This is my last week in Indonesia – for now. All together, I then stayed 11 months and 5 days here, most of the time in Jogja. I will leave Indonesia with a tear in one eye and a smile in the other. There are so many things I liked about Indonesia. It is one of the most exciting countries for travelling since it is so diverse and huge. Also the helpfulness of the local people often surprised me. In my opinion, Indonesians are very modest people. They don’t have a lot of expectations and are satisfied and happy with what they get. It’s about gathering together, enjoying whatever food and drinks is offered and just enjoying leisure time; no matter how much money you have. The parking guys, traffic helpers and wandering musicians – although they seem to not contribute a lot – get some thousand rupiahs and earn a small income. Friends and social life is very important. If you go somewhere eating on your own, you will mostly be asked where your friends are or if you are alone. This feels a bit awkward – for me and also for the Indonesians. I also loved the place where I am living. Wherever you are you are surrounded by rice fields and most of the mornings I could see the Merapi. Sometimes I saw some buffaloes working on the rice fields. One of my neighbours is an old man always standing on the street watching his 4 sheep. This is real Indonesia and it’s beautiful and welcoming.
I will miss the opportunity of simply travelling through this beautiful country in my holidays. There are a lot of places, like Komodo, Flores, Central and West Sulawesi, Kalimantan on Borneo, the National park and the thousand islands in the West of Jawa…. that I haven’t seen. I hope I can get the opportunity to visit them in the future.
However, there are some things that I am definitely not going to miss. Men call “Hello Miss!” even if they are driving on the scooters with their wife and children – even if your body is fully covered. I got used to the feeling of mostly always having eyes around me watching me but it still feels weird and uncomfortable. Maybe that is an issue that I am facing all over Asia? I will find it out and hope that with more and more white people coming to Asian countries and increasing globalization, this will change.
What’s my plan now? I booked my flight on the 11th in a couple of days to Kalibo in the Philippines. There I will spend 1 month only travelling and surfing. After that, I will go for 1 week to Hong Kong and Macao, and then finally SHANGHAI! I was very busy the last couple of months because I was crazy about getting an internship in Asia. Unfortunately, Singapore closed its borders for students not studying at the 100 world’s best universities. But once I wrote somebody that was on a newspaper picture with somebody that used to work in Shanghai and still knew somebody working there, I got my acceptance within 6 days. And the best is that it is even in my favorite field marketing strategy development, so I can lean back and enjoy my last exams, my scooter, my meetings with my friends, the tasty Ca Kangkung and Soto and Es Jeruk, the tropical rain, the beach, the wandering kitchen with this funny, crazy melody, the geckos, and last but not least the daily calls to prayer. Ahh and my daily mango juice… 😥
4 days before my flight – on Tuesday – a little virus decided that I was the perfect victim to spoil my next months’ plans. Good bye whale sharks and surf board. Skin rash, fever and headache made me a guest of the hospital Panti Rapih in Jogja. After one week and rescheduling my flight to the 23rd, my little virus still found me highly attractive and brought me more fever, as well as stiff body parts. The answer of the doctor in JIH on my question what kind of virus this is: “Well, Indonesia has many viruses and you catched one of them.” Uhh yeah thanks, that really helped a lot.
However, I still could take the flight to Singapore, where I then had a bad food poisoning right after landing. Well, anybody has some bad luck from time to time, so here I am in Singapore trying my best to rescue my holiday. Maybe I can make it to squeeze a little trip to Malaysia or Vietnam. I heard Vietnam has the best Asian food, which sounds pretty sexy after 1 year of fried chicken and rice mostly. We’ll see 🙂