Ahh, a TV in the car on the drive from Labuanbajo to Bajawa. What did we watch? A Britney Spears music video marathon. Now that's a lot of music videos. I realize how popular she has been over the past decade. It lasted the whole drive. Christian, the man next to me turns and says, "This Britney Spears is famous everywhere, no?" "Yes, Christian, she is very famous." We drive past rice terraces, palm plantations, smoky villages and volcanoes. Flores is stunningly beautiful.
Indonesians smoke like chimneys. It's disgusting. All the men smoke, everywhere, all the time.
In Moni, I went for a jalan-jalan (walk) through some villages. I met a family and the woman picked off a few kilos of passion fruit for me from their tree. Some schoolchildren talked to me in Indonesian as we walked along the path outside of Moni. It was a perfect sunny day. The World Cup final was that night, at 230am in the morning. It was interesting to see how excited the men got for every play, every pass, everything about the game. It was probably because they gambled on the game and were very drunk.
Traveling by public transportation in Indonesia is a little like torture, but without the nice ending of death. I'm the only stupid foreigner who actually bought a ticket to this suffering marathon of a 40 hour ferry ride to Sulawesi. This is easily the worst decision I've made since the last time I made a decision to go with Indonesian public transport. Indonesian public transport makes the 3rd class Indian bus feel like a 5 star resort.
Great, every guy, and there seem to be over 5,000, are smoking like the ferry is going down....and it very well may.....and I'm sure there aren't enough life jackets on this thing. I'm sitting right in front of the life jackets box right now. It says "Jaket Pendong Dewasa 27." I'm pretty sure that means 27 life jackets. In my line of vision right now I see 164 people.
1 hour down, 39 hours to go.
1 and a half hours into this torture I head straight for an employee and upgrade to 2nd class. Now, I feel like I'm in the hull of the Titanic - the ship is making strange pecking and clicking noises. Ahhhhh, but I have a bed, and that's all that matters right now.
The karaoke band at lunch was decent, and so was the food. Unbelievable, the men's lungs in this country must look like what that 3 year old girl just puked up all over the deck. I think the cigarette companies must own this country.
Oh, the joys of Asian budget travel. At least they look cool when they smoke. I guess that's important to them. Emphezema and cancer are trendy in Indonesia.
You need A LOT of time to travel here.