Friday, June 13, 2008

Dangdut bus II: Bromo to Kalibaru

After a long sweaty day of bus rides, a sleepless night, and a sulfurous hike, I really needed a shower. But I was still too cold to take one, so I didn't.

Me (and my new glasses) in the hotel mirror

Instead, we piled back on the minivan to retrace our path down the mountain to Probolinggo and then on westward to Kalibaru. The van dropped us at the rather notorious Probolinggo bus station. True to form, five different people there told us five completely different things about where the buses were going, how much they cost, what time they left and how to buy tickets. Finally we jumped on a non-air-conditioned economy bus just to extricate ourselves from the trail of bickering touts we had accumulated.

Like the bus itself, the dangdut vidoes on it were cheap and local. They seemed to have been shot at a singing contest, except that the fiercest competition was really about which singer could wear the shortest and tightest shorts with her go-go boots. The lyrics were all in Javanese. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture because the bus was shaking too hard.

Finally we arrived at the cool green leafiness of Margo Utomo plantation. Margo Utomo is a funny colonial time-warp of a resort: it has lovely little cottages and a working farm, and lots of Dutch guests who've clearly been going there for decades. The staff speaks more Dutch than English, which is rare in Indonesia these days.

We'd been moving pretty fast since we left Jakarta, so it was great to have a couple of days here just to stroll under the trees, drink the coffee they grow right on the farm, and spend some time getting to know the four-legged staff members.


Murphy said...

Nice glasses! And you look so great.

michele said...

two things:
1. the glasses look great, but you look so serious in this photo... have you become a german existentialist artist or something (or perhaps that's the look you were going for?)
2. that cow is adorable! (and i like the action shot). she looks young-ish. do you know her name?

Mary said...

nice glasses! Did I go glasses shopping with you in Berlin once? I think so, and you said you couldn't pick out glasses very well. You did a good job this time. Mooooo.

kopisusu2 said...

Thanks guys! I do think I look rather severe, M. Like the cafeteria monitor we had in elementary school. That woman did not enjoy her work. I'm not sure why I looked that way; I think I was cold and sleepy and having a hard time getting the picture to come out right.

Sadly, I did not get the calf's name, but Susu would definitely work.

Yes, Mary, we did go glasses shopping once. We got some roundish brown tortoiseshell glasses that I loved until I sat on them a few months ago and bent them. I appreciate the vote of support. Moo!