2 February 1999
Gili Trawangan, Indonesia


Indonesia, a different world. A land of oceans and islands, vulcanos, sawas, jungle and palmtrees. Very persistent salesmen that sell you anything for dirt cheap prices.
Big differences to our world, like the economy and the millions of people that live in poverty, little kids begging for money even in the middle of the night. The climate, the food, the culture, the arts, the music, the religions, the dance, the 'speed of life'. Don't expect our western world's efficiency, don't expect that bus to run on time, nor expect it to take the shortest route, but eventually you'll get there.
Friendliness of the people, even if they're not going to make money on you. But also: corrupcy, people that try to rip you off in any way they can. Different tourist facilities - no more backpacker hostels with bunk rooms, but your own cottage for 2 dollars a night. Don't expect European standards here either. All kinds of insects, mosquitos, flies, spiders, and ants everywhere. The occasional bedbug or cockroach. Gekkos (little lizards) on your walls and ceiling. They're more than welcome though, they just eat the mosquitos. Get vaccinations for a number of diseases, take malaria tables and NEVER drink tapwater. No toilet paper in leaking toilets that sometimes do not flush anymore.
Delicious Indonesian food but try not to think of what the kitchen looks like. Getting sick, sooner or later.
The little differences: Monkeys staring at you from the side of the road. Street cats meowing for leftovers at your table in the restaurant. Being served from breakfast to dinner, still living cheap. Never being cold. Diving in blue oceans full of fish and coral.
For me personally: leaving a job, family and friends behind and being traveling again. Speaking english all day. Meeting people, making new friends. So many new experiences, taking life day by day. Time to enjoy, time to write letters and time to think about life.

It is different - sometimes annoying, sometimes disturbing, making you feel bad about having so much money to spend. But most of the time: beautiful and an amazing new experience. Indonesia... such a different world.


Kuta, 25 January 1999
Sengigi, 13 February 1999
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