The night before we had booked in a tour for the afternoon – The Floating Village Tour – with Phillip and Catherine who arrived yesterday, so the morning was pretty much free. Craving more adoration from the Indonesian masses, we took the same stroll as the day before but the crowds had cottoned onto us, I do not know what new fad was in town, perhaps indoor hula-hooping or tamaguuchis, who knows but we were most definitely – not it! There were definitely less adoring kids out there, perhaps we had frightened them the day before or perhaps they had worked out the sum total of our fame was zilch – I do not know but it hurt. We took to explaining to passing cows how the day before we had been the ‘in thing’ but even they did not seem to care, what was happening here?
The Floating Village was in the middle of a lake which was at the end of a road which even by Indonesian standards was poorly maintained – even the potholes had potholes! The village was exactly that – a village but on stilts in the lake with a lot of fish farms cultivating fish for both eating and for ponds and the like.
Rats and cats and birds were ‘a plenty’ and we had time to jump onto one of the fish farms and look in but there was not that much to see, the best views were of the countryside around the actual lake as the hills/mountains in the background were quite a bit more impressive. There were some birds about that I tried to photograph mid-flight but that was a very silly idea – complete waste of time!
When we got back Andung took us round a local market and once again any and everything was on sale. It was a dark maze of passageways and every now and then we would hear a ‘Bule’ or ‘Good Morning’ aimed our way. Whereas back home each trader would have a clear area around each of their stalls here they were all literally on top of one another. It was definitely an eye opener – the raw meat stalls being combined with the cooked was quite off putting so where do we go next. Next (!) was a spot of lunch, which was good because we were all starving, at a small local ‘restraun’ and we all had Gado Gado (vegetables with a peanut dressing) which was excellent really nice and nutty, us Western types actually got a bit less than Andung which I think he noticed so he left quite a bit!
After the meal it was back to the school to say our goodbyes and as we had arrived a bit later there were only the teachers and older students. Next moment one of the lads – Leo – pulled out a guitar and he was really good at playing anything you threw at him so we had an impromptu sing song. This then progressed to some free-form impromptu dancing – me and this possibly camp Indonesian lad called Eulic doing what I can only describe as their version of the Hokey Cokey, except it had a lot of elbow waving and surprised face showing – not very well described but the idea was to put your hands over your face and then go Boo, without the Boo!
We all also had to have our photos taken with each member of the team and we took some videos ourselves of the many manoeuvres on show – one of the strangest was a video of me, Liz and Eulic where we were all getting our bellies out and saying possibly a well know Indonesian phrase containing ‘Apa’ which means ‘You What?’ which had everyone Indonesian in fits of laughter. We all had a great time – we had really taken them to our hearts and I think left some Grimsby ‘magic’ behind as well … lol. They do a great job for some great youngsters and it is my intention to try and get some English books over to them – maybe it will become part of the Hughes library who knows but I do know I, at the very very least wish them all the very best.
As there were four of us Leo offered to give us a lift back to the Homestay – he lives in South Korea and plays in a band on the drums – but he played us a track or two he had fronted the singing of and he was really good at that too. When we got back we watched them all play table tennis and then off to bed as we had a long trip tomorrow and at this point knew little of how long that journey would be!