Indonesia reflectionsFebruary 21 in Indonesia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C
On my penultimate day in Indonesia and whilst lying on a sun lounger by the largest volcanic lake in the world I thought I’d wrote down some reflections on my time in Indonesia. Nothing too deep just some snippets of what I’ve learnt, observed and experienced. Mainly because as I’m now in my 30s my memory is terrible and I’ll probably forget all of this is a month:
- Indonesians are so friendly! Especially once you get off Bali it too a whole to adjust to the fact that most people just want to chat and be friendly with you, and aren’t trying to get money off you. The number of people I have had just help me out with directions, translation, advice is too many to count. Lots just want to practice their English too, which on the whole is very good across the country.
- They are also very happy you have visited their country. I got the feeling on a lot of the islands that they don’t quite understand the western obsession with Bali and want more people to see other parts of Indonesia- which I agree is very worth it!
- There is seemingly little organisation to anything, but yet everything works! Similar to a lot of south east Asia really, but they can sort anything out with a few quick phone calls.
- It is still a pretty male dominated society; they remain surprised at a solo female traveller and on some cases feel more comfortable addressing men when we’ve been on mixed groups. The women very much are responsible for the domestic life but I have seen signs of that changing such as the lovely student who showed me round the water palace in Yogyakarta
- Religion is pretty prevalent here- outside of Bali it is largely Muslim and I will not miss the 4.30am call to prayer. In lots of places (flores, Sumatra) there are multiple religions all living alongside each other and it appears a very tolerant society. whilst lots of the women wear headscarves, they are often brightly coloured which seems a lot of friendly in a way!
- It’s been interesting talking to Indonesians about travel, often when they ask where I am from we have a conversation about London and the UK (largely about football!) and I will sometimes ask if they have been. Occasionally they have travelled, I’ve met some who have studied in the US or Europe but most likely is that they haven’t. It’s just too expensive for them- if you think about how cheap it is for us then in reverse it would be so expensive just to eat in the UK never mind the flight etc. I feel a sense of sadness/unfairness from some, why do Europeans get to travel so easily and so often when it is simply out of reach for them to even travel in Asia!?
- It’s huge! This is the longest I have spent (I think) in one country in one go outside of the UK (and I suppose Germany when I was born..) but you could honestly spend another few months exploring all the other islands and regions! On the list is Sulawesi, Raja Ampat, Borneo and Maluku. It’s a vast country with so many islands and so many nuances between each region.
- There are volcanoes everywhere. They just pop up everywhere you go. Some loo me like picture perfect volcanos, others are a bit more rough and ready but they are everywhere!
overall it has been amazing, I’m sad to leave but also looking forward to being in more of an international city like KL and then back to beach, diving and hanging with Fran, Holly and George in Thailand!
I have too many pictures to pick 6 highlights but
I’ve tried!!Read more