Monday, August 16, 2004

Singapore to Jakarta - By boat across the Equator.

One week waiting around spotless Singapore for an Indonesian visa proved to be less stressful than expected. Take London, scrub for 24 hours with bleach and a wire brush, give everyone jobs, deny them spitting privileges, any smoking, jay-walking, littering, eating or drinking on trains, manicure all grass with a scissors, and polish the roads, and you're there! (Pictures to prove it.) It's nice to have left and be back in a country with a tad more character.

The trip to Indonesia entailed a thirty hour boat journey aboard the K.M.Kelud. Myself and 3,000 Indonesians crossed the equator sometime in the first six hours (I couldn't tell when as the boat was rocking too much to gauge which way the water flowed down the sink). The next day or so was spent listening to countless renditions of old eighties love songs from any one of four Karaoke lounges, or my guitar. (I bought a $10 guitar in Vietnam.)

Possibly the most musical and spiritual ferry I've ever been on, I was invited to a Christian service at 7pm in room 212, sung parts of the Quran to every four hours over the tannoy, taught songs, invited to homes in Sumatra and Java, and practically adopted by the friendliest people I've met yet. Then again, the only six-foot white person on board for 26 hours was bound to gain celebrity status!

I am now in Bali being beaten up by the surf...

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