August 13, 2006

A work trip to Selat Panjang, Indonesia (Day 1)

Classification :: Trip Report

At first, i thought going to Tanjung Balai was gonna be as easy as getting into a boat trip and arrive.

I was wrong. Tanjung Balai wasn't the destination as I was actually going to Selat Panjang. As Riau islands were downsouth the Singapore, but Riau Islands actually spreading all over up to Sumatera island of Indonesia. Selat Panjang I would say somewhere near Batu Pahat of Johor.

On the August 9th, my brother, Izzat sent me off to Gelang Patah as I will depart from there. I'll be going there with our boat driver, Hamzah and 3 of the Indonesian workers; Ketak, Man and Man Lambok who're going back home. We managed to catch the 3.30PM boat from Kukup (Johor) which arrived in Tanjung Balai (Indonesia) an hour later. Amazingly, the whole Indonesia's time was set the +700 GMT, which is an hour earlier than Malaysian Time.

As we were unable to catch the trip to Selat Panjang on the same day, we decided to check in to a Hotel for one night before proceeding the journey to Selat Panjang. Firstly, we had tea at the small stall by the port.

Well, as Indonesia it is, I saw to believe that a lot of poor people there, much poorer than Tanjung Pinang. People unashamely ask for money. Patheticly, some people who knew Hamzah circled him and asked him for money.

Sounds scary isn't it? It's a normal thing for Malaysians to go over Indonesia and look for workers there. Well, the local authorities look at it as a chance to make money by asking the 'coffee money' from those who were known to take back workers to Malaysia, or else, they'll be facing a lot of problems by the Immigration counters.

Hamzah just said, he went there for GIRLS. The person, who were well-known as KUMIS (for his moustache) went off and he was like keeping an eye on us.

Yeah Tanjung Balai is actually well-knowned as the heaven island of girls. A pretty java girl can be booked for one whole night as low as Rp150,000, which is equivalent to RM60 of Malaysian Currency. That cheap? My partner even told me that at night, girls would be knocking on my door but luckily they didn't as maybe they noticed that i stayed together with Hamzah in one room. It was for the safety reason as I brought in some amount of money with me.

A contact, Usop went to the Hotel and i asked for his massage service. Painful but very refreshing. After sometime, we went down for coffee, but surprisingly, KUMIS, who previously asked money from Hamzah, was still around like he was really spying on us. Crazy!

After that nice cup of coffee, we went up and get to sleep. I slept late as being conscious, of anything that might happen. As I was going to sleep, it's getting even harder as Hamzah 'sang' his snores loudly all night long.

We woke up early in the morning, had breakfast at the same place we were having tea near the port and departed to Selat Panjang by a Jet Ferry Service. It took only one and a half hour to get to Selat Panjang. I hardly felt the ferry was moving forward very fast. On the way to Selat Panjang, it dropped by the Tanjung Samak to pick up a few more passengers before continuing it's journey. I was surprised as the ferry stopped by the Tanjung Samak Port, a lot of hawkers jumped into the ferry to sell their merchandising items, which mostly food, they even followed the ferry to the next station and turned back.

Well, I was a little bit mad as then I gotta know why the Malacca Straits was dirty. One of the reason was these irresponsible food hawkers thorew off their unfinished food into the sea. Not only that, theyeven threw off the content of the dustbin into the sea as well. I felt really bad.

Around 10.30 Indonesian Time, I arrived at the Selat Panjang and now I'm going to work!

No comments:

Sponsor Links

Free Iphone?
Or Free Ipad?
Learn how to get free gadgets

Want to make money from Iphone/Ipad apps?
Affiliate yourself with apps developer to make money

Search Optimize your website
and win free gadget?
SEO Marketing