Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
144Trip End Oct 06, 2013
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We did get some close-ups of the early stages of a local wedding as well as a Muslim music festival with various competing school groups (the most entertaining part of this was watching the vans pulling into the parking area with kids pouring out of the vehicle in much the same manner as the endless line of Keystone Kops did in their heyday). How many kids can you get in one van- it was like guessing how many jellybeans are in the jar
The lowlight of our stay in Berastiga had to be the one night in a hotel that had the gall to promote itself as one of the best options in North Sumatra. After months of uneventful hotel stays, we seem to be on a streak of bad experiences- after the Penang noise and smoke nightmare that I wrote about, we had a room in Medan that was directly under the flightpath into the airport, surrounded by 5 mosques with full-volume calls to prayer at 5:00am, with an open-air bar down the street that had some sort of pounding drum thing going on until 3 in the morning. But in Berastiga, we may have hit rock bottom- as with many hotels in Asia, there seems to be a lot of effort put into the lobby area and the grounds but the rooms seem to be left to age in a less than graceful manner. Mould on the ceiling, roaches in the bathroom, smoke odors, stained sheets- no big deal, we've seen worse. What we hadn't experienced was a hotel that promoted a late night, window-rattling karaoke event in the pool area directly below the rooms. And if that didn't ensure sleep deprivation, there was a hotel sanctioned speaker-enhanced aerobics event in the lobby area that started at 5 in the morning (just after the calls to prayer finished) with an instructor that was armed with a megaphone. Perhaps the most stunning thing about this was that none of the hotel staff saw the flaw in mixing a hotel with ear-shattering noise??