Monday 9 April 2012: Indonesian bird life
I am overwhelmed by the good wishes from yesterday's rather depressing blip. You are all such wonderful friends. I will keep you updated on progress and write a bit more on traveling shortly.
A significant omission from my Indonesian journal is blips of birds. The fact is that there are very few birds around to actually blip, aside from my limited camera equipment. You would expect an equatorial tropical location like Indonesia to be swarming with bird life, with a dawn chorus to match the daily Australian avian overture. But you would be wrong.
It is not that Indonesians hate birds, quite the opposite in fact, judging by the massive trade in caged birds. A day does not go past without me seeing a few cages being transported on the back of a motorbike. It is oh so very sad to see and one of the bad things about this country. The same applies to all wildlife here, I'm just glad that they haven't figured out how to keep dragonflies in cages, but they too are sold on the international market, along with rare butterflies.
To balance this blip with a more positive note, I was out on my motorbike this morning, making flight inquiries, when I ran out of petrol. Contrary to a previous report that I made, regarding the plethora of petrol stations, I found myself in a fuel desert with nothing for miles. I guess small petrol supply is not allowed around the city center.
I made inquiries at the small stall that my machine had died outside of. He disappeared out back for a minute, reappearing with a length of tube and a small plastic container. He siphoned off a cup full from his motor and poured into my tank. I tried to repay this amazing and very generous act, but he refused any payment and settled for a hand shake and a profusion of thanks. How amazing was that! I am going to miss this country.