David Truman's Home Page
  Indonesia
 
I've visited Indonesia three times, in
* 1987 (Bali),

*2002 (Java, including Yogyakarta and the World Heritage sites of Borobudur and Prambanan on eaither side of Yogya, and the town of Parangtritis on the coast south of Yogya), and

*2008 (Jakarta, Bogor, Puncak, Bandung and Lembang).


The tropical heat can be quite uncomfortable, but Borobudur and Prambanan are absolutely stunning.

Montage of me at Prambanan, north-east of Yogyakarta in Central Java

On my most recent trip, in 2008, I was escorted around by Han and his cousin Wisnu.

 
 
Han and Wisnu outside the Presidential palace and enclosing park in Bogor



Street scene in Bogor:  Han and Wisnu next to a kaki-lima (pushcart for selling particular types of food).  The term kaki-lima is a shorthand word formed by taking the first two letters of each word in the phrase kanan kiri lintas manusia, meaning 'the people passing by on the left and right', those to whom the kaki-lima sell.  So now you know!

People are fascinating to watch, and I found them everywhere unfailingly friendly.  Curious to know where I came from, and very appreciative - and surprised - when I could speak to them in Indonesian (not brilliant, but generally enough to get by).
Small market in Bogor
 


There's some culture shock for westerners in Indonesian traffic and the attitude of Indonesians to road rules (WHAT rules?) including ideas about overloading, seat belts (WHAT seat belts?) and so on....

Small truck or ute carrying at least eleven people!  In Bandung.

in Bandung we visited an Indonesian handicrafts and cultural centre.  Here I am ...
... with some Wayang Golek puppets

At Lembang, a bit higher than Bandung, we stayed at a hotel next to a hot springs resort, which was very popular during our visit as it was Lebaran (Idul Fitri), the major festival immediately after the end of Ramadan, and the Muslim social equivalent of Christmas.

I had a good time observing smiling and laughing children and parents enjoying themselves in the pools and waterfalls at Lembang.

One of the most trying things I find with travelling in developing countries, and also some that are not so poor, such as Turkey and Russia, is the shocking prevalence of smoking.   I was immensely gratified to see that the Indonesian government is showing leadership in trying to wean people (especially men - it's generally the men) off smoking.   The major highways, and also streets of Jakarta, have a fair sprinkling of anti-smoking billboards.   Hurrah!



The billboard reads "A MAN HAS TASTE".  And the subscript says "Smoking can cause cancer, impotence and pregnancy complications."  

 
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