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For not the first time it had dawned on me too late that I had hit town just in time for the local regional museum to shut for the weekend, and so today became the day off I had intended for myself the day before. Casual strolls succeeded in picking up provisions such as rare to find shaving cream and Tiger Balm, the one remaining local sight of note the Governor's Residence failed to even merit a photo, before trying a local dish Lingga which was a square yellow patty of indistinguishable composition. It tasted of shrimp and resembled that texture but they tended to use shrimp paste a lot in these parts, I deduced that an egg and durian mix was a more likely concoction. An acquired taste, shall we say. I finally submitted to chill out mode with a trip to the cinema to see Die Hard 4, having failed to track down a single net cafe in a city of 1.7 million people, even the 3 terminals at the post office were inexplicably unoperational.

It was a revelation to also be reminded that a long awaited spectacle was nigh, my chance acquisition of a room with a TV proved a boon in allowing me to catch the start of the 2007 Asia Cup, the local equivelant of the European Championships, with new admittants Australia sitting as favourites. The opening game in a tell tale rainy Bangkok, still 28 degrees at 8pm, provided a 1 all draw between Thailand and Iraq, and then I caught the qualifying session for the British Grand Prix after it for good measure. I could never seem to completely rest though, in the rare moments I got to sit down there was always something to be done, and amongst other chores I finally managed to sew a recently acquired patch over a rip in my single pair of long trousers which had been bugging me for months. Then there was reading to be done. For the first time I sat in contemplation of next island Java and made tentative plans for my initial invasion. It also made me aware of my visa limitation too as I pondered all the many possible excursions, I had less than 4 weeks to do Java justice and get back into Malaysia as was the current plan. It was taking an inexorably long time to see this country but I had gone past caring. If the rest of the country even came close to Sumatra then it was destined to become my favourite country of the whole trip, and so time would just have to run.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in Indonesia

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