The Asia Pacific | Day 6 | Indonesia | Batam

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I had breakfast at Telunas and took their morning boat back to Batam. Dave had arranged a personal tour with Yuli, who is an Indonesian language teacher in Batam. A driver took us around town, to fruit stands, to lunch, to a souvenir shop, to the mall, and then finally back to the ferry terminal. Late that afternoon I headed back to Singapore, killed some time in the fancy Singapore VivoCity Mall, then eventually got tired of dragging my heavy bag loaded with camera and lighting gear around, so I just went to the airport early, and waited for my 1am red-eye to Syndey.

I didn’t shoot many photos of Batam because frankly I was tired of shooting, but here are the few I did take:

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Batam slum. Yuli proudly pointed out her "high-rise" (air quotes not direct quote) building in one part of the slum (not pictured). I guess living in a building that houses only a few units but stands a few stories above a valley of shacks does mean you are a little better off than your neighbors. It's all relative, people. #travelingperspectives

A drive-up pharmacy. No need to get in a line of oversized SUVs emitting noxious fumes to wait for your refill of Prozac and Ambien when you can just zip your motorcycle within two meters of the counter. Maximum efficiency!

Yuli took me to this fruit stand row to taste Indonesian fruits. All these curb-sized carts had the exact same fruit and there had to be at least 20 all lined up and down this street, with a few picnic tables scattered between them. I never understand how people make money if they''re all selling the same thing as their 20 neighbors. Like, shouldn't they scatter themselves around the city and claim territory? Traffic was terrible in Batam so I imagine not all fruit lovers can escape work and get over to fruit stand row whenever they're craving some soursop. I am a self-proclaimed terrible business person, but I still have some good old American business sense ingrained in me.

fruit stand row (not the official name)

After we picked up fruit, Yuli took me to a nice restaurant for some local food. That is an avocado and chocolate juice. They treat avocados as a sweet fruit, not savory like we do. And the combo sounds awful, but it was really good!

After lunch, Yuli took me to one souvenir shop and I bought all my Indonesian souvenirs there in one bang, as we were maximizing our Batam tour and were limited on time. She then took me to a mall where we had donuts and tea and shoe-shopped, but this shoe lover didn't find anything. Then Yuli dropped me off at the Batam ferry terminal (pictured) before my ferry back to Singapore.

Next post: Sydney — staying in Rose Bay with three generations of Greek women

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