Sunday, September 6, 2009

Getting Out

After about 8 days in crowded, polluted cities with no sidewalks, it was time to get out. I have a couple friends from school in Indonesia, and one of them invited me to her parents' house about 40 minutes outside of Bandung in a town called Purwakarta. Since it's Ramadhan her family's drivers couldn't come pick us up, but two other ETAs and I decided to public transport ourselves out there, and I'm VERY glad we did.

After talking to my friend and the hotel stuff we had a rough idea of where we were going. After breakfast on the hotel terrace this morning, we ended up taking a taxi to the bus station, and were happily surprised when the buses were Greyhound look-alikes. However, when we found our bus it definitely had more of a 'I've been around,' bombed out appeal. We couldn't complain though because one tour of the city and a very fast trip up the mountains later, we were in Purwakarta. The town, although apparently pretty large, is much less developed than anything we had ever seen and we definitely stood out. We ended up hailing a mini-bus type shuttle with a bunch of Indonesians already in it and taking it to Indorama, the gated community where my friend lives. She told us to ask for Mr. Kapoor's house once we got into the taxi and somehow it worked and we made it. As I am writing this I realize I am making this seem a lot easier than it was. Our lack of Indonesian and the absence of English speakers definitely added some road blocks throughout our trip.

To condense the day a little bit, I will just say that we had an amazing Indian-style late breakfast in my friend's house - an absolutely beautiful villa. Her father runs the textile factory in the community so his house is provide for him and it overlooks a large man-made lake that actually provides most of Jakarta's electricity through a dam. Since my friend and her family had to leave in the late afternoon to go back to Jakarta she took us down to the lake where we rented a questionably seaworthy boat for a half hour. We rode all around the lake and saw this crazy fishing village built right into the lake with stilts and barrels supporting the houses. Our boat driver even stopped at one of the restaurants, though since it looked like it was about to sink AND no one was eating since it's Ramadhan we had to pass. After the boat ride we went back to the house, ate some fruit and veggies and decided to come back to the city. On the bus ride back we noticed that a bunch of Indonesians had drinks in their hands that they all opened right as the sun was setting. Not eating or drinking in this heat because of Ramadhan is pretty unimaginable for us; we drink about 10-12 bottles of water a day. I guess we'll have to get used to the heat...

Anyway, tomorrow is the start of language classes. I'll keep you posted!


1 comment:

  1. Very informative and descriptive. Learning a lot about the nation and its people.