It’s rare to come across European people here, not even a dozen since we landed.
After a visit of the old harbour of Jakarta, we left the city to reach a less crowded region close to Karang volcano. Hitchhiking is difficult, almost all cars are buses or taxis. And no one understands why a European guy doesn’t want to pay. It makes us think a lot about what we do. On one side paying 10-20 euros a day for transportation may double our budget but for them getting money or not has far more consequences than our hypothetical banqueroute. As much as we can, we convince ourselves that travelling from bus to hotel wouldn’t give the same taste.
The first night after leaving Jakarta, we look for a place to sleep in a lost village. It’s already dark outside. Nobody understands and people talk about hotels 50km away, and they look surprised when we ask for a simple shelter. Finally, a teacher proposes us to sleep in his school and takes us on his scooter, together with our bags. We end up visiting a muslim school, first the one for boys, then for girls. Guys are quite shy, but girls start to be a little bit hysterical, ask for our status and religion….well it was great and funny. The deal was to exchange a place to sleep with a speech to motivate these young people to learn English. A win-win experience in front of a few hundred teenagers. And many selfies on the social networks.
Is it finally better to travel from bus to hotels? Exchange matters.
Next day: a night in an empty house that we found on a hill at the end of a road. Beautiful view. During the night, we had the visit of young guys that went away excusing themselves, a safe place.
What else but children’s smiles and hello mister echoing in the air ? Or these guys smiling or a bit upset when they read “numpang gratis” (free lift) on our paper. They stop and ask so many questions in a language we don’t understand, we try as much as possible to explain them our trip, for the sake of the next backpackers.
Tonight we sleep in a police officer’s house, nice place, a tour of food specialities, from goat feet to ginseng and eggs drink. We finish the evening with a gangsta guitarist and a retired policeman with nice stories to share, he worked in Amsterdam and got expelled, tried to create business between the two countries but failed. All that with a good bottle of Indonesian wine with local and reggae songs.
We had a lot of luck these days. We want to dedicate them to those we already miss, and who let us go.
Terih Makasih (Thanks)