Thursday, March 29, 2007

Batam

Hello everyone,

My apologies for not blogging during the last few weeks. I blame it on the high price of internet usage in Hong Kong and Singapore. Austin, as you all probably know, returned from China alive and flew into Singapore at around midnight on the 27th.

Austin and I finally made it to Batam Island, right off the coast of Singapore. It is part of Indonesia and we were able to get our 30 day visa on arrival. Austin was sure to read over his visa thoroughly. Our lovely host Ted, Mrs. van Leeuwen's daughter-in-law, met us in Singapore and took us on the ferry to Batam. Ted's husband Roel will be arriving from Singapore on the 30th. For all those who don't know, Mrs. van Leeuwen is Sonja van Eijk's mother. For all those who don't know Sonja van Eijk, I feel terribly sorry for you. Sonja is one of the sweetest human beings on Earth, along with her mother.

Upon reaching their home in Batam, we were greeted with a glowing smile and a big hug. Afterwards we sat down for some delicious Indonesian tea and tried to remember the last time we had seen each other. That night Austin and I slept soundly and comfortably in their air conditioned guest room.

Today we went into town to get clothes more appropriate for the climate. The stores were stocked with great clothes for great prices. For about $10 CAN I picked up some nice shorts and a t-shirt. I also lopped off the majority of my hair at the barber for a whopping $2 CAN. It's great to be back in budget travel territory. We were also treated to a sumptuous meal of Nasi Goreng and Chicken Sate.

For now we are relaxing and trying to figure out the next leg of our trip. Our options are Sumatra, with dense forests and friendly people, or Sulawesi, with tropical islands and fundamentalist violence between Christians and Muslims. If anyone knows anything about these locales, we would love to hear your thoughts. We can't decide where to go. They are both so appealing but we only have a visa for 30 days....

Will

3 comments:

Mike S. said...

Hey Meng,

So since have been to Indonesia very recently I suppose I could lend some helpful advice. First off, though, I must say I am glad to see this blog, as I have been wondering what happened to you and of course, I have been forced to bug your sister for information. Anyway... as for what I know you will run into muslims everywhere, that tend not to be to favorable to Christians regardless, but they will mostly see you as just white people that smoke, drink and have sex (you can blame television and movies for the pregedis) so I wouldnt worry to much about Sulawesi if that's the only reason holding you back. But I would definately suggest going to Sumatra, esspecially the island of Neaus. It is actually a rarity in Indonesia as it is mainly Christian and I know people who have been there and say it is one of the most beautiful places in the world! Also if you are up for givng surfing a try, over coral reef, this island has the best right hand break in the world. Anyway Indonesia sure is a great country and you will continue to find cheap goods and services along the way. Hope your travels continue to be amazing.

- Mike

Nathan said...

Will give me the breakdown of the cost of beer in each country.

Carla said...

I thought you might have been abducted for a while, there, with such a long gap between posts!
I can't really give you any feedback on either location, considering that I've never even heard of Sulawesi.

However odd it may sound, did you get all your immunizations before heading out, or do you get them as you decide where to head next?

Hmph! I can't believe not ONE of your family made it to my b-day/grad thing today! I have to disown you, now.

Anyway, glad you're still enjoying yourself. You trusted a barber that works for two bucks a cut?