Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mud tourists

For those who are just catching up, there are several posts here from our recent trip to the mud volcano disaster that has flooded thousands of people out of their homes in Sidoarjo, East Java ...

The main highway in Porong runs right next to the disaster site. You can climb the embankment and look out over the mud lake and the distant geyser. On weekends, it's full of mud tourists.

Local vendors bombard you with offers of ojek (motorcycle-taxi) rides and DVDs, sometimes actually pulling you toward their motorcycles by the arm. It's a pretty aggressive scene by Indonesian standards. Some of the men who've lost their houses have been officially licensed as ojek drivers for the disaster area. They're clearly pretty anxious to make some money.

Here's a license: "Embankment Ojek Association, Victim of Hot Mud Overflow." It must be odd to wear a badge that says "Victim."

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