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FOOTPATH FAILS, BUMPING INTO PEOPLE & INDONESIAN TV

INDONESIA | Thursday, 14 August 2014 | Views [298]

Day 14.  MEDAN.  Ate a spicy rice breakfast at our hotel, Hotel Ibunda because that’s just what you do here in Indonesia.  We had a short walk to a nearby plaza, treading very carefully on the footpaths.  There was one ‘hole’ the size of a usual square of footpath with a six foot drop into the drain below.

We went to Kuala Namu international airport to wave Dan off as he is heading home to Melbourne, Australia.  While we were there we bumped into Raikhan who we had met in Tangkahan, the small village 5 hours from here.  He’s flying to Malaysia for one night and then returning because that’s what you have to do to renew your 30 day tourist visa.

We said our goodbyes to Dan, who said he had loved his 40th birthday present from us – a trip to Indonesia – and waved him off.  Dave and I headed downstairs to find a taxi and we bumped into Retno & Alex – also from Tangkahan.  What a reunion!  We all hugged and laughed and took photos and shared news.  What a coincidence!  Bumping into three people in Medan, a city which is the 3rd largest city in Indonesia, the 4th largest city or the 5th largest city with a population of 2 to 3 million people depending on which site you read on the internet…  Amazing!  It’s still a small, small world…

Dave and I went to Merdeka Walk for dinner – a collection of al fresco cafes and restaurants, although I’m still off my food.  We saw 8 other bules (Westerners).  It’s quite weird to see a Caucasian when you haven’t seen one for a while and you tend to have a good look at them just like the Sumatrans do to us!

Had our 3rd shower for the day back at the hotel.  It was 31 degrees today and the humidity was somewhere between 55 and 96% (the average for August in Medan).  Hot and sticky pretty much sums it up.

We watched some TV in our room.  Hatim is an Indian series and it has Indonesian dubbing.  It was hilarious.  Hatim is a prince who has to defeat an evil sorcerer.  The over-acting is fabulous!  I picked up a few new Indonesian words from watching it and we noticed that in the advertising, censorship has knives and cleavage blurred out.  Yet in one ad break there were 5 – wait 5 – cigarette ads.  And the most emotional, heart wrenching, coming of age advertisement was for Indo Mie noodles.  Gotta love marketing.

Tags: advertising, airport, bule, cigarettes, footpath, indo mie, kuala namu, medan, sumatra, tv

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