Laughter is the best medicine
Indonesia Travel Blog› entry 14 of 23 › view all entries
Here are some of the humorous things I've experienced so far in Indonesia;
1. I was planning with my corporate class on what to do on our last day and pushed for a 'potluck' to go easy on everyone's budget. As I was stressing on this all I got were blank stares. Obviously I had to explain what it meant.
2. On our last day in my corporate class, we had a funny face shot, turns out again, I had to explain. Only I looked ridiculous in the shot. And I am the teacher.
3. In the numerous walks around the neighborhood I've had with my former host we've come across several interesting sights:
a. A hole on the road is best remedied by plugging in a pot of plant and a broom stick. Better safe than sorry.
b. We see 4 huge fists about 3 feet in height, attached as an accessory to a house's gate columns. Best way to show you have money eh?
4. In public transport:
a. I take the open aired bus which is the best mode of transport for most of my work-home routes and the bus I am on is half full with passengers. We pass by a bus on the same line who asks for help from the driver as his motor refuses to start. The solution? Our bus pushes the other bus on the bumper as it moves a bit to no avail. We do it a second time reminding me of the bump cars at a carnival, and the motor sputters to life and the bus happily runs off. Interesting?
b. The ojeks or motorbikes are convenient for heavy traffic and as I take one of them on my 2nd week, I am lucky to be given a helmet. This helmet though is not secure as usual as the tie is loose. As we speed over the highway it flies off in the middle of the road. We stop and a pedestrian nicely gets it and hands it over. What is kindness?
c. What I find as a good way to unwind but can be irritating half the time are the various artists that clamber up the public transport, angkots or buses and sing the local tunes coupled with their musical instruments most of the time. I've had favorite local songs because of this exposure, it's better than getting a radio. The best I've seen so far, are the groups that would have a small brass drumset that they can bring with one arm, and once...a poetry reading episode! This I deduced from the way he delivered his lines with that dramatic air hence was obviously not singing.
d. I still crazily get lost in busway stops and streets no matter how confident I am with the number of times I have been in the area. As the transport tries a new route, I am a poor dog who gets disoriented in a fire.
e. On my train to Yogyakarta, the business class day trip is flooded with vendors and beggars. The saddest if not the funniest was a pyramid with an eye object thrown at me supposedly for good luck, and the winner was the beggar who supposedly had amputated legs moving fast on his skateboard through the corridors as he asks for alms. How convenient.
f. Me and my partner took a train to and fro a place outside the city. On the way back in the evening, the train was getting off at a different stop. As we tried to look for signs, we found out that the stops barely had any, none of the areas seemed recognizable at that time of the day, and none of the operators were shouting out what stop it was. Talk about wanting to get lost!!
g. Getting out from the same train on the previous bullet, I immediately had to find the toilet for relief. I came across one of the nicest inventions, the toilet door lock was composed of a spoon tied to a string.
5. As I fabulously use my only pair of heels at my 4th host's residence, I realize it wasn't so smart as the roads are uphill and downhill filled with potholes. I wasn't surprised to see my heel broken in less than 4 hours.
6. I tried to cut down cost on my first trip to Singapore to renew my visa. As I smartly get left behind by the plane, I end up buying a one way ticket that cost more than my budget return tickets.
7. My 3rd class were amusingly composed of very interesting names: Subari, Suradi, Supoyo, and Suhartin. Anything complicated there?
8. With the opposite sex:
a. As I sputter sand and saltwater after being tossed a few times by the unfriendly waves in Pulau Manu beach, a dashing guy has his arm out for me to shake coupled with an introduction.
b. Sunbathing in a virgin beach by yourself is highly therapeutic, the only thing thing that can break your reverie though would be an ojek driver approaching you asking 'Ba (Ms.), ba, Ojek?' to translate, asking if you want a motor ride back to wherever you came from. Persistent marketing.
c. Once, I came into a new class for the second time. As I wait for my students who are terribly late, a geeky looking guy with his polo shirt tucked in his high waisted slacks comes into my room. Introduces himself with a handshake and is barely able to say anything decent. After my one way line of friendly questioning, I conclude that he is a student from another class, cannot speak english well, and saw me through the window. The rest is a mystery as he embarassingly steps out as my students burst in. Go figure!
9. Taking one of our numerous walks, me and my partner saw a tiny (British stle) of mini car, which was filled to overflowing with over 10 little kids and adults, breezing through. I bet the car was crying in silence. What is family planning?:p