Monday, January 23, 2006
A NOTE FROM NUSANTARA
our humble correspondent is now back in Jakarta, blogging from a warnet (warung internet). Garuda flight from Medan last night, three hours late... landing midnight at Soekarno-Hatta, biasa saja (par for the course). I had left Tapaktuan at 8pm Saturday evening with local public transport, though a step up from the cramped widuri vans of past years. Now there is another type of shared taxi making the route -- Toyota Kijang or similar type, with about 7-8 passengers. It's roughly 10 hours driving time to Medan -- depending how manic your driver is -- with a couple of stops for food and coffee.
It was a densely packed two weeks in my beloved Tapaktuan, reconnecting with old friends, and the brothers of my late friend Uddin and their families, and Uddin's own growing young sons. It's been 5 years since I was able to get back there in April 2001, and at that time the conflict situation made travel outside the town itself too risky. So for many of the friends I saw in the last couple of weeks, it had actually been 1998 when we'd been together last.
I will write much more after I get back to Bangkok at the end of this week. I have lots of material to organise into manageable installments, and many photos to share -- including from a two day trip I made with my friend Azirwan up the coast through Labuan Haji, Blangpidie, Meulaboh, Kreung Sabee and as far north as Calang.
I have absolutely no idea what's been going on in the world for the past 22 days. My little Sony shortwave finally kicked the bucket after 15 years of loyal service. So now to use this opportunity to do some blog reading, here at the warnet...
[note: broken link located two articles below, is now fixed -- two weeks late, yikes! How embarrassing....]