I was asked by Patricia Vance of GotSaga, an online community of travellers, to write a guest post for the website.
The task was easy. Out of the 15 countries we visited on this trip, five stood out the most.
Read the article to see which ones.
Tana Toraja is a region of Indonesia where death is the greatest cause for celebration. To usher souls to the afterlife, the locals organize massive funerals that last days. And they sacrifice lots of buffalo on the way.
Click to watch video.
Coming from the country of soccer is wonderful. From Zimbabwe to Vanuatu, you can be sure that your nationality will be instantly recognized – even loved – by the people you talk to. And that admiration will be instantly transferred to you.
Coming from the country of soccer is horrible. Especially if the wounds of defeat are still gushing blood. Or if, like me, you understand piddles about sport.
We’ve been together for month now, and it’s time we had that talk. I don’t know where you see this going, but I could say “the hell with it” to the rest of my year-long trip and stay here with you.
There’s some debate online on which East Java city time-crunched travelers should pick, Malang or Solo. For their benefit, here’s a side-by-side comparison.
I lied, dodged the entry fee, and trespassed to get to Borobudur temple, just to avoid disappointment and admitting defeat. Now a cloud of karma trails me like a bad smell
But at the time, I was too high on adrenaline to care.
It takes at least two days to get to the Togean Islands from anywhere of consequence in Sulawesi. It’s a difficult journey of nauseating roads and deafening boats. So it’s of little surprise that very few people go there. All the better.
The following is an amalgamation of several dialogues that took place in broken English and broken Indonesian.
“Hello, meester. Can I take your picture?”
“Now you and me.”
“Now with my friend. Now you, me and my friend. Now you and my wife. Now you me, my wife, and my friend.”
The buffalo looked calm even though four of his brothers laid bloodied at his feet. It’s as if it knew that his whole life, all the years of pasture and fattening, was meant for this moment.
There was him and another dozen left to go. This was the burial ceremony of a wealthy person, and in Tana Toraja, a region of Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, the size of a funeral has to correspond to the social status of the deceased.
See full article for photo galley.
There is no shortage of evidence to show that the West is in fact far less developed than the East: the death of spirituality. The domination of work over family. Material individualism. Girlicious.
But nothing proves how backwards we are than our failure to adopt the single greatest mode of urban transportation: the becak, a two-seater rickshaw pushed from behind by a bicycle.