Saturday, October 3, 2009

Post-Quake happenings

As many of you have already heard, Blair and I are doing just fine after the massive 7.6 quake on West Sumatra in Pedang. So far we haven't been affected, we are pretty far south and out of the epicenter zone. I do send my deep condolences to the good Indonesian people of the Sumatra area, it seems like since 2004 they've had a run of brutal luck. Tsunamis, hurricanes, and earthquakes seem collect around that fault line, terrible terrible happenings. The plan was to go to North Sumatra (Banda Aceh) from Medan on the 13th and stay there till the 19th, but that plan has obviously changed. While the north was barely hit, it seems extremely innapropriate to go there other than for humanitarian purposes. Surfing and leisurly walks on the beach certainly do not qualify. So we are going back to Malaysia for 5 days then heading up to Phuket, Thailand. There is lots to do in Malaysia, and I felt we rushed our time their the first time around.

The plan now is to go up to Penang in the North, not to be confused with Pedang. There we will enjoy many Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian culinary delights. Apparently, according to my brother, it is the best food in all of Southeast Asia. I certainly do not have a problem filling my face with delicious cuisine. We will spend 4 nights up there, after a 5 hour bus ride from Kuala Lumpur. It should be brilliant indeed. I will try not to over indulge myself and over-eat like I've been constantly doing on this trip. Also, Malaysia is a much cheaper country than Indonesia, and I find their people much friendlier overall.

The other odd thing about Indonesia is I have constantly been asked if I'm Japanese, and the people here have even went as far as just plainly speaking loosely put together colloquial Japanese to me. I really despise being associated or confused as Japanese, since Japan has a rather dark and dubious colonial record in Indonesia and everywhere else in the world; I definitely do not want to be mistaken as a Japanese. So, I've been very firm in answering every time. Not Japanese! Canadian! or if you want to indulge in my background further, I was born in Taiwan. Bottom line; No JAPAN!! It is very similar to my mate Blair being confused as American in Vietnam. A big no no that everyone should avoid. American travelers in Vietnam go as far as saying their from Vancouver, Canada to avoid potential hostilities and a thorough verbal accosting. Other than that, the Indonesians have treated us very well thus far.

The Gili's are a mystical island, and you really could get lost here if your not careful with time and money. So far we've been on this island for 6 days and potentially more. There is not a lot to do, but its a nice change from the bang bang no-rest traveler lifestyle. Sitting on the beach, eating pineapples and fruits is a nice way to relax for sure. However, we are leaving soon, to the chagrin of the many locals here who we have befriended. We will be venturing Easterly to the island of Lombok where we will attempt to ascend with a group of porters the great Volcano of Gunung Rijani. It is similar in height and technical difficulty to Mount Fuji in Japan. The climb although not perilous is a very arduous climb to the top. It is an active volcano, but it has been reopened after being closed in June 2009 due to inclement weather and potential eruptions. The climb will take 4 days and during that time I will be unable to send updates. I will for sure update with pictures after the hike is done.

For now, I'm going to rest after a day of snorkeling and swimming. Yes! life is difficult. Anyways, thats all for now! Bye everyone

Speak soon,

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. Have fun on the climb! I just received the post card you sent me.
    Grand Lapin
    PS The women here have very hairy arms. I'm may become desperate enough to wax a couple before I make my move.