"One Day Rodney, We'll be Millionaires..."
Dumai Travel Blog› entry 50 of 115 › view all entries
As the ferry crawled the final distance into the dock in
Dumai I checked out of the window to see what kind of place Iâ€™d pitched up in
this time. I was greeted by sprawling industrial docklands dotted with spindly
chimneys belching out flame and black smoke. It was a scene reminiscent of
those news pictures, ubiquitous in gulf war TV coverage, of burning oilfields
There was another tourist on board, a lanky English guy
named Alex, 19 and headed for University in
Anyway, as the only two whiteys on board we decided to negotiate immigration together. Jumping off the ferry we dodged through hordes of diminutive dockside locals hawking, loading, unloading, shoving, shouting and generally making a fine impression of being very busy indeed. Being the final passengers off the boat we ended up at the back of a lengthy queue waiting to conduct immigration formalities.
However, after only a minute or so, a policeman appeared, spotted us and shouted â€śVisa?â€ť We nodded our affirmation and he led us past the lengthy queue of Indonesians and Malays to pay for our Visas in a separate office. This preferential treatment for Western tourists at border crossings always makes me feel a little guilty, but then what am I going to do? Tell the border police trying to help me that Iâ€™d rather wait in line for hours? I think not.
Thereâ€™s a lot of conflicting information floating around
about visas for
With no map of Dumai (take note Lonely Planet) and no real alternative, Alex and I placed ourselves into the hands of a tout who had continually hassled us throughout the visa process. He took us to a place to buy bus tickets, probably earning himself a healthy commission at our expense. However as we were immediate millionaires in Indonesian Rupia (18,000 to the UK Pound - woo!) we weren't too fussed. Dumai isnâ€™t pretty, but then itâ€™s a busy oil port, it isnâ€™t meant to be. After only a few hours, a meal and a swift mooch around the dusty, uneven city streets, we boarded a bus to the Western town of Bukitinggi, glad to be moving, and with yet another new country to explore.