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Published: August 4th 2006
This was a rather small, unimpressive temple from the 1400's located near Solo, Java.
Allright, I'm out of Bali and I'm recharged to do some hardcore travelling again. But we needed to extend our tourist visas, which means we would have to fly to Singapore and back....or does it? We got a phone number from this American guy we met. He said he'd called a guy who has a shoe in at immigration and got his appropriate (and somewhat illegal) extension without leaving the country. Ok, it was cheaper than flying and the American guy said it was legit.
Rhiannon and I felt like a boneheads as we watched that little brown man cruise off on his motorbike with our passports and about 400 bucks. "I'll drop them off at your hotel in 3 or 4 days", he said. I was confident that it was all cool, and after 4 days (of partying) we had our passports back all stamped and we were ready to get out of Bali. Maybe it wasn't too smart to hand over your passport to a guy you've never met. Really, he makes a business out of it and now he has my recommendation and therefore more potential customers.
I have decided to buckle down on what's left of my
budget. It feels like my cash is getting tight and I'm not ready to come home for a while yet. Rhiannon is probably gonna ditch me when she realizes how low I will go to save a buck. I had the "hardcore" travelling spirit in me for a couple months through Laos and Thailand, but it started fading around the time I left Cambodia. I know, it was that damn air conditioned room I had in Saigon on my birthday! That's when I stopped fighting for that extra fifty cents on every meal or hotel room. Trust me, it adds up when you don't have an income. If you get everything for half the asking price, you double the lenght of your trip, right?
Anyway, we took the cheap bus to Surabays, Java from Bali. It's tempting just to fly because it is cheap, but now I'm Mr. Super-econo again and I was proud to share a bus with all Indonesians. The ticket was a good deal. An approximate 12 hour trip for nine bucks, including the price of the ferry and a meal. Not too bad, except that the seats were so small that even Rhiannon, who is about
Headstand on a turtle
I hate when people strike an upright pose.
a foot shorter than me, was getting a bit grouchy. The driver was seriously suicidal and we ended up making it to Surabaya alive and well after about 10 hours.
Java is awesome, man. I find it so funny. We were on the night bus coming from Bali and there's just total chaos in the roads even in the wee hours in the morning. There were piles of dirt and gravel on the sides of the already too skinny roads. I laughed. For no apparent reason beside one of the many piles there was a guy standing there waving vehicles around it. This was exactly like the other 200 piles we passed, but for some reason, here this guy is at 3 am with an air traffic controller's wand, making sure nobody slams into this particular mound of dirt. Jobs are so random in Indonesia. I can never tell who works at any particular place. For instance, our hotel in Bali seemed to have about 12 staff members. It was such a tiny place that might need 2: One to clean rooms and one to work the desk. And people here don't get days off so I have no idea
On the way to Cetho Temple
It just doesn't get any nicer than Indonesia.
what the other "staff" did around there apart from get drunk and pass out in the lobby area at night. It's amazing that things get done in this country. Usually things are never on time, especially transportation. But somehow it does get done.
My new cheaper budget seems to be going well. For the first time in a while we are staying at a place that has an outside squatter toilet, and a big barrel of water with a bucket for a shower. The room is so tiny that our bags could fit in beside the bunkbed and that's about it. There's no screens on the windows, and the walls are mouldy. I think back to a time in Laos when I froze my ass off sleeping in a potato cellar (for a dollar a night), and think this is still an improvement, so it can't be too bad.
This morning I left with about 8 dollars in my pocket. We took a public bus and then a ferry to Madara, a big island north of Surabaya. They have bull races there, but unfortunately nothing is going on until Sunday. Now I'm back in Surabaya and still have enough cash
This was a cool temple. We had a couple guys on motorbikes take us here from the nearest village.
to pay for this internet time and some Mie Goreng (fried noodles, which I never seem to tire of). Lovin' it.
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