Keeping cool


SYNOPSIS:  About another hypocrisy of life. 

Timur was fabulous,  I knew that once I left “civilization” — when I flew to Kalimantan — the trip would pick up, meaning, it would be more what I like: roughing it a bit, exploring things off the beaten track, getting to know people in their daily surroundings, seeing new art forms and interesting architecture.

It only got better.  After Kalimantan, there was Sulawesi.  I did not have to rough it much as I had a base camp at Rantepao, still, there were challenges.  The Torajans are wonderful people and their arts and rituals are simply amazing. 

Timur topped even Sulawesi.  Here, I got to spend time in various villages, again, observe rituals, and even meet several chiefs.  I really had to rough it and I loved it.  But yesterday, when I arrived at the 3-star T-More Hotel in Kupang, which I had picked for the internet and its proximity and free shuttle to the airport, how relieved was I!  Finally, there was AC, hot water came in full power out of the wall, I could do some business on a Western-style toilet, and I could sink into a soft bed with lily-white clean sheets!  It felt, oh so good.  And that breakfast buffet!  This was the most luxurious stay in all of Indonesia for me.  And it cost $35. A mere $15 more than the fleabag, lice-infested, dirty Andalus Hotel in Surabaya. 

If I wanted to, I could check into a 3-star hotel every day.  My budget could be squeezed that far.

Wouldn’t the people from Boti or Temkasi abandon their life-style given a choice of conveniences like this?

It is a complicated situation realizing how much I love to observe and get to know remote people and yet, I am even happier knowing what I am able to come back to.  Not for a moment would I want to give up my privileges at home and the comforts I am used to.  What would I do without my computer, my “stuff”, my house, my lake?

Well, not that I have any answers.  I just like to face the contradictions I am living.

As boring as travel and transit is, I will spare you the details.  I am flying with yet another  Indonesian airline, Garuda.  Is it my 12th flight?  By now it just feels like taking another bus or getting into a car.  Unless anything exciting will happen, this will be it for today.

Enjoy some of the beautiful faces of West Timur. 

See you in Sumba.   

2 comments so far

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  1. Fascinating pictures, especially, the faces, the hands, the fingernails, the feet!

    What was the “chubby girl” doing in a hijab? It seems that all the other women and girls were not wearing a hijab.
    Too bad that the right side of the pictures are all cropped off.

  2. How do you manage to stay well on your travels for I am surprised that you do not pick up some illness from the water, bugs, and food? (Remembering what I struggled with for weeks after visiting the countryside in the Philippines )

    Wonderful market pictures – capturing such beautiful faces.