Thursday, August 18, 2005

 

Slinging to Singapore

Crossing the border Saturday into Singapore. I will take a 24-hour boat trip from Java up to Palau Batam, then a quick ferry to Singapore. I have "met" a NY woman on the travel boards who will be in the city when I am, so I will have a travel friend after 11 days of being alone. Looking forward to some English!

I have spent most of my time in Jakarta in traffic, to tell the truth. The buses are super crowded and probably not real smart way for a gal to get around, so I have opted for cabs the last couple of days. Had a minor problem chasing down my ticket to Singapore, but everything is ready to go now. Lots of driving around getting to the correct ticket agent.

The last three days have been the hottest yet for this trip. Might be all the tall buildings, concrete and cars here generating a higher temperature. No appetite to eat anything hot, so I have been drinking cans of this soda called "Pocari Sweat." It's kind of like Gatorade and doesn't taste sweaty at all.

Hey, I got asked on a date by an Indonesian man yesterday. I laughed and then felt bad because I thought he was joking, but he wasn't. I had been people-watching on a bench and we started chatting. He was clean and didn't try to sell me a tour so I was glad for the conversation. Unfortunately, I will be in another country by the time he gets a day off next week, but it was real nice of him to ask.

Tried to go to Indonesia's national museum today. On the walk over there, I was stopped by a policeman and asked to stand still while the president's motorcade passed. Pretty cool to run into the ol' president while I am here. I waved at his extra-fancy Mercedes. I was pleased with that turn of events until I reached the museum on the next block. Apparently the prez had some kind of engagement at the museum and it was closed to the public for the day. I asked if they might make an exception for a grimy backpacker from Canada, but I was told to leave. The president' security dudes wear spats! That didn't enhance their toughness at all. I fantasized that they would rip off their arm bands and break into a production number of "Puttin' on the Ritz" by Taco, but it didn't happen. I miss the Eighties every day of my life.

Here are some funny names of stores I have passed:
1. Camel Active (for the shepherd who likes to stay fit)
2. Women's Secret (will somebody please tell me? I was never told.)
3. Gosh. That's it. Just Gosh.
4. Haleluya. This was a Christian book store, no joke.
5. Bread Talk. Come in here, honey. Take a slice and let's get talking!

A lot of the people on motorbikes wear bandanas around their mouths and noses because of all the exhaust. It's like traveling among a huge pack of motorbike bandits.

Comments:
Amy,
Wow, I can't believe all of your experiences so far! I love your news it's like traveling with you! Hopefully you can find a single man traveling alone soon instead of a woman.
Connie G.
 
Amy- Everything sounds so great. I love getting your updates. Hope the weather gets better for you. A friend of mine travels a lot over there and never had any problems being a gangly american, but do what makes you feel safe. check out jasonkester.com if you want to see some of his adventures.
Stacey
 
Actually if you want to stay in Singapore until the 13th of Sept Jeff will be there :).
Stacey
 
nice..a travel buddy...
 
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