Indonesia (Again): Beyond Bali (page 4)
Marj's Note: Indonesia is towering volcanoes, sandy beaches, tropical waters, and floral aromas, but what makes it even more special is the upbeat, welcoming people. Herewith, to close, some of Mike's people pictures not seen on the previous pages.
The Indonesian version of the Ice Cream Man is making his evening rounds. He is serving up noodles with fish balls and his special broth, ladeled from deep within the smaller opening. He let me take a whiff and it was goooood. He is charging 10,000 Rupia per bowl (about 80 cents), and business is brisk. Quite the genius opportunist, that guy, saving the local moms all that work.
Our crew of pirates didn't speak much English, but they bounced around the boat and the water like a bunch of seasoned vets, and they cooked some killer meals from their tiny, rudimentary galley. They spent our first night fishing so we would have some great eats the next day. Level: Expert. Those guys rock!
There's a large market, steps from where I’m staying in Moni, and locals from kilometers away arrive to hawk their fruits, veggies, nuts, fish, chilis, beets, roots potato things; you get the idea. It's a hardscrabble life for many who live in the mountains of Flores, and their determination is seen in many forms.
I love village markets like this; they're the antithesis of the sterile, American grocery store. These have the sounds, smells and colors you find when you leave the hermetically sealed world of sanitation and food safety paranoia. They’re also fun because they have everything from batteries to goat milk cheese for sale. Crates of live chickens. Dried fish. Fresh fish. Salted fish. Kinda pungent fish.
Indonesian Family Truckster. In Indonesia, you have to stop thinking like an American. They do things differently here, and therefore our judgement is more a reflection upon us than upon them. They are a powerhouse nation of 250 million people. I think they can find their own way, in their own time. They wonder why we drive trucks when we aren't farmers.