Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 31 January 2012 • Blog
It’s one thing to be grateful that your parents taught you something good when you were a kid, but it’s a totally different thing when you relive the lesson.
I’ve always known that my traveling bugs came from my mum. She always loved to travel ever since I was a kid. She would take me on trips with destinations that aren’t as exciting as the journey itself. When I was a kid, she would have huge suitcases and torture porters everywhere we went. I would feel sorry for the porters and felt a little ashamed, but always loved to wear the various choice of clothes that were in them. Mum would also drag my brother and me on economy classes to save money, even if that meant I had to sleep on dirty train floors, squished by the mass, and got sore hands from carrying tons of food from home. All in all, bits and pieces that molded my travel standards to what they are today.
I had the chance to relive the whole teaching experience, and realized I had evolved my standards and made them my own. A few examples of traveling with mom standards, which could be very common back then are:
– Save up!
I’m still that girl that would take a train rather than a plane ticket to save money. But now I understand efficiency. My Mother isn’t there yet. Rather than taking a direct bus to a destination, she prefers to cut the journey in to a lot of cheaper travels. Sure we can save a few dollars, but it meant wasting a lot of hours and energy which could have been saved. You don’t think it sounds that bad?
One time, Mum insisted we take a bus from Bandung to Jakarta instead of taking a shuttle bus that cost more. With three times the hassle, we only managed to save IDR 10,000. That’s just a big NO NO in my book.
– Carry on!
Mother loves to use the drag-me-around bag, one that would be lovely on an airport but not on a dozen buses. I love them too, but only if I know I’m not going to walk around with them all day. This really doesn’t help since Mum loves the point above.
– Look it up!
My mother doesn’t like to research on destinations before leaving. If she wants to visit a place, she just goes. So how does she manage? She chats! She would pick any random person beside her and ask for directions. She doesn’t even care if they’re reading or listening to their iPod, she’ll poke them to ask what her next bus should be, even if there are directions painted in front of her eyes. But she’s got the most friends in the country that I know.
– Bring it on!
To save money, Mum will bring what ever she can from home. Besides her jewelry and many lipsticks, food is definitely on the list because she has a fussy tongue. So she loves to bring all sorts of dishes in extra hand carry luggage, complete with the strong smell of the dish. There will never be just one hand carry luggage with her, it’ll be a minimum of 2 ready to bump people that we pass.
Eating the food she bought from home in the city center that is filled with foodcourts.
– Eat it!
We love street food! That’s one thing that I can match up. I’d pick street food anytime. Not only because it’s cheaper, it’s also the honest taste of the locals. Mum loves to buy street food, and once she can’t finish her grub she makes ME finish it. I don’t like wasting food, but I don’t like finishing things that I didn’t sign up for!
Man, do I have a lot of issues about traveling with Mum or what? Traveling with her was a constant struggle to accept the way she does things. It was a half pleasant and half torturous.
It also got me thinking on how we all travel these days. We are better planned than the previous generations. We can calculate almost every single detail of our journey with the amount of information on the tip of our fingers. We are more versatile, having gadgets and gizmos to help every single need and are more compact than what everything was back in the days. We choose to be less hassled and taking things down a notch when considering luggage. And finally, we are less chatty. Back then mingling was a necessity. But with the help of Lonely Planet and various guides such as yours truly, you can waddle yourself through the country with less communication. Not to mention we’re so in to our mp3 and laptops. So are we in a better place? It’ll be a never-ending debate.
Let me just say, that I recommend anyone traveling with their moms. Traveling with Dad would probably be less of a hassle and more pleasant, but what gain do you get from that kind of pain? Traveling with mom is the ultimate test. Mums will care for you and wish the best of the travels in her own way, a way that you might not agree with and will definitely learn something from. So take your mum on a journey, trust me, you’d be able to blog about it afterwards.