Leaving Indonesia and into Thailand
Nov 22, 2001
Bukit Lawang (cont.)
New years eve 1999 and I'm hanging out with an attractive dutch blonde. I distinctly remember her telling me that the best way to learn a language is to get a local girlfriend while staying in a country. I never hooked up with the blonde, but I did have an Indonesian girlfriend in Bukit Lawang. She cooked, she cleaned, she did my laundry, and she's beautiful. It's very easy to see how many men travel to asia and end up staying. I ended up leaving, but just like the dutch girl told me, I learned an amazing amount of Indonesian in only 10 days.
I heard it was great place - great snorkeling, great diving, no tourists, incredibly cheap. Unfortunately:
Ramadan - I might not be able to eat there
Ramadan 2 - US bombing during Ramadan could potentially mean trouble for me
Mosquitos - Lots
Malaria - Yeah, that too
Monsoon - It's still raining
... but I was still planning on going. A hot hour and a half on the local bus to the port and I find out there is no boat today. My choices are:
Stay at the hot, dirty, boring port town for a day and a half.
Take the bus for a hot hour and a half back to Medan
Use my return ticket for the boat to Malaysia
I have 5 minutes to decide. An hour later I find myself speeding in an air-conditioned boat back towards Malaysia regretting my decision. It's okay though, if I decide to I might return to Palau Weh sometimes after New Years.
I wasn't sure how I would like Thailand after Indonesia. Indonesia was quiet, relaxing and cheap. Thailand is overrun with tourists and getting rapidly more expensive.
Day 4 in Thailand and I'm sitting at a bar on a beach. A beautiful girl is sitting at my side. We're watching a meteor shower - not the little white streak at the top of the sky kind, but the large fireball rushing across the entire sky kind. The meteor shower is interrupted by a loud, funny, slights round and very guy Thai man doing surprisingly good ballet. What a bizarre scene. Yeah, I'm having a good in Thailand.
Now it's about day 8 in Thailand. I've signed up for a dive course. Just finished two days diving in a few feet of sandy water and tomorrow we do our first real dive. Only 2 days into diving and I've already practiced the very hung over dive. It was difficult, but I'm sure that it gets easier with practice.