Tag Archives: ferries

13 Things You’ll Learn Travelling Indonesia

15 Sep Ferry at sunrise in Ampana Port, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

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1: There is a Nadir for In-Vehicle Entertainment
Audio-visual torture of various kinds is an intrinsic part of the South-East Asian travel experience. From bootleg DVDs with subtitles straight out of Finnegans WakeContinue reading

Ramadan in Tarakan

21 Aug Brightly coloured stripey cakes for sale in Borneo.

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Bobby’s minivan has a melodic horn, which intones a three note melody. “It is the only one in Tarakan,” he explains, tootling merrily at a cluster of folk on scooters, every one of them revving for a U-turn on the choked main road.

“In fact,” he says, gesturing expansively at the rusty interior of what, to the untutored eye, looks quite the reverse of a pimped ride, though the seats, to give them their due, have nary a hole. “I am the only one with these customisations to my vehicle. And the only one with this horn.”

“Ah,” I say politely.

“Can you toot the horn again?” asks Z.

He toodles. The chaps on the building site we are passing down tools and wave. The scooters continue to bip-bip, the minivans change lanes at random. Like all the other drivers hooting merrily away, it’s just Bobby’s way of saying hello.

And, imperceptibly to the naked eye, the sun sets, bringing the Ramadan fasting to a close. Continue reading

Welcome to Indonesia!

19 Aug

[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]We left Tawau, the port in north-eastern (Malaysian) Borneo, this morning. For Tarakan, on the Indonesian side of Borneo.

The boat was late. Terminally late. Clearly an hour or more late, rather than a few minutes late.

So I was relaxed when I got off it to buy snacks at the port side, leaving Z perusing 1066 and All That in the cabin.

Rather less relaxed when I turned round, in the throes of making change, to see the boat pulling out to sea. Continue reading

Working as a Waitress in a Cocktail Bar…

7 Apr

We left Marinduque the other morning, the third sailing of the day so crowded that the girls selling arrowroot cookies and purple yam pastillas have to balance on the metal edging the wrong side of the balustrades, that children wriggle between your legs in quest of plastic chairs, that the Pulis struggle to keep order in the queue that circles the sandy roundabout at Balanacan port.

And I think again of Rosalie, our landlady at the guesthouse, and the husband that Klaus believed she killed, whose picture, framed in silver, sits between crucifix and holy water, contemplating you as you move up the stairs. Continue reading