket into my hand and I tell him that he can take the ticket and pay 85,000 himself because I know he's trying to rip me off, he says he's not and that everyone is paying the same so I ask him to explain why the fast ferry is only 60,000 ans slow ferry is 85,000 and why they are charging an extra 65,000+ on top of the ticket price, he can't answer the question and tries to get one of his mates to explain to me that 85,000 is the local price, I tell him and his mate that they are unhelpful and to buggar off and leave me alone!  I call Firmandez for help and he says he'll come and help me!  Meanwhile, we meet the Uleh-leh station caption and he says that the staff are supposed to be charging 18,500 INR and takes me to one of his staff who ends up charging me 17,000 INR and the little git has noting to say for himself (just like the Indians in India) and I tell him to buggar off and leave me alone.  Firmandez arrives and asks if everything is ok and the idiot claims that he's Firmandez's friend and I ask Firmandez if its true and say to him and the idiot, that the idiot is exceptionally annoying and should disappear.  the idiot keeps winding me up and saying that I'm Japanese and not British and I tell him that my parents are Chinese and that its an insult to keep calling a chinese person japanese, however, the idiot ignores me and I tell him in front of Firmandez and all of Firmandez's friends that I don't want to speak to him anymore and that I'm going away and he's exceptionally annoying and I don't want to be upset and annoyed!  Firmandez and his friend follows me and I ask Firmandez if the idiot's his friend and he says 'no'!  Ha, I thought not as Firmandez is nice and the idiot is horrible.  Firmandez takes me to sit with his mates and we chat and I explain my love for Bukit Lawang and then one of the guys tries to pretend that he's from there and suggests that we go there together and I say that if he can recognise all the BL locals on my camera then I'll believe him and he promptly reveals he's not from there!

I eventually arrive in Pulau Wey and find its a version of BL, except its a world class diving resort instead of a jungle resort!  I rented some snorkelling gear and initially find its no different to having a pair of swimming goggles as I cannot breathe  with it, luckily a local spots me suffering lol and offers to help me and eventually I just about get the hang of breathing with the snorkel and manage to see some great fish but unfortunately a large proportion of the nearby coral has died due to global warming!  I later find out that the local who taught me is in fact a former snorkelling and diving instructor-great how many people can say they get free snorkelling lessons?! 

Joey later texts me and tells me that a member of the owner's family of Samosir cottages (the place where I stayed in Lake Toba) has just been hit by something whilst he was fixing the church clock.  Also jaka calls me, telling me that he misses me and asks me to go back to BL and Selamat also texts me and request that I go back to BL and I also miss BL and the people and if I'm being completely honest I want to go back there right this second, it feels like my home there!

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