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Indonesian Retrospective

May 17, 2015 1 Comment

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Last Friday we got the name of Winstar, as a shipping agent. They have given us a “rate” for getting the cars to Singapore: $1700 Singapore, for both cars, plus a Singapore certificate. And with luck, we’ll be on Wednesday’s boat.

On the weekend we met some bules (Caucasians) at a fantastic seafood restaurant, Amazon Seafood and they told us of a girl called Annie, who’s a good fixer, for westerners, for a cheap rate.

We met Annie today and she wants about $2000 Singapore PER CAR, and it will take up to eight days!

I’m back at Winstar to stitch ‘em up, while Barry keeps Annie, and her Canadian boyfriend at bay.

In fact I’m sitting in Winstar’s office, drafting this letter.

Indonesian Retrospective

Indonesian People on Wharf

Lots of Helpers on the Wharf During Loading and Unloading our Cars

The people are awesome, friendly, curious, shy, polite, non-judgmental. They are a pleasure to be around. Of course there are some who want a rupee at every opportunity, especially with the Bule. However, the vast majority are a pleasure to be around.

Three main issues to me for this country. And you will notice that they come from my engineering career. Remember we have spent most of our time in more remote areas, or quite some distance off the main road, where we could camp (with a minimum of spectators), so my notes are from this perspective. Having said that, we notice that there is a regular sprinkling of villagers and villages, through the bush. I had the feeling that there was a person (or two), every 200m in any direction.

They have to keep slashing the side of the roads to try to stop the jungle taking over the tracks and roads.

The issue for these people is access to clean water. One village we drove through, in the jungle on Java, had 30 odd garden hoses linked up to a nearby waterfall to supply and maybe pressurise their water supply. Each hose went to a different house! I know there are first world initiatives to improve nations’ water supplies and these are to be congratulated. More power to those initiatives.

The second big issue is sewage disposal. The villages and rural population are living without understanding about the cumulative effects of population growth, deforestation and increased pollutants in the water supply. So, basically, they are doing things as they did them thousands of years ago. There is no education program to help inform the people of these effects.

The third big issue is waste management, along with landfill and plastic.

Before plastic turned up these people used grasses, coconut shells etc to transport and deal with their food and clothing. They had ‘warums’, or cafes, but they picked up their stuff in a grass bag. When it wore out, they dumped it on the track, and it broke down.

Plastic, in the form of plastic bags, polystyrene, plastic-coated cardboard, etc, have arrived and made stuff easier. So when a bag gets a hole, they just drop it. But it doesn’t break down. The bits just accumulate, end up in landfill, ploughed in the paddocks, or in the rivers then oceans and lakes.

This problem is caused by the inventors and producers of the plastic, no one has helped the people as to the consequence of this material. I’ve heard bules complain that they would not come back here due to the rubbish, but it is the bules’ modern system that is the root of the problem.

Bring on bio-degradable plastic. I’ve heard it is 10-20 times dearer than non-degradable, but that’s a decision the bules have to make. The fish will be happy.

As mentioned, I’m sitting in the Winstar office. It is having the desired effect. They have drafted, and I have signed, the consent letter to customs. Our contact agent here has made eye contact with me and has contacted a friend of his, with better contacts in Singapore to hurry up the Singapore certificate. Once we have that, I think, we shoot off to customs to have the cars checked (they’re impounded) and the next step is the ship. They’ll use a net to lift the cars onto the deck, as they don’t have a container high enough. They also arrange, or help us arrange, two tow trucks in Singapore, as Singapore won’t let us drive through ($350 Sing each!).

Next update will (hopefully) be from the ship on our way to Singapore.

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  1. Ken Johnson says:

    A.T what fun you are having and no doubt leaving a lasting impression on the people of Indonesia. Tony Abbott is unaware of the valuable contribution you guys are making-I expect if he knew what was happening he would make you temporary ambassadors. Am having a great laugh following your progress from my comfortable surroundings in Port. Robyn sends her love-safe trecking mate.

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