Monday, May 10, 2010

Soaking up some culture

On the ferry to Pulau Samosir the other day, I met three Malaysian guys who work in Indonesia and were on their way to the island for a short weekend trip. We got to chatting and they told me about a Batak performance happening later that night. The Batak are an ethnic group of Northern Sumatra. Since then I've been immersing myself in Batak culture. The performance included singing, dancing, instrument playing, and a little bit of flirting with the crowd. :-) It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I met Stanley, Go, and Jeff because otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone.

I got along so well with the guys that I quickly agreed to go for a bike ride with them the next morning, even though they wanted to meet at the ungodly hour of 8am. The bike ride was very scenic and had me taking notes of where I wanted to go back to later to take more pictures. Architecture in the Batak style is pretty cool, so I knew I had to get some shots of it.

(Stanley, me, and Jeff taking a scenic break from riding.)

Besides taking in the arts, the architecture, and the views, I've also been eating a lot, too. What? Food is part of the culture! Ever since Malaysia I've kind of been getting scared off of chicken. Too often it's more fat and gristle than actual meat and sometimes it's just mystery meat altogether. Luckily, I've found gado-gado, steamed vegetables, a hard boiled egg, peanut sauce, and rice served on the side. I suppose it sounds like an odd combination, but it's really good and I've had it a couple of times now. Fruit juices still rock and my current fav is passion fruit juice.

(Check out those crazy roof lines!)

I'm not exactly sure how I'll fill my day tomorrow. I have a 5pm bus ticket to Bukittinggi and although the ferry back to the mainland is only one hour long, I'll probably take the 2pm one. I've been advised that although the ferry is supposed to be hourly until about 6pm, there often isn't one after 2pm if there aren't enough people to ride. The bus should take about 15 hours; I'm out of practice with super long rides like that, so hopefully all will go well.
* * * * *

By the way, in case anyone heard on the news, yes, there was an earthquake in Northern Sumatra. And yes, I happen to be in Northern Sumatra, but no, I haven't been affected at all. Apparently a couple of people at my guesthouse felt tiny little rumbles, but I didn't even feel that and actually didn't know about the earthquake until I heard them talking. Take a look here if you're interested in more details.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad it wasn't bad where you were, but be
    careful of any after shocks sometimes they can be worse than the actual quake.

    Be safe and I love you!