Moped Jackie

During the first 48 hours in Palembang, Indonesia, I have traveled just about every way known to man. My travel partner and I checked out of our fancy international hotel in Jakarta and traveled by coach bus to the airport.
After a local friend negotiated our excess baggage fees down to $10, we hopped a one hour flight to the neighboring island.

Our host teacher, Agustina picked us up from the airport in her friend’s SUV. The next morning, we went by hired car to Ogan Ilir, the small village where we would be staying for the next two days. Once we made it to the village, we hired drivers to take us to the Ogan river bank via mopeds.

From there, a man with a small motor boat, which was slight bigger than a canoe, drove us down the river.

We got out of the boat at the banks of an even smaller village and walked to the school.

After our time in the village, we took the public transportation to Ogan Ilir Department of Education offices. But don’t let the traditional idea of public transportation fool you. This was a mini van with the back seats removed. They were replaced with a single bench that lined the walls of the van. At one point, we were packed 11 deep.

My knees ached from conforming myself to such a small space. “Gosh, I can’t believe how many people are jammed in here,” I said to myself. Suddenly, the van stopped and two more people climbed in. Somehow, we managed to squeeze 13 people in the back of this van, not including one person in the front seat and the driver. No seat belts were worn and no lives were lost- – all for 5,000 rupiah, the equivalent of 50 cents.

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5 thoughts on “Moped Jackie

  1. The diversity of the experiences you are having are making me jealous (in a good way). I was only in two large cities (Jakarta and Bandung) both on the same island. During our team of 2 split up I was at an elite boarding school & escorted around in one of the school’s private cars. While I saw lots of economic diversity from the windows of the car; it was almost as if our host teacher/school didn’t want us to interact with such. I love that you are getting to interact with a variety of perspectives of life in Indonesia.

    • Yes. My travel partner and I have been very fortunate. We have tried all the modes of transportation and have been taken to a lot of eateries that are hidden jewels in the city. They have been cautious about us exploring on our own but go out of their way to ensure we visit anything that interests us.

  2. Wow! I’m envious of your rural Indonesian experiences. Great pics and you two look beautiful. Can’t wait to read more about your school experiences as well.

  3. I look forward to your summary of how this has affected you from a personal perspective. this is very rich and an experience few will get to have. enjoy all

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