Monday, February 28, 2011

KALAWEIT, Indonesia - 24 Dec 2009 - PM

The tour was a minibus with four other people, 2 Iranian couples, the tour guide, a Jakarta local, who later proved he spoke some Japanese too and the driver.

We drove for about an hour on the 'Golden Jakarta' tour. The Tamin centre is a huge area of treats for the tourist. It shows examples of each type of house from the main provinces in Indonesia. Some of the houses were very simple indeed, like the Timor huts. I the Timor section, there was a Dayak member. For 5000 Rupiah, I got my photo with him. I guess he needs his money too!

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It was great moment because, at that time, a huge group of school kids had filled the courtyard. They were staring at me with a pleasant curiosity during my photo shoot and after, we all took a photo together. They were cute - 'hello, my name is..' and 'My name is... . Nice to meet you.' Cute.
Next up, the gondola! Actually, I had no idea that this was included and I really should have checked but, before I knew it, I was in and on my way! The Fear sunk in very quickly, but thankfully, very briefly and soon enough i could enjoy the views of all the houses from up above and even some sort of Disneyland imitation palace, nice.

An added bonus to the day was the Komodo dragon 'museum' / enclosure. We got the chance to sit next to this seemingly docile creature. As much as I love most reptiles, I still got a bit freaked out by this monster. In all fairness, I had just seen a snake not long before that, bbbrrrrrrrrr. Shivers down the spine. I prodded him, just to be able to say that I touched him, but I couldn't bring myself to pick him up like some of the others did. Maybe 20 years ago...!

On the same note, it doesn't help to hear that there has been a python attack at camp in Borneo.

The dragon was awesome - so big, with a long, thin, silvery tongue, that darted in and out super quick as he was pushed by his keeper to get into a more 'photogenic' pose.

Then there were the Iguanas, amazing iguanas, sleeping away...and turtles, being all cute and turtle-like, and then...three crocodiles. They are are crazy creatures, so seemingly tame and docile, yet the ones I have been reading about in Borneo are not so - no dipping in the river for me!

A few things to note here in Jakarta, are the roads, the traffic and the people. I do not think I have ever seen so many mopeds / motorbikes and I haven't ever seen so many people on them either! So far, 2 adults and 2 kids was the worst, but that will change, no doubt. when they line up at the lights, you can easily count 20 or 30, or probably even more!

And the street sellers. One guy was selling newspapers, this seemed reasonable, it was around 5pm, made sense. Another guy was selling inflatable penguins (!), another was desperately trying to flog an atlas to one of my travelling companions!! My giggles were soon interrupted when I saw a one-armed, half-blind man, at the window, completely freaking me out. Then I saw a young girl begging for change from the car next door. Too sad.

All in all, it was an amazing day in Jakarta. Once the fear had subsided, there was plenty of fun to be had. I am so please to be doing this now and am rolling with it! Bring it on, I say!!

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