In the last blog/leg of the journey, I described how the motorcycle rental agency had identified my location as being outside the contractual ‘green zone’. I hadn’t left the North Sulawesi province itself, but as I was on its fringes, I was being charged an additional 50K Rupiah ($3.79) per day. Worse yet, they were threatening to deactivate my motorcycle remotely if I didn’t respond to their message.
I responded via text message. It read something like this: “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to come this far. When I was in Amurang, my friend there told me that the road to Boroko was very beautiful so I wanted to see it. The problem is that I’m almost to Boroko. Please allow me to spend the night there, and then tomorrow will return to Kotamobagu. Again, I am very sorry.” Another lie to cover for the first lie. I had intended to go to Boroko all along. I also intended to continue from there to a place called Gorontalo, the capital of the next province over. Of course, I could no longer do that. I had to turn around and go back down the road which I’d driven the day before and then make a turn up into Kotamobagu.
|An interesting looking mosque in Kotamobago|
Kotamobagu is a mostly Muslim city. I’d mentioned in a previous blog that North Sulawesi was the “most Chrsitian” place I’d ever visited. Well, about 20% of the population is Muslim, the majority religion in most of the rest of Indonesia. However, I noticed in my travels that the two religions are rather segregated. You’d drive through one village and see all the roadside crosses saying Happy Easter along with many, many churches and it was obviously a Christian village. The next village down the road would have no crosses, but there were mosques and women wearing the hijab, a Muslim village. In larger towns, there would be both kinds of houses of worship, but the segregation was by neighborhood. There were Christian and Muslim parts of town. So whereas it’s accurate to say that North Sulawesi is 80% Christian and 20% Muslim, it’s more accurate to say that 80% of the people live in areas that are 99% Christian and 20% live in areas that are 99% Muslim.
Enjoy the video.