(Day 398 on the road)
I am about to leave Indonesia (for now), and one of the things that I surely will not miss is the constant "hello mister" and "my friend, my friend" shouting from everyone on the street, even from two blocks away on the opposite side of the road. If you have not experienced it it may sound funny - but trust me, after four weeks of constant harassment it is no longer fun, just very very tiring. I am not sure why they don't just leave one in peace and mind their own business, because it is not only people that are trying to sell you something, but most of the times they are just random people who are trying to get your attention for whatever reason. I found that the only effective way to deal with them is to completely and utterly ignore anyone who approaches me unwanted, otherwise I might have become crazy.
But of course there are a lot more good things that I will miss about the country than the hassle. After a bad start where I had my wallet stolen, Indonesia has been great to me, with friendly and open people, and
of course its beautiful and diverse nature. I will also miss the various massages I had - and for one or two EUR per hour they were not really a big dent in my budget either. Oh, and the avocado-chocolate shakes are just amazing!
Just as the last few days I spent my last couple of days in Indonesia with Endah. She lives in a company-provided apartment in Jakarta, and having visitors stay overnight (let alone male foreigners!) is frowned upon big-time, but as we arrived back from Krakatau very late on Sunday evening she managed to sneak me in anyhow for the night. I am not sure into how much trouble exactly she got for this, but I had to leave the next day and stayed in a hotel for the following night.
The next day, Endah managed to get a day off work, and we went down to her home town of Bogor, about two hours south of Jakarta. We found a very nice and atmospheric homestay (Puri Bali Homestay on Jalan Paledang 50, fairly close to and west of the main entrance of the Botanic Gardens) with a great owner (who spoke fluent German for
some reason). It was the nicest place I have stayed in in Indonesia in my whole time here, so it was a great place for my final two nights in the country.
Bogor is famous for its world-class Botanic Gardens, and I was duly impressed! They are absolutely huge and very-well maintained; especially the cactus collection was amazing. A real green heart right in the middle of the city. The only annoyance was that the gardens are for some obscure reasons not closed for traffic, and the motorbikes and cars driving around were mildly irritating and disturbing the peace.
We spent an idle day just walking the grounds before heading off for being pampered with a "creambath" at a local hair saloon. This is essentially a head-massage with a few extras I didn't care so much about (shampooing, conditioner etc). I have been told that this is very much a women thing (and with my shaved head there is no real need for extensive hair treatments), but I absolutely loved it! My masseuse was lady boy called Biler, but he referred to himself as Bila, and my lord, he worked magic with his hands.
The next morning,
it was time to say farewell to Endah, who went back to Jakarta. And I just had to go back to the hair saloon to have a another massage. Wow!
Then it was time to head to the Jakarta airport to catch my flight to Kuching in Malaysian Borneo. Bye bye Indonesia, I will be back soon!
Next stop: Kuching (Borneo, Malaysia).
To view my photos, have a look at pictures.beiske.com
. And to read the full account of my journey, have a look at the complete book about my trip at Amazon
(and most other online book shops).
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