6.12.2010

The Scariest Things about Indonesia

Well I'm back from Indonesia and I had a great time. Thanks to all of you that wished me a good journey; it was most definitely appreciated. My brother's wedding was tons of fun and I was introduced to all sorts of new customs. Plus, my new sister-in-law's family was incredibly gracious. Though the title of this post may suggest that Indonesia is a terrifying place; it really isn't. As strange and as different as the culture may have seemed to me, the people of Indonesia are so wonderful that you almost feel at home in their presence. As a foreigner, I couldn't have felt more welcome in their country. However, being from the West, there were some things that took some getting used to...

The Traffic:
This video was taken precisely where I had to cross the street all the time, but it doesn't even begin to show you how crazy it is to be in a motorized vehicle in Indonesia. Lanes don't exist. They drive wherever there is room. There are no crosswalks for pedestrians; you simply walk into traffic and hold out your hand to make the vehicles stop. This is what happens when you cram one of the world's largest populations into a small area.

The Zoo:
Although visiting the zoo/safari was my probably my favorite experience, it is also scary how few rules are in place to protect humans and the animals from one another. The only warning when driving straight through a lion or tiger's home is "roll up the windows." No fences. Just a sheet of plexi-glass is between you and large cats, grizzlies, rhinos, etc. And how about how eagerly the zookeepers fed the Komodo Dragon a live guinea pig because they thought we would like it?





The Music:
For whatever reason, Indonesians love creepy bell music or gamelan. They play it everywhere: in the hotel lobby, in restaurants, in elevators...I don't know why, but I find the music oddly disturbing. Maybe it's because the rhythms and patterns are different than what we're used to. Listen to this and tell me it's not just a little weird:


The Monkeys:
Yes, monkeys are cute, but they can also be evil. The monkeys often steal tourist's cameras in Indonesia. Luckily, I knew to watch out, but I could tell they had their eyes on me when I was taking pictures.
Pet monkeys are also scary. When I saw this guy, all I could think about is him going Monkey Shines on his owner (and perhaps rightfully so):

5 comments:

  1. Holy Creepy Bell Music, Batman. That stuff is.....wow. I would literally become a bit homicidal listening to that everywhere I went. And monkeys creep me the hell out, too!

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  2. wow, becky. great post! glad you're back and survived your trip to bring us some insight. do you still hear the ringing?

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  3. Mental note: dont cross streets in Indonesia. Awesome pics slash vids Becks, glad to see you made it back alive with camera intact!

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  4. Wow, I don't think so. I'm from Indonesia and found this article. I think that things is not scary anyway..

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