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In Indonesia, I Am A Rockstar


Me and the Ladies at Prambanan (by Everything Everywhere)
Look for me in the March 2008 edition of Indonesia Tiger Beat

Today I visited Borobudur and Parambanan.

But I’m not going to talk about that right now. That will be for another time when I can go through the photos and do them justice.

I’m going to talk about all the kids I met today.

I met a LOT of kids today. Normally when you are at a tourist attraction, it is not uncommon to be asked to take someone’s photo. Especially when people think you are a professional photographer (and I get that a lot with my camera). However, I have never been asked to have my photo taken with someone else. Without any exaggeration, that happened about 20 times today. I literally was the center of attraction at both sites.

At Borodubur it turns out the school group that was there was there for an English class trip. They went specifically to meet tourists. I think they were from a school in Surabaya, which is in East Java. (I gave them my URL, so some of the kids might post comments here to clarify).

I managed to talk to their teacher for a while. It is hard for them to find people to have English conversations with. Like many people I’ve met on my trip, they sort of have to learn English in a vacuum. (BTW, this would be a great program to get off the ground. Set up Skype calls between native English speakers and students learning English. One side can improve their English and the other can learn about life someplace else.)

At Prambanan, it literally was an assembly line as every student (and even the parents) lined up to get their picture taken with me. We were in front of one of the most significant Hindu temples outside of India, and they all wanted photos with me. It was sort of …..weird.

There were very few foreign tourists at either site. I was told that before the Bali bombings in 2002, you would see more foreigners than locals. Now, you can hardly find tourist. There were literally 3-4x the vendors at each site than there were people visiting.

Tomorrow I may move to Solo for the night and visit the site where Java man was found, and then move to Surabaya. I might go to Mount Bromo, which is a volcano before heading to Bali.

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Comments

  1. mer says:

    haha…. i can imagine. indonesians love to take pics with foreigners, especially caucasians.
    we’re thinking along the similar line about skype language education — the problem is bandwidth. when i was there i hardly got enough bandwidth to skype-ing.

    enjoy Indonesia! it’s a lovely country… with friendly people! and thanks for your lovely blog too.

  2. Craig says:

    The skype English-lesson is already an established business plan. More’s the pity.

    There’s plenty of room in the market, but skype/broadband quality still have to become more consistent for it to really fly.

  3. Mike R. says:

    Bali is an absolute blast. I went there in ’03 with my (at the time) girlfriend from Japan. The scenery was gorgeous and I think you’ll find the culture and people of Bali to be quite different from the rest of Indonesia.

    While there you have to climb Gunung Agung. It is a breathtaking sight.

  4. Gary says:

    I don’t use a cell phone. I seldom have a need to call anyone. I just use email and skype if necessary.

  5. Didik says:

    Hi, Gary! Good thing you have visit Borobudur and Prambanan as it is Java’s main heritage. Drop me a line when you have local cellphone number. Btw, you can buy local cellphone with their sim card for cheap prices.

    Mine at +62 21 32160630

  6. Drew says:

    Tiger Beat, Oh man Gary that is a riot. You are right up there with The Coreys. What an interesting experience. Each time I stop by there is something else fun to learn about and great photos.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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