Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Sulawesi, island with many faces
1 januari 2017
Sulawesi, island with many faces
We had a very clear program for Makassar; visit McDonald to break the rice dominance on our plates, visit to Starbucks next door to have a reasonable ( for Americans a great) coffee and oh what was the other important thing....visit the city. We used becaks, the bicycle taxis, and paid too much everytime we used them, except the last time. Katja personally negotiated the best price ever for any tourist using a becak, 5000 rupiahs (40 eurocent) for a 20 minutes ride. Of course the trick was the deliberate "misunderstanding" and at arrival their language skills had suddenly improved and they wanted 50.000 rupiahs which would have made it the most expensive ride ever. This time we stood our ground, smiled friendly and walked away.
After Makassar with its crazy traffic ( we are pretty sure a birthcertificate is also valid as driver licence) we took a 11 hours busride in a VIP executive express bus?
Let me explain the meaning;
"VIP" means the bus is old, the bigger the letters on the bus, the older the bus. "Executive" means they play loud music from famous local artists and the airconditioning is like a blizzard creating instant sneezing. Finally "Express" means there are only stops every 5 minutes and the maximum speed remains above 10 km per hour. If you are in the bus you get the idea it is constantly raining, but this is only condensate as our riding freezer was the coldest spot in the country.
Especially exciting are the toilet stops. They are another highlight. I think there is a lot of money to earn by renting out knee-high boots and protective clothing before entering the toilets. The undefined fluids are ankle deep and they have their own biosphere. Your blatter automatically tries to expand as a last effort to hold your urine. Never more happy to be a man, but poor Katja.
When we finally arrived in Rantepao at 8 pm we were excited to find out it was actually dry and warm. Rantepao is the capital of Tana Toraja and is one of the highlights of Sulawesi. In the colonial times the Dutch forbid a lot of the ceremonies of the animistic/ christian people who live here with the exception of the funeral ceremonies. These ceremonies are in our eyes bizar, but for the Torajas very real and logical. So when somebody dies the body can stay for a year in the house and in fact is still part of family life. They get their daily meal, they are spoken too, visitors ( tourists as well) are supposed to greet the corpse and say goodbye when leaving. once the family has enough money the funeral takes place. Funerals can last from 1 day till a year and the cost can be enormous. We visit a place where multiple houses and grain storages were built in honor of the deceased and 60 bulls were sacrificed either by the knife and or in bullfights. Amongst there were special blue eyes white and black bulls which cost more than 700.000 euro each. It is bizar.
The bulls (and other animals) are traded on the saturday market and this is a special sight. And a special smell as well. The whole day we smelled after bull dung and Katja sitting behind me on the rented motorbike was complaining about the stank. Maybe I should have told here I accidently dropped my helmed in a pile, or more a puddle of highly smelly bullshit.
There is so much more to tell, but not here. The pictures illustrate some of the burial sites we visited. Our next stop in Sulawesi will be in our next story.
Foto's bij verslag (15)
19 januari 2017 15:58 | Door: Rob
Klinkt alsof je het leuk hebt! :)) Veel plezier en blijf de verhalen sturen. Leuk om te lezen. Eet je vitamientjes, blijf gezond en vooral veilig. Mazzel, Rob