public transport in indonesia is defined by a few things:
- double the amount of hours you think you’re going to be in transit. then add on another few hours. then maybe that is the earliest you’ll arrive.
- your ferry will probably be delayed, your bus will probably hit a curb (or a man pedaling on a bike carrying a basket full of bananas— he was fine), and your driver might do speed right before getting behind the wheel.
- your bags may get soaked by a sudden storm, or you may actually find that the driver forgot to put your bags in the bus at all (such as what happened yesterday to some spacey travelers en route with me).
- it will be hot, so hot. a lot of the time, it is way too hot.
but, you will love every minute of it.
because indonesia is:
- watching 200 dolphins breach the horizon at sunset as the ferry finally leaves the harbor
- befriending other backpackers around you, swapping stories and sharing bags of banana chips to easily pass the time
- getting into a bus and the driver turning to you and asking in broken english through a toothy smile, “hello! what is your dream?”
- locals beaming at you, and i mean beaming, grins ear-to-ear, laughter contagious, asking to take photos with you, and offering you their food as a welcome to indonesia
- a stranger paying for your train fare because you have some bruises on your knees and they think you could “use some kindness” (even though the bruises were just from a clumsy hike)
- your moto-taxi driver taking you to his house to cook you noodles because he was baffled that you hadn’t had that type of noodles before (he insisted, then wouldn’t let me pay him in the end)
- guitarists who randomly get on the bus at rest stops to play music, then leave just as suddenly
- the way the ocean glimmers as it crests into view; the winding roads that pave through palm forests; the weightless feeling of flying over a wave, bound for the next horizon
it is so, so good here.