Indonesian Chronicles - Day 2, 14/8/2018 - Impressions, Facts & Stories

Day 1 is orientation day. The day where you get your 5 senses acquainted with your new environment and evaluate the best strategy to cross the road without getting rolled over by a car or a motorbike (or a scooter in the case of Indonesia).

Day 2 is when you start doing your real tourist job, visiting a list of things, which depending on your location can be short or long and can involve walking, hiking, trekking, climbing stairs, buying tickets and guide tours, strolling around, driving or being driven, swimming, snorkelling, diving, surfing, windsurfing…There is a very large portfolio of action verbs expected to fill your days. Action verbs which are not used in your day to day lives back home or at uni (in the case of T).

If you are moving around, like we are, you reset and repeat at every move, and do a little bit of travel to get you from A to B using various modes of transportation. It can be improvised or planned. But L does like mapping and planning our trips so we have a family Google doc which summarises our 2018 Indonesian vacation. L also likes providing historical and economical context as we visit cities, museums and temples, like a talking guide at hand, except that he does not request tips, just attention. L will typically have read a couple of guides before our trip, as well as one History of Indonesia. He will have consulted various data sets including the World Economic Forum’s. It is typical of L of course. Better than a Kindle library and a portable Alexa. But we do see quite a few French families operating in the same way when travelling. Over the years, we have developed an acute ability to recognise French tourists as the ones who use a specific kind of travel guide, with hardly no photos and a lot of text, called ‘Green Guides[1]’. The guide is just a helpful clue. What really confirms that we are dealing with French tourists is having an adult, planted in front of a monument, reading entire sections of the Green Guide to their partner and kids and the family pretending that they are listening.


[1] The Michelin Green Guides review and rate attractions other than restaurants. There is a Green Guide for France as a whole, and a more detailed one for each of ten regions within France. Other Green Guides cover many countries, regions, and cities outside France. Many Green Guides are published in several languages. They include background information and an alphabetical section describing points of interest. Like the Red Guides, they use a three-star system for recommending sites ranging from "worth a trip" to "worth a detour", and "interesting".