Am whiling away time b4 going to Bandung... Zippo inspiration for a blog post, but not much else to do at the mo...
Just got back from Banda Aceh. As I said previously it's expensive. There's more jilbabs around than other places in Indo, less beer, funny names for stuff (lili is angkot for example) but at least it's superficially similar to other parts of Indo...
Went to the Raya mosque, and a gay guy asked for my number -- surprising in the Sharia part of Indo eh?
Asked a waitress to recommend a drink (all non-alcoholic on the menus up there) and she suggested Bintang (nice!).
All the Independence day paraphernalia was out in force. They held their parade on Wednesday instead of Sunday though (why??).
Quite a few backpackers about. All looking quite nervous and smelly with their greasy and or dreadlocked hair. Not a fan of the backpackers.
I went to Sabang island. It's a vv beautiful place! I took an executive VIP boat over, the girl sold it to me by saying that there was karaoke, tidur and snack on board. Think was the comfy seats were also next to the megawatt karaoke machine.
Once I got to Sabang I realised however that there were no boats back for the rest of the day. Got a real bad sinking feeling, cos my flight back to the big durian was the next morning. So I raced over to the other side of an island and rented a fisherman's boat for the 3 hour trip back to Banda Aceh.
The views from from that little 5 or 6m boat which circumnavigating Sabang islands were truly phenomenal. I was nervous as hell, not knowing what the waters might be like, and never having had much to do with the sea -- I can't even swim!! The captain / fisherman just puffed away on cigarette after cigarette hand on the rudder. Probably a veteran arms smuggler or drugs trafficker for GAM I thought.
When it got dark, I could see lighting storms on the left and right of us. The milky way was clear up above. Got an odd splash of water. The trickiest part was finding the right part of the harbour to anchor off. Banda Aceh harbour is segmented into 4 or 5 parts. We went into one segment after an other, not sure how the fisherman knew which was the correct one, but eventually he sai "Allah, Allah [something soemthing]" and I knew we'd hit on the right part.
Luckily a becak was close by and I got back to my hotel wedged in next to another passenger. Drank a really nice can of Bintang beer and probably the best Satay I've ever eaten back at the hotel.
I should've taken pictures, but I don't think they'd have done Sabang justice. It's a must see place! Just take care of the bloody ferry schedules!!