Category Archives: Indonesia

Which Yogyakarta beach is your favourite?

Secret beach, where ‘bule’ never come to visit. Fishermen beach.  Their small blue boats, fortified with bamboo construction, stand in a row in front of the wavy Indian ocean. Fisherman use the bamboo structure for pushing them into the water, and pulling them out again when the day of a hard work is over.

In the arms of a tiny bay, rocks are covered with green and dun algs. Continue reading Which Yogyakarta beach is your favourite?

3 days bus trip

The bus smells of sweat and cigarette smoke. Two minutes into the trip and driver already puts a crazy loud music on. I cannot hear anything now. The base is crushing my ears. There is just one thought in my mind- somebody turn off this music please! He will turn it down in a moment, I think to myself. It is surely impossible that passangers could go on like this, it is just one song he likes, for sure. Few minutes have passed and it continues. Nobody reacts. Young Indonesian boy sitting next to me is travelling from Medan to Jakarta. He does not know how to ask the driver to turn the music down. Finally I stand up and shout at the top of my lungs, trying to be lauder than this mad noise- ‘Turn the music down! Turn it down! …Please’. At the same time I am holding with one hand to the sit in front of me and pointing at the speaker with the other, trying not to bump my head against the low ceilling. Some people join me in my screams and he gets it. ‘Tirima kasih!’ Now I can hear the guy burping repeatedly in the back. My neighbour is asking me something. ‘Miss, you married?’

Continue reading 3 days bus trip

Hitch- hiking in Sumatra

Hitch- hiking in Indonesia is challenging.  Without basic knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia it is almost impossible. Turning down buses, taxis and mini vans. Then explaining the idea of hitch-hiking to Indonesian drivers, and then again trying to teach them how it works for free. Anyway, we did it. Me and my two great Polish travel companions. We hitch- hiked through the jungles, mountains, crazy villiges and busy cities. We searched for a  places to sleep in the middle of the night, relyed on the kindness of strangers, faced the incredibles adventures, crashed weddings, trusted in unknown and in a world to treat us well. Thank you girls to be my travel friends and thanks to all amazing Indonesian people who helped us on our way across Sumatra.

Berastagi- we conquer the volcano!

I get to Berastagi, I am surprised- ‘Why does this town look so white? Is there something wrong with my eyes?’  There is nothing wrong with my sight, the whole area is covered with light grey, thick vulcanic dust. Sinabung eruption took place in June this year, but still a great amount of dust is emited. I am going to climb Sibayak- a second volcano in the area. The air is much colder than in Medan. There is a cool wind, carrying the volcanic powder in the air. The place looks almost mistical. The silent mountain watches over the town. Kids are coming back from school. I pass few groups of smiley children, few of them wearing face masks. Everybody stares at my big backpack. I am making my way to the bottom of mountain Sibayak. Continue reading Berastagi- we conquer the volcano!

Old Chinese Mansion

Old Chinese mansion offers a refuge from busy streets of Medan. It is aged and spacious. It has tall painted ceillings, decorated with crystal chandeliers. Antic wooden parts of a mansion- bedroom furniture, paravan in a court yard, second storey floors- are the most spactacular ones. Windows just let the perfect amount of warm afternoon light in, to keep it bright enough, and breezy at the same time. I am almost alone when walking this vast labirinth of chambers. It is relaxing to wander around these aged wooden hallways. Long dining room table is sat with Chinese porcelain. Small crystal glasses in an office seem to be waiting to be filled with refreshing  green tea. And at moments, looking at my reflexion in long mirrors hanging in every room, it becomes so easy to imagine living here.

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Great Mosque of Medan

My favourite escape place from the heat and noise of Medan, is the Great Mosque of Medan. Built in Moroccan style during the Dutch East Indies era, has its own tranquil feel, characteristic for old temples. Inside, there is a calm pieceful silence. As soon as I step into the round prayer hall, I forget about curious stares and insistent (although always friendly) cries ‘Halo Miss!’. After cooling rinse in a washroom, soft red carpet feels so pleasant below my feet. I fall asleep underneeth the quiet fans and heavy chandeliers. The ornamented ceilling becomes more and more blurry. One of the praying women smiles to me politely and wisperes ‘Assalam Aleikum’. ‘Uaaleikum salam’ – ‘peace may be with you’ I reply and smile back. All the sounds of the street outside fade away. I close my eyes and fall back to my peacefull sleep..

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