Sunday, I decided to “get out of my box,” as a friend has chided me numerous times, and
finally walk into Nagoya to look around on foot. I’ve been into town many times, often at night to play pool in kampung bule, but I had not yet trekked down the hill with camera. Nagoya Hills is 1.4 kilometer from Smiling Hill, about .8 mile, not much but the walk back up the hill is a bear. I brought my backpack so I could carry stuff back from the store.
I knew this walk would be a bear in the heat and humidity but it was time. In Costa Rica, Croatia and Italy, I routinely walked around town but the hill that Smiling Hill sits on makes walking into town a chore. It wasn’t long before I was soaked in sweat.
My journey took me to the main street running past the Hypermart, where I shop for
groceries, which is not often. I took a left, negotiating uneven sidewalks, or no sidewalks at all. The trick was to stay out of the roadway if at all possible. Even on a Sunday morning, the traffic was heavy and hectic, with a lot of motorbikes buzzing around. Almost was run over once trying to cross the street. The look left, then right, then left again doesn’t work so well when people are driving on the left side of the road.
Nagoya is really not much to look at. As evidenced by the photos, there are a number of hotels in town, and I only passed a few. Most of the shops were closed but a book store was open and I decided to see if they had any English-Indonesian dictionaries. I’m looking for a small one, abridged to mostly what I need to reference but, so far, all I’m finding are very comprehensive editions. The same at this store so walked on.
I must have looked like I needed a ride, and certainly the locals probably don’t see too
many bules walking on the side of the road, with a backpack and a towel around their neck, perspiring profusely. Taxis would slow down and honk, numerous motobikes (ojeks) asked if I needed a ride. I just wiggled two fingers like a cartoon stick figure walking and they understood. Often they smiled at my primitive gesturing.
I finally veered off onto a side street, as I wanted to walk in a local neighborhood. Some of the houses looked okay, but the streets were shabby. I drew some stares from locals and two guys asked me to take their photo. I’ve learned to let them see the picture after I’ve taken it, which usually draws smiles and giggles. I wonder what they think I will do with their likenesses.
Finally, I headed back to Nagoya Hills with the intent to have a beer at one of the bars at
kampung bule. After getting a little lost, I asked directions of a group of ojek (motorbike taxi) riders who wanted their picture taken. I joined them for one shot. I then found the bars, and since Cock and Bull was the first open bar I came across, I went in and had a very cold, and very welcome, Bintang. The hostesses inside, including Mutya who I know from Smiling hill, were surprised to see anyone so early.
Only a handful of the 25 bars in the area were open, so I stopped at the liquor store and headed back up the hill. Reaching the top was a welcome relief. Cooled off in the pool with another Bintang.