Waking up to Indonesian Paradise in Sumatra

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January 29th 2015
Published: June 25th 2017
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Waking up to this was pretty special, after a gruelling previous day of travel.
After twelve hours in transit from Bangkok to Medan, Sumatra, we arrive in evening darkness into completely different energy than we left behind in the developed high rise beach resort that we had stayed at for two weeks. We are once again in the land of many many people, family excursions of four on one motorbike, buses choking fumes, truckloads of chickens, and cars all competing for road space on poorly maintained dusty roads, lined on each side by brightly lit food and merch stalls late into the night. For a moment it felt like being back in India or Sri Lanka again, which in itself was exciting, but then we turned off our very busy street and arrived at our destination, into an oasis of fairy lights and solitude, and in the morning woke up to an Indonesian paradise at our beautiful hotel.

During our stay here we had the occasion to chat with the hotel owner, Diana, who had actually taken the time to visit my website before we came. She had listened to my music and knew much about me before we even arrived, so of course Stan fetched my guitar so I could sing her a couple of songs. She wanted to buy a copy of my CD, but we did not want any money. Instead, we traded it for two pieces of apple pie and ice cream. However, when she called her husband, who was away in Holland, and told him about the trade, he insisted she give us something a bit more memorable : a copy of the book he had written on the history of Medan. That experience completely enriched our already fantastic time at this small but beautiful oasis.

So the next day we found The Woman in Black singing in the restaurant, which kind of reminded us of that bus trip last year in Borneo, where she sang for everyone on board. She continues to make her way around, it seems.

We deliberately chose to avoid staying in the busy and noisy mega city of Medan, with its millions of people, opting instead for the quiet hotel on its outskirts where we could rest for a day before continuing on to climb a volcanoe in Berstiggi, en route to Lake Toba.


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