Hi Guysand all who read on from here.
Uncle Jaffa's thoughts on Indonesian travelling.
First Word, RESPECT
, there are a number of different cultures within Indonesia, the Country's motto is "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika " and it is just that Unity in Diversity and the first and biggest mistake is to assume that the Indonesians wish do do things our way.Not so
they wish to do the things we do, their way and the first lesson is Jam Kerat or rubber time , everything moves at an Indo pace, slowly the Gods or Allah willing, or even with Christian blessings in some area, there can even be black magic and shaman to help or hinder you.
This of course gives you plenty to show that the western world's way of thinking is not the only way, it is a real eye opener.
The surf is absolutely worth the journey, I've been doing it since the early eighties I am now a surfing Bapak = Old Man or Uncle.
The way to go is to carry a smile everywhere, learn some Bahasa Indonesian it's been developed from the Malay language to unite Indonesia, learning some, or better a lot will gain you much respect.Do things slowly don't rush
soak up Jam Kerat let the river of time carry you to your destination and enjoy the peculiarities that happen as joyous lessons. After all it's not like setting the alarm clock to go to work.Learn to bargain
( haggle) with a smile and a joke about your family life bargaining is a social interaction keep it social, don't be too tight and don't pay the going rate ( you are expected to bargain).A good tip here
; is if the guy in the store ( he may not own it) works a bargain and especially if he phones his boss and gets to a rock bottom price, pay that and after paying give the sales guy a personal thank bit of money. He is probably earning less in a month than you earn in a couple of hours,bear this in mind too when you bargain, those board short when you convert to your home currency = very little.
Be cautious you can still get ripped off badly, count your money always, don't leave the shop until your goods, your change and everything adds up. This is important if something goes wrong in any way don't shout or get angry
, talk rather about disappointment and it makes you sad that you have to tell friends about a mistake that failed to be fixed.. saves face and will get great results and a friend who will not disrespect you again. If you make a mistake laugh, say "that's what comes from not understanding the (insert the island or town' name here) way" and ask what do I do now, advice will come or you will be told don't worry we understand you didn't know.Remember people who were kind or helpful, learn their names
, use their services again or ask them about service their friend might give you build up a network of friends. If you come back to Indonesia everyone you met will remember how you interacted with them I f you have traveled with respect they will also protect you. Example;
during the Bali Bombings many Australian with connections were told to go to other restaurants or areas that evening and so avoided something deadly that was extremely embarrassing to the Balinese.
Other people were not protected and the belief was that Karma would work out what happens.[*]Dress modestly,
especially women, bikinis on resort beaches yes beyond the resort especially out beyond Bali, can start major problems.
Take your sex life carefully, AIDS/HIV is rife in the casual sex community.
Beyond Bali be especially careful as the culture is Muslim and have strong beliefs around promiscuity in their community can different behaviours towards western women [*]see the first two words
Have fun, stay less than drunk, be graceful and thankful, and Indonesia will be what you believed it could be.
BTW if you are young and male do not wear green board shorts, especially in G land or Bali or you may meet, Nyi Roro Kidul
the Queen of the Southern Ocean. The meeting is usually a fatal drowning, google her and see.
Just go to have fun
I've taken up troll hunting just for fun, instead of a rifle I'll just use a pun!