Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Tour d'Borneo 3: More Pontianak

I got a late start on Friday as the Golden State Warriors were playing a playoff game which started at 9:30 AM Indonesian time. So it was approaching noon as I headed out on my newly rented motorbike with a plan to tour the various sights that I couldn't reach by walking.

The first time I had to make a turn, I turned the wrong direction and ended up on a bridge I definitely didn't want to be on. I get freaked out by tall bridges. Fortunately, this one was relatively short and I managed to control my panic attack.

Where I ended up was someplace I was going to go eventually anyways, the oldest part of Pontianak, the site of the Sultan's palace and the oldest mosque in town.

While visiting the Sultan's palace, I got swarmed by a bunch of schoolgirls who were very excited to talk to a foreigner. I've said it before and I'll say it again, visiting a foreign country where you speak the language is so different from relying on other people speaking English. I was wearing my Myanmar t-shirt. They had no idea where Myanmar was. It was a fun exchange.

I arrived at the old mosque just before noon. In case you didn't know, noon on Friday in Islam is like Sunday morning in Christianity. Friday Noon is when you go to mosque, and given the prominence of this mosque, there were 1000+ followers come to pray. I got invited in, but I didn't want to intrude. Like I've said before, practically NO western tourists visit this part of the world, and so I feel a little responsible to create a good impression, or at least, not create a bad impression by standing out like a sore thumb in my shorts and t-shirt.

Burma AND Myanmar. Huh?
Next stop, the Museum of Western Kalimantan.  The Friday thing came into play again. In Indonesia, a lot of businesses close on Friday at noon at don't re-open. When I got to the museum at about 12:30, they were closed.

Fortunately (but not in the video), the security guard told me they'd be re-opening at 1 PM.  So I had a hamburger and went back.

At the end of the afternoon, I did a dance on the equator. Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere!

Enjoy the video.


  1. Thank you for your video. I felt badly that you weren't able to see what you intended to see. However, I thank you for the chuckle... I enjoyed... when you danced/jumped from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere, back to the Southern Hemisphere, etc. Thank you! :)

  2. Yes but did you flush your toilet at both hemisphere's to test it? (actually there's no different in how the water spins at the equator segments of the world -- is the correct answer they say) -- JD SEA

  3. I think I went to that palace, too. All wood. very nice.


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