Monday, September 29, 2014

The End and the Beginning of my Indonesian Adventure

It's 6 AM on the last day of September, and I've turned off the AC, waiting for the hotel room to warm up a bit to make the cold shower more bearable. The last day of my vacation; I'm also waiting for the kitchen to open up downstairs so I can redeem my free breakfast (roti panggang - a thick piece of toasted bread drizzled with chocolate and condensed milk).  I'm in Medan, a city in North Sumatra where I also began my week's vacation, the most extensive bit of traveling I've done since arriving here in Southeast Asia 18 months ago.

As I look back over this last week, there were some wonderful moments (tasting all the amazing Indonesian food I remember from 25 years ago; finding a wild orangutan in the jungle), there were some disastrous moments (having my phone stolen; re-aggravating my herniated disk).  I could have done more.  I should have done less.  All in all, it's been a very special trip.

My ultimate goal as an ESL teacher is to come back to this country, Indonesia, where I spent two years of my life before the age of 21, to teach.  Some restrictive laws about work permits here don't make that easy.  Coming here now, I've been made to re-think that ultimate objective.  In some ways, my resolve is stronger.  In other ways, I've gotten a more accurate picture of Indonesia (North Sumatra, at least) in the 21st century, less clouded by 25 years of idealizing a place I loved as a much younger man.

So, here is the first video of the adventure: the trip there and my first impressions of the city of Medan.  Note, I was going to use the YouTube subtitle feature to add English translations to all the Indonesian language bits, but that is far too tedious of a process and not really feasible with my hotel's spotty and slow internet connection.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry you lost your phone and hurt your back again. I think about you every day and wish you the best in finding a place to be.


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