Saturday, August 27, 2005

9:09 AM// Welcome to Jakarta, where the local time is: tomorrow.

After 40 hours, Alex and I have safely arrived in Bogor, a suburb of Jakarta. We've spent the last four days at a friend of a friend's amazing house in Bogor. He's an American with plenty of excellent contacts to people who've done research in or near Kerinci Seblat national forest (where we will be). This is truly stroke of luck as his help has been enormously invaluable.

Trying to hit the ground running, we're flogging our way through the Indonesian bureaucracy, obtaining permits and visiting government offices left and right. We will be pleasantly "stuck" here for another few days before we can fly to Padang, then drive to Sungaipenuh, our ultimate destination within Kerinci.

Interesting experiences include riding an ojek (motorcycle taxi) and trying to explain to a taxi driver in a language I don't speak well directions to a place I don't know well. The food is a bit spicy, but apparently is nothing compared to where we're going. Sushi-Thai frequenters will be somewhat familiar with Padang-style foods and the possible spice-level.

Today we visited the (famed?) botanical gardens of Bogor, which was apparently a haven for rich Dutch merchants years ago. Quite enjoyable. Pictures uploaded next time.


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