Friday, September 05, 2008 Indonesia Indonesia

Flying out of Asia

Javan volcano [Enlarge]

Our three flights have gone smoothly so far today (actually yesterday—we're writing this at stupid o'clock in the morning somewhere over the Timor Sea), although it's been a very long day sitting around in badly organised airports. We had a final chuckle on the first plane from Padang to Jakarta. Garuda's inflight magazine for this month has a couple of interesting articles that the general population could do with reading. The first is a piece by one of the magazine's publishers (a Westerner) all about why corruption is such a bad thing for a country; the second is by an Indonesian journalist talking about how the current generation of 20-to-40 year olds have to stop blaming colonialism for what's wrong with their country and their lives, and taking some responsibility for fixing it. We have to agree. Korea fared much worse under Japanese colonialism than Indonesia did under the Dutch, and it has almost nothing in the way of natural resources, yet it's now a prosperous developed country investing heavily outside its boundaries. Because its people are hard working and forward looking. Same with Singapore and Malaysia. And yet in Indonesia, everything is always the fault of the Dutch, even though they left over sixty years ago. And amid the moaning nothing actually improves.

So anyway, there ends our Asian adventure which began on a short ferry ride across the Dardanelles in Turkey twenty months ago. We've had infinitely more good times than bad. It's a shame we've had to leave on such a low, though it does mean we have no qualms about moving on. Australasia, whatever it brings us, will be very different. At the moment we're most looking forward to eating our own kind of food and being able to converse easily with the natives for the first time in nearly two years. We just have to remember not to mention Olympic Gold Medals... You beaut!

Map of Day 650

Day 650
Padang to Jakarta to Denpasar

This map shows the route we took in this post. Click it to see larger maps of our whole route at flickr.

Maps are taken from the CIA World Factbook.