Well, I got to Batam, got my flight (and into a heated argument with a queue-jumper) and got to Pekanbaru ok.
I’ve been stuffed with rice, tofu (they call it tahu here), tempeh and sambal until I felt nine months pregnant with triplets and learnt how to use a mandi (a squat toilet with attached water tank which is somehow a bit nicer than a south indian equivalent, mainly because you can shelter behind the tank when ‘flushing’ the toilet and so avoid splashing yourself with unmentionables).
I spent a day shopping in and seeing around Pekanbaru, then was taken by Adriani’s brother to his logging kampung in Siak area of Riau province: I’ve spent three days there, thinking that text messages were getting out but no, apparently not.
Yesterday we got by bashed-up rental car, minibus and motorbike via Kerinci (not the famous Kerinci but another one) to Pekanbaru, then around 5am this morning to BatuSangkar where Nova’s wife and daughter live. The nearest big town is Padang, in West Sumatra. Just now I’m in a cybercafe in Bukitinggi, also in West Sumatra.
The plan is as follows:
- 13th. stay in Batu Sangkar, go swimming and clothes-washing in a lake
- 14th. go to Padang, eat padang-style tofu there
- 15th. depart Padang, go back to Pekanbaru
- 16th. depart Pekanbaru, go to Palembang
- 17th. watch independence day boat races in Palembang
- 18th. depart Palembang, go to Medan. Use Medan as a base to visit danua Toba and Bukit Lawang
- 24th. final night in Medan
- 25th. fly from Medan to Singapore and thence to Kolkatta
- 26th. slump in Kolkatta airport and make sure I check in OK
- 27th. fly from Kolkatta to Mumbai and thence to Heathrow.
Of course, I’m sure it will go wrong somewhere and that the latestest security thingies will land me in deep shit. So look out for blog entries entitled got those old kozmik-incarceration-with-a-kris-up-my-arse blues again mama