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Published: July 12th 2019
My Rickshaw Driver
Mido took me around in his rickshaw for about 45 minutes.
I hope you enjoyed the silly third person narrative in my previous blog. It was my attempt at putting a humorous spin on the bus ride from hell.
I knew that there wasn’t much sightseeing to be done in Makassar, and, with my flight to Bali being in the evening, I wanted a centrally located hotel with a pool. Citadines Royal Bay fit this bill perfectly. My plan was to enjoy my room as much as possible, check out around 11am, store my bag at reception, do a round of sightseeing, and return to the hotel to cool off in the pool.
My first stop that morning was Chinatown. I walked to the requisite Chinatown gate, looked around a bit, and thought to myself that this was the quietest Chinatown I have ever been in. There wasn’t any of the usual bustle one associates with a Chinatown. In fact, many shops were shuttered. I was a little disappointed because I’m always interested in seeing how Chinese immigrants the world over live their lives.
As I departed Chinatown, a rickshaw driver swung by. His name was Mido and he was an engaging chap. He encouraged me to go to
Bugis pinisi at dock waiting to be loaded for their next voyage.
Paotere Harbor. He even told me he didn’t care how much I paid him, just as long as he could feed himself. So, I hopped onto his rickety contraption, and he pedaled the 2km to Paotere. Our first stop was the seafood market, which was everything a seafood market should be - bustling, loud, and smelly. Mido then took me to the port where there were a number of Bugis boats. I watched as sacks of cement (unfortunately transliterated to “semen” in Indonesian), and other goods got loaded onto one of the boats. While I was there, my mind wandered to the 1970s documentary Ring of Fire, in which two brothers hitched a ride on a Bugis pinisi
to the eastern islands. Their narrative of that voyage was quite fascinating. Incidentally, it is widely believed that “boogeyman” was derived from “Bugis” because of their reputation as fierce pirates. After Paotere, Mido pedaled me to Fort Rotterdam. There, we parted ways and I gave him enough cash for a few meals.
Apologies to my Dutch readers, but, the Dutch didn’t seem to build impressive forts, at least in comparison to the grandiose structures the Spaniards built in the Caribbean. There
What I presume to be the chapel. There was no useful signage.
was a museum - La Galigo - on Fort Rotterdam’s grounds, but, sadly, it didn’t have much information on what I was most interested in: the fort, its history, battles fought, and everyday life for those charged with defending it. There were, however, informative exhibits on the coastal and seagoing cultures of the area. Overall, I was a little underwhelmed.
My next goal was to try and sample one of the dishes Makassar is famous for - ikan bakar
or grilled fish. I made a beeline for Lae Lae - Lonely Planet’s recommended food choice. There, I savored a small snapper and vegetables. After lunch, I walked along the Losari Beach seafront before heading back to my hotel to savor a few hours at the pool. After that, I headed to the airport for my flight to Denpasar.
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