According to the Good Book (Lonly Planet's guide to Indonesia), all of Indonesia is divided into eight parts. As you can see it's a pretty diverse country, I think I could see "all" of Indonesia in maybe 30 to 50 weeks.

area description highlights did I go there?
Sumatra world's 6th largest island, west on the map relatively unspoiled nope
Java world's 13th largest island, middle south on the map Jakarta, the capital and political center, Yogyakarta, Borobdur nope
Bali a tiny island east of Java which became the refuge of the Hindus when Moslems invaded Java the arts center, a tourist destination, good for western and american tourists 3 weeks
Nusa Tenggara chain of islands, middle bottom on the map, east of Bali Lombok, Komodo Dragons, Timor including the former Portuguese colony of East Timor nope
Irian Jaya west half of New Guinea, the worlds's second largest island, east on the map You've heard of New Guinea tribesmen? Here. nope
Maluku the Molucca Islands, upper middle east on the map the "Spice Islands" nope
Sulawesi world's 11th largest island, middle of the map relatively unspoiled. Strange island shape. 3 weeks
Kalimantan bottom 2/3 of Borneo, world's third largest island, middle of the map wetlands, mountains, logging, exploitation nope

Indonesia is 4.6% of the total land area of all of Asia, and 5.6% of its population! 3.3% of the population of THE WORLD lives in Indonesia.


If you go to Indonesia, and you go anywhere outside of Bali, you will get used to a Mandi. That's kindof their word for "bathroom".

Actually a "mandi" is a tub of water, that's your water supply. It's usually a rectangular tub, never rounded corners. It's got a scoop or ladel that you use to pick up the water and pour it over whatever. There's no running water in most of these places. Just to make everything consistent, in places where there is running water, they have a mandi anyway and there's a faucet above it and you fill it up when it runs down.

This is the way it usually works. You go into this room, the bathroom, as small as a typical western bathroom. There's a squat toilet on the right, and a mandi tub on the left. These are both raised up several inches off of the floor. The whole thing is entirely bathroom-porcelain, including the floor. There's drainage in the floor, so you can dump a scoop full of water anywhere and it eventually drains out.

To wash hands: take scoop, pour over hands. Usually you do this over the toilet, the water drains out. As your hands get cleaner, take scoop and tip it over its own handle and your hand holding it, this cleans off the scoop itself.

To urinate: if you're a guy, just stand over the squat toilet and aim. If you're a girl, see next paragraph. Or, I dunno, be resourceful. Not having personal experience, I can't help you out much.

To "sit down": don't sit down. The squat toilet is designed with two foot pads. One for each foot. You squat over it and do your business. This is tricky with clothes on. I had best results by using one hand behind me to lean against the wall, and my feet were a bit more forward than the footpads. Almost always, though, I combined it with my daily bath. It's much easier to do it naked. Then you just wash everything.

To flush: take scoops of water and pour them down the squat toilet. Everything goes down the drain, it's not smelly or anything. Actually this works on regular toilets too, we just rarely get a chance to pour water down them.

To take a bath: stand on the floor part and pour scoops of water over you. Don't worry, there's plenty of water. Don't splash any water off of you into the mandi; that's your clean water supply (and everybody else's). There's no hot water, but remember this is the tropics, and it's usually hot. The cool water actually is refreshing.

The biggest surprise to me was cleanliness. I naturally expected third world bathrooms to be worse than in the west. And lemme tell you I've seen some pretty bad ones in the US.

But, surprise, Sulawesi bathrooms were cleaner than in the west. The biggest reason for this was that at any time, you could clean the bathroom with a few scoopfuls of water. The water's right there, it never runs out, it's always clean (enough), and you can pour it over any part of the bathroom to clean it; everything drains to the floor.

In some places, the water is kindof hazy, kind of silty. Not unclean, just rustic. Most mandis I saw had a sortof what we would call a garden hose faucet to fill it. One place actually had a floater and some levers, not unlike a toilet tank in the west, that supposedly filled the mandi when the water level got down. Then, other places were like, once a day a kid goes down to the beach with a bucket and fills up the mandi again.


To joie, the cybercafe listing person:

joie wrote:
> Allan,
> Where are you going, and I will see if I know of any cafes.

after today, I'll only be in indonesia.  13,000 islands and less than a
half dozen cybercafes.  There's like two in jakarta, I won't be there. 
There's this one in palembang, on the island of sumatra, I wont' be
there either.  where I'll be:

the island of bali (i know about bali@cyber cafe)

the island of sulawesi (ujung pandang is the best bet but the north
coast, manado, maybe too)

any of the Nusa Tenggara islands (lombok, sumba, komodo, flores, timor)

Any cybercafe you dig up there, or even libraries with wired pc's in
them, would be appreciated.  


Dad, June 19

George Bonadio wrote:
> Allan,  Larian data several times warns against its use on an empty stomach
> - apparently it is too strong and damages something - who knows what.
> Follow the directions of at least 8 eight ounces - a glassful with the five

In fact I've been doing that.  THe pills come in bubblecards.  I rip off
one and take it to dinner or a big lunch or something.  I wrote the date
on each one so I rememmmmber.  I'll remember to drink more fluid with

>80 eighty percent of people on dialisis
> machines did not take "plenty of water" when on prescription medicines, and
> ruined both kidneys.  

no immediate pain and they thought they got away with it.  

>Continue - it says - Lariam when back home for two
> more weeks, as malaria may pop out then  

yeah they gave me 4 weeks worth for that, and I asked for 3 weeks more
in case I stay longer.  

>Contraindications, Warnings,
> Precautions, & Adverse Reactions take up 2 two colunms.  Pills are a
> burden. Get extra sleep.  - Love, Dad

I sleep on planes and boats.  (of course also i sleep at nite.)

friend, June 22

hi, are you there?  no email for days.  

I still can't find a cybercafe on sulawesi island.   There's some hotels
that have email addresses and websites, but that seems to be it.  

Schedule is to be there June 26 thru... I forgot.  July 10 maybe?  I was
thinking of extending that part because I was reading about how on the
northern leg of the island theres volcanos AND good diving.  

Volcanos were like this childhood hobby of mine.  Sort of a bart simpson
fire and destruction thing, but my parents thought it was a science
thing.  You know.  Anyway, the volcano I went to in hawaii was in a
mellow phase when I was there.  They said there's 70 active volcanos in
all of Indonesia, these are some.  there's one on Bali, apparently it
wiped out a villiage in the early 1960's or something, I want to check
that out too.  

So far I've used my mask and fins on three days total, and one of those
was the pool in the ymca.  Not enough.  This IS one of the best scuba
places in the world.  the places I went to in malasia were excellent! 
Great coral and fish, even while snorkeling.  I took a whole camera full
of pictures that day.  And the scuba dive was great too.  It really
looks like in the movies, but you're down there and it's like right in
front of your eyes, it's really something else.  I have to get you
diving with me sometime.  Snorkeling is relatively easy.  

Hey, don't worry about me not coming back or anything.  When I was in
mexico, remember I had to go back to the maple job.  That was the most
depressing thing.  Now the only bad thing I have to go back to is
unemployment.  That's a bit scary, you know self esteem and all, but I
think I'll be ok.  

Looking forward to being back with you...

Michael, July 10

> Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock resigned from Apple yesterday. 

WHAT!?!?!??!??!?!  fuck....  what's been going on...  fuck...

>Not sure if this news has penetrated to where you are (I'm
> curious...). 

are you kidding?  I went for 9 days in a place where there was NO
PHONES.  One day I spent the afternoon, took a boatride into town to do
some shopping and stuff.  Well the phone place, it was closed until
aftermy boat back left, so I was SOL.  But you could buy bananas and
bottles of water and thongs and plastic buckets and clothes in the

Except I couldn't because there was no banks and noplace that took Visa
cards, my ownly link with the financial world out there.  I went for
three weeks witout getting cash from a bank because availability stopped
2 weeks ago.  And, yesterday was Mohammed's birthday.  Today was.  (I
woke up on the other side of the equator this morning.  I'm south now.)

There was precious little asphalt in town, and none where I was
staying.  The individual rooms didn't have electric lights, so every
nite a kid would come by and leave you a kerosine lantern that was
lit... nice touch.  Don't ask me about media.  The diving was pretty
bichen though.  

> I won't bother putting in links to specific Macintouch or MacWeek articles, since they'll probably all change before you read
> this if you do. The gist of it is that....
[shop talk]
> I went to talk to the engineering manager about it. And she said "there's an article about us?" She
> hadn't seen it.


> So I talked to Mike Shuster, who I think I told you also works for Sun, in corporate PR. 

yep.  I just loosened my toe strap on my tevas.  Same ones I had in the
states, they haven't fallen apart yet!  Unlike the cheapo thongs Igot
for 4000 rups... anyway, I tighten the toe straps when I'm in
challenging situations, like the roof of the ferry, bucking all night. 
I loosenit otherwise, I'm getting marks onmy feed.  That's why I got the
thongs, to get marks on different parts of my feet.  And suntans on
different parts of my feet...

the point is my priorities are quite different these days.  Different
place for my head.  

>I said "I know PR uses a clipping...

...> We had Thursday the 3rd off as well as Friday the 4th. 

I remember July 4th.  We were in Tentena.  That was the $2/nite place. 
We went6 to thiswaterfall.  Greg didn't want to swim but I did.  I
probably got the liver worms disease.  Don't worry about the fact that
my health insurance runs out pretty much on the day I get back.  

>It seemed like a good chance to do a road trip and not hit too much
> traffic, so I drove down to LA on Thursday, stayed with friends, and came back Saturday. My friends had a July 4th BBQ
> and a bunch of their friends from JPL came, so a lot of us stayed inside to watch the Mars landing.

they landed on mars?  What?  I hope it's not manned.  Hey, I'm not THAT
out oftouch.  

> It was a good trip. I drove down on I-5: quicker, but it takes you through everything bad about southern and central
> California. Drove up on 101, it's a lot slower but the scenery is great. It's the anniversary of the Wild Bunch thing in Hollister,
> so there were lots of bikers on the road.

the sam peckinpah movie?  Where like everybody shoots everybody else

Another beer please!  I like sitting around and having a beer and
yacking with my friends.  The local brew is Bintang.  I try to forget
that it's like a notch or two above Bud.  The only alaternative is this
Guiness that doesn't taste like Guiness, and that's too depressing. 
Don't go to SE asia for the beer.  ...

>.....Then I'd have various pages of links to help find all my stuff. 

sounds reasonable.  A gecko is running down the wall right now.  

>I now realize
> what a really, really good idea that was. ...

>...>Listened to the Hong Kong handover (handback?) on the radio the other day. Sounded like an amazing event. 

Yeah, I was in Palopo with Greg.  He has his shortwave.  Reception was
bad but we heard stuff onthe BBC.  Unfortunately my insights, formed two
months ago now, are perhaps a bit stale, but i haven't been surprised by
anything that's happened since then.  

>Read in the
> paper this week how weird people felt when they went out the first morning and suddenly all the flags were different and the
> police uniforms were different. Wow. Looking forward to your report from there.

yeah.  wake up and smell the tea.  Those people were hopelessly naive. 
I'd say to them "They're probably going to change the name from Hong
Kong, right?" and they'd be like "No, what?  What are you talking
about?  That couldn't happen.  People know this as Hong Kong.  Nobody
would even attempt to change the name."  And then I'd mention Peking
and  Nanking and Canton.  And for that matter Burma and Saigon and
Celebes and Malaya.  Nobody wants to keep the colonial name.  

This would have been the time to bring lots of books I've been meaning to read and all the extra Europe guidebooks
> so I could maybe do a several-day sidetrip, but I'm too used to travelling light, or semi-light, so I didn't do that and I was, to
> be honest, bored a fair amount of the time.

I didn't bring any books.  OK,i have lonely planet indonesia. And
Istarted reading chapters on places I'm not going.  But I wanted to
force myself to think.  Or space out.  And not have a project o9r a
mission.  Blank mind.  

The guy who runs this cybercafe, the couple, they're really cool.  We
know each other.  They are educated indonesians.  Gotta be to whip these
pc's into line.  But they're native.  Pretty strange.  I like them.  
> I expected to like the food, but didn't. Looking at menus was like, do you want sweetbreads in a pastry crust, liver terrine with
> onions, or sliced calves head? 

Speaking of which I saw this sacrifice ceremony... they sliced the neck,
and the poor thing stumbled around as blood gushed out.  Mud and blood
everywhere.  Oh my god.  they did seven of them that day.  

>Somehow I'd been expecting the "Mediterranean diet" with olives and basil and tomatoes, and
> what I got was taxidermy. Even the bread -- freshly baked everywhere -- was less than I expected, just white no-flavor bread
> in the shape of a baguette. It was weird.

yeah.  The best food out here is in the developed places.  "Indonesian"
cuisine, as I had out on Kadidiri Island, consists offish, prepared in
different ways, some of them appatizing.  And rice.  Nasi Putih, White
Rice.  And some vegetable dish, these were all good.  The fish,
sometimes was taxidermy.  Too often.  Here's lunch, two dead fish.  

> I found cybercafes in a couple cities. They're nervous about letting people configure email clients so I wound up using telnet to
> read and write mail. 

stupid bullshit.  I just change the prefs.  Fuck em.  

>Latency is surprisingly nonterrible, I can actually type without getting too far ahead of the character
> echoes. But the French keyboard is weird -- A and Q have been swapped, M is in a different place -- so I'm typing slower
> than usual.

yeah.  German keyboad.... Y and Z are swapped...  Out here,all of the
keyboards have been English/USA or international, one place in Hong
Kong, it was chinese but you know that's like international English,
nota bigdeal until you get a long error message.  

> On the way back I stayed one night in Nice, and really enjoyed seeing the town. I'll have to come back and do a
> Nice/Cannes/Monaco vacation. It won't take a lot of time, and they're beautiful cities. 
> Landed in NYC again and spent three more days. It rained like crazy, but I saw some friends, saw some good museum
> exhibits, and went to see "Titanic, the musical" at the last minute one evening when a friend cancelled out of dinner.

you've got to be kidding.  Night before last I spent on the roof of a
boat.  Used to be 2 boats a week be then one sunk.  This wasthe other

> I see the ship's designer talk about how you can breach any three compartments and it'll stay afloat. That sounds pretty safe,
> right? And the owner say "let's go a little faster, everybody's watching the maiden voyage, we want to impress them," and the
> captain says "well, I shouldn't, but I'm retiring after this trip and it'll be a good send-off," and the guy in the crow's nest saying
> "there's no moon and I can't see a thing, but hey, the captain knows what he's doing." It only takes a few slightly insufficiently
> pessimistic assumptions, and the ship sinks and a couple thousand people die.

fuck and that's not even a third world country.

But there's no icebergs outhere.  Pgheww.  

But there is coral.  hmmmm...

friend, July 18

friend wrote:
> gee sweetie... you got cut off just as you were saying you maxed a card or
> something... 

and that's the last time we talked on the phone.  It's been hanging over
me ever since.  Left a message on your machine recently.  when was i in
that airport... about 16 hours ago.  I think it was like 2am for you or

Phones are bogus.  You have to synchronize.  And I've been having the
damndest time getting the phone thing to work.  

One thing that's guaranteed to work is if you go into a phone place, a
wartel.  You say what number you want to call, and the person behind the
desk tells you to go to booth 3 or something.  It's like a closet or
phone booth. Glass and a small phone.  They fuck with the phone system
and eventually you're talking to the people.  

But if I do that I have to pay immediately, on my limited credit cards. 
To give you an idea, that phone call that got cut off, it sucked up $30
worth right there in what, five minutes.  And I got a good deal because
I got the large size phone card.  

So I'm trying to use my Sprint thing.  You get a magic phone number
that's supposed to be a free call in the country.  Probably some where
in jakarta.  I got a whole list, one or two phone numbers for each
country.  For indonesia there's two numbers, 001-801-15 and 008-801-15. 
It says on the list that the second one doesn't work on coin phones. 
NONE of them work on coin phones, no way no how.  The second one never
works period.  I've gotten the first one to work sometimes on some phone
card phones.  (There's two kinds of public phones out here; phone cards
and coin phones.)  But more often than not, esp in Sulawesi, it just
plum didn't work.  

The times it did work was when I called diane, that was from the town
Tentena.  You should be able to see it on the map of sulawesi.  Maybe
not.  At the top of lake poso.  And I was in this hotel, not my hotel
but one more espensive. 

And there was a guy sitting right there and it turned out to be Rudy
Ruus, a guy who's listed in Lonely Planet as a good guide.  We talked
about the togian islands.  The problem with lonely planet is that
EVERYBOODY has one. The places that Lonely Planet says are good get
mobbed and get sucky.  And other places have no customers.  

So anyway, the second time it worked was in the airport in Ujung
Pandang, on my layover between Manado and Denpasar.  Manado is north
edge of Sulawesi, UP is south west of sulawesi, and Denpasar is south

Maybe I can find a card phone out here that works, but its a challenge. 
Fortunately email works.  

>now I'm worried you are stuck with limited money. I hope you
> are ok.

Funny you should mention it.  I had just gotten used to relaxing about
buying supplies.  Wherever I go there will be zillions of people trying
to sell me everything.  I thought.  Well, we had one hour in Poso and
not enough time to go to the bank. I think I left yopu a phone message
from there too.  And shucks I got lots of rups left.  Then we went to
the Togian Islands. No commercial establishments that take charge
cards.  One phone, in that building with the satellite dishes.  And it
was never open when I was around.  I did all of sulawesi, 3 weeks, on
about $500 us.  what's that, $25/day? Well I didn't realize I was on a
budget till the last two weeks.  I had bought a copy of lonely planet
for like $35 and some other stuff...  I didn't get back to civilisation
until this weeek.  And I got into Gorontalo and I thought I could just
zip  to Manado and go to the bank the nexxt day.  But the next day was
Mohammed's birthday.  Not a bank open in the place.  The bank machines
didn't even work. Eventually in the airport at Ujung Pandang, same time
th3e phone worked, that's the money I'm living off of right now. Whew. 
I still owe the scuba guys 305,000 rups, gotta send that in today or

Did shopping today.  Got a new hat and thongs for 40,000 rups ($16).  I
think I was overcharged. He wanted 70,000 but I bargained him down.  My
film is being processed right now, about six rolls.  Bought a
clothesline and some batteries.  Buying something pragmatic like string
is a big hassle.  Buying a table where the four legs are all carved
figures of some strange guy or animal, no problems in this town. But a
piece of string?  no no, down the street, they point. 

> But soon you will be hanging with Greg, so that'll be good. It'll be nice
> to be with someone you know and can relax with. Say hi to him for me, and
> tell him his plant is not dead yet (not great.. but not dead).

too late.  We spent like two weeks together.  

When I landed into Ujung Pandang I met a couple named Dave and Julie
from Seattle.  The four of us ended up traveling together. 

When we got to the togians, it
turned out that the ferry north ran only once a week.  (there was
another option but it seemed strange.  but maybe i should have done
that...)  So we had a choice: stay 2 days or stay 9 days.  

Greg didn't have a choice.  You can only stay 60 days in Indonesia. 
Greg's flight would take him out on day 59, and the only way to catch it
was to leave after 2 days.  So I decided to stay on.  
Partly because I was sick of traveling and I wanted to stay put. 
And they had snorkeling and scuba and I hadn't done enough of that yet
on this trip.  

Greg said "You're going to be bored out of your fucking mind."  But I stayed
anyway.  I was bored a little bit; another week and I really would have
been bored.  But I did six scuba dives, got my yayas out.  Wrote lots of
postcards.  I had a beachfront bungalo.  Every few days the current crop
of european tourists would come and go and I met lots of people.  People
from NZ, AU, DE, FR, CH, NL, belgium, and a handful f rom the US.  This
one american who was working in Singapore for Apple.  

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