I am really just bursting with things to share with you, but first off is a quick update on the internet. I am hopefully in the process of uploading some videos from Bali in an internet cafe inside “Surabaya’s largest and brashest” mall in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Secondly, I must inform you that Caitlin and I just recently got off of an overnight bus from Bali to Surabaya. It was ranked somewhere close to the top in odd and possibly uncomfortable bus journeys on this trip. But it was definitely an experience to be had. Let me enumerate the ways.
1. There weren’t enough people for the later bus that we had bought tickets for, so we were all herded onto the earlier bus.
2. We got seats but there were a couple unfortunate ones (like a boy our age with a guitar who had to sit on the flat part behind the last row of seats)
3.There was nowhere for our bags underneath the bus and so we had to put them along with other, random, rice sacks by the bathroom on the bus.
Nothing got stolen! No worries!
4. People were absolutely shocked at us tourists/travelers taking the bus and no one seemed to really speak much English but instead gestured at me when something was happening.
5. We ended up waiting for 4 hours in a long line of buses first at a toll and secondly at a ferry.
6. I didn’t quite understand that we and other buses had boarded a ferry and was quite confused to see that we had driven into what seemed to be a parking garage…. I figured it out when we started gently rocking with the waves and was soon sent off into a deep sleep.
7. The bus ride was supposed to be 10 hours. It took 16.
8. We stopped at a restaurant/rest stop for breakfast. The guy next to me and everyone I asked said that we were here! I kept asking, “Surabaya?” And they would all nod and smile and say “Yes!” So I suited up turtle style and headed off of the bus and was very naturally confused when people weren’t taking any of their bags and leaving some children behind.
SURABAYA VERSUS BALI
In any case…
We’re inside “Surabaya’s largest and brashest mall,” where we encountered the first English-speaking people so far. They’re on a cultural exchange from some university in Oklahoma.
But really, in Surabaya – I feel like I’m actually experiencing Indonesia. Bali is a tourist destination and you don’t really get much of the culture as a tourist. When you do, it’s slightly watered down.
I also have yet to see any tourists or non-Indonesians (besides those kids on a cultural exchange.. and I don’t really count them as tourists). It’s strange not to see tourists. Especially because Surabaya is supposed to be Indonesia’s second largest city. I know that there isn’t much for tourists here besides a springboard to Gunung Bromo (where we’re heading at midnight tonight) but it’s still slightly disorienting to really be “alone” in a foreign country.
– At time of posting in Surabaya, Indonesia, it was 87.8 °F – Humidity: 62% | Wind Speed: 8km/hr | Cloud Cover: few clouds