Thursday Talk - Everytime I’m in Bima I go jalan jalan. Jalan means street. And jalan jalan has more than one meaning.
The most rich people go to drive a little bit with their cars, but the most people from Bima means that they go to drive a little bit around the city with their motorcycle. And me, I just go by feet across the neighbourhood.
That’s difficult to understand for them. Walking? In this heat? It’s difficult to understand that Europeans so eager to go on foot. The locals would almost take public transportation or their motorcycle to three neighbours further.
Because I really can enjoy from hiking, I can recommend it to anyone who passes through Bima and takes the time to stay longer than a few hours or one day. Because the most backpackers don’t stay longer out of ignorance. Very pitty. Go with the bemo (local transport) definitely to Raba of Kumbe, just outside the city and further into the valley.
Just walking through the streets – jalan jalan – and let yourself be carried away by the flew of the local people. You will immediately notice how friendly everyone is. Everywhere people call ‘Hey Mister’ or ‘Hey Miss’ and they greet you friendly. Very often they ask in the little English they know where are you going to. Than I always answer ‘jalan jalan’. They are also always looking forward to hear your name ‘What’s your name?’. Those are the standard phrases that they learn in school. If I then answer in the little Indonesian that I know, are they always surprised. They are already surprised to see a foreigner, because they rarely come here. You don’t know what your are missing.
I often get the question of the locals if I also greet every foreigner in Belgium. With a smile on my face I explain them that you can find in some Belgian cities more foreigners than Belgium people. Very strange for them.
Text & picture: T. Hanan S.
More about: Indonesia, Thursday Talk, travel, backpacking
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