Indonesian insights

Trip Start Jun 29, 2005
Trip End Nov 30, 2009

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Flag of Indonesia  ,
Monday, August 22, 2005

Here's some things I've learned, heard or noticed whilst cruising about Indonesia over the last month.

1) the narrower the road, the faster they drive.

2) the Catholics are very religious and are quite happy to bury their dead in ornately tiled above ground tombs in their front yard.

3) the Muslims seem to own a lot of good waterfront property, but you don't see them out in their bathing suits much.

4) most houses outside main towns (and a lot inside them) don't have electricity or running water. It's pretty eerie driving around the countryside at night.

5) it must be most fortuitous on the island of Flores to have a motorcycle tyre on your tin roof - a lot of houses seem to have one displayed prominently over the front door.

6) many Indonesians are very generous and will give you their meagre possessions even though you're obviously a hell of a lot better off than they are.

7) there are a lot of kids around, they love being in photos, and many of them look suspiciously similar.

Swarm ofkids wanting a photo

8) the people are very friendly and most will say 'hi' and want to (try to) talk to you, usually to the point of being very annoying.

9) you could travel here for 10 years and probably not see even half of it.

10) the local coffee shop isn't quite the model of design and cleanliness you would expect back home. The petrol station is a little different too.

Local coffee humpy Petrol stand

11) apparently there are 330 million Indonesians, making it the 5th most populated country.

12) there are more Indonesian millionaires (in $US) than there are Australian citizens (approx 20 million - unconfirmed).

13) no one gives a shit about littering. It's a real shame as there are some beautiful places mostly featuring large piles of rubbish all over the place.

14) everyone loves fire. Kids play with matches, you cruise past an island at night and half of it's burning, trash gets smoked to get rid of it and businessmen torch whole forests to make money. It's a national past-time.

Random fire on hillside above Senggigi

15) (possibly related to 14) Indonesia has the most active volcanos in the world. They have a major volcanic 'incident' every year or two.
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