Right my taxi arrives at 8.30am and i'm feeling slightly uneasy this morning. Getting the ferry to Dumai wasn't in my original plan as the town doesn't have a good reputation and there isn't really much there as it's a main oil port, but I have to go as it's the only way of entering Sumatra if you don't already have a visa. So I make my way to the ferry stand and sit down with a tea and wait. A lady joins me at the table and can speak a little English and we have a chat before boarding the boat. We sit together the whole journey and she says i'm more than welcome to stay with her the night as she has a house in Dumai with her son and she is driving the next day to where I would be traveling too. Although this was a kind offer I was a little worried as I didn't really know the women but after a little more talk and realizing that it was probably my best option I agreed.
When we arrived at immigration she seemed to know a lot of people so my visa was sorted very quickly and we set off to her house. On the way she told me that she also owns a café/club where she has singers every month come to work for her and stay at her six bed house. At this point I was wondering what the hell I had got myself into and what sort of place she was running and s***, did I have to pay my way by singing or god knows worse. We arrived at her house and I was greeted by three young pretty women who where this months singers… feeling quite nervous now I entered as I had no choice. Anyway we sat down while her maid made us some food and the girls all talked about me which I couldn't understand. After a while I really felt at home and the lady who I had met Wenny was great and happy for me to be there. She told me that she has had many people stay who are traveling as she has plenty of room and I think maybe she gets a little lonely as she is a single mum and on her own. In the afternoon she had to pop out for a council meeting as she is planning on running in the next elections and i'm told to make myself at home until she gets back. I spend the next three hours trying to communicate with the three girls, which was quite hard but fun and we spent most of the time laughing at each other.
Wenny arrives back and says she is popping to the café later that night to check on the place and see how the girls are getting on and that i'm welcome to join her. Of course being her guest and looking forward to being with a local family and their way of life I accept and after a shower and change we head to the café. Now this place is in the middle of nowhere and again I start to feel slightly sick at the thought of arriving somewhere I don't want to be… but the place is basically somewhere to hang out and listen to some pretty bad karaoke. After 4 hours of dodgy indo/English versions of shakira and queen we head back to the house where I crash out straight away.
The next day we wake at 8am to leave for Pekanbaru at 9am. We have breakfast and talk some more and after spending just one day with this lady I have decided that she is extremely strong. She is a single mum with no help from her husband raising 2 kids, a business, 2 houses and all the local pressure of being a single mum which this isn't the norm and she still has the time to adopt me for 2 days and not want anything in return. Just before we leave she come out from the bedroom with a gift for me and my mum and says hopefully one day we will get to meet. After all that she is doing for me and then giving me gifts I couldn't believe how welcoming this lady was… people would never do things like this in London.
We drive for 5 hours and reach our next destination. Wenny is in town as her daughter lives here in her other house until her young boy is finished school in Dumai. I insist on her letting me take them both out for dinner later as it's the least I can do to say thank you. We agree a time and head out later that night. We sit and chat over dinner for hours and then I head back to my hotel for some rest before I head out to Bukittinggi the next day by bus. I say bye to Wenny and her daughter and say if she is ever in the UK then she knows who to call. I went from being nervous to spending 2 days with an amazing lady and her family and made a real friend.