Tag Archives: tarakan

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

Walking Fish & Long-Nosed Monkeys

20 Aug

Orange, long nosed proboscis monkeys sit high in the mangroves. Tarakan, Indonesian Borneo.[tweetmeme source=”@mummy_t” only_single=false]We were in two minds about whether to stay in Tarakan, Indonesian Borneo, today. But I’m extremely glad we did.

Because 300 metres down the road from our hotel is a little mangrove sanctuary. Home to two weird and wonderful creatures. Proboscis monkeys, and walking fish.

Ever seen a fish walk?! Us neither. For video, read on. 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