For those of you thinking we are payed to go to Indonesia
and enjoy tropical beaches walking around occasionaly looking for fossils, I
will try to describe our working day. Place of action: Talisayan, little
village in the middle of the Mankalihat northern coast.
06:30 Wake up, using lovely common facilities (no toilet,
shower, or tap water in the room).
07:00 Breakfast in the nearby restaurant.
07:30 Going to field work. Depending on the distance,
driving can take from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Of course, the roads are perfect
to wake up anybody still sleeping.
08:00 Arriving to the outcrop. Usually, no tropical beach
around (if there is any, it is a mud trap as Anja already described). Taking a
swim there would be a lottery (especially if you consider that there ARE
08:00 – 12:30 Working under heavy tropical sun, trying to follow the bed, trying to chip a usable piece of the rock, making a
log, avoiding mosquitos...
12:30 Taking all collected samples back to car and going for
lunch, if there is anywhere to go. Sometimes we just use snacks (including the
fabulous Mango biscuits).
13:30 Continuing under even stronger sun. Losing liters and
liters of sweat. Asking ourselves what are we doing here.
17:00 Finishing with work for the day. Usually, a rain
shower comes to cool us and make wet for air conditioned cars.
18:00 Arriving to hotel. Showering without shower and with
cold water. Some of my colleagues, including myself, complained about not
having hot water in Bandung hotel. Well, just imagine having no shower and only
19:00 Going for dinner to the nearby restaurant. Highlight
of the day – ikan bakar (grilled fish) or cumi-cumi (squid).
20:30 Returnig to the hotel, making sample list, arranging
bills, doing laundry (by ourselves of course).
22:30 Feeling dead, cannot keep your eyes opened, falling to
06:30 Waking up, and the same old routine again.
So to return to my title: TII (This Is Indonesia)! And it
really is. And it is great! True Indonesia experience, and not that one you see
on a tourist commercials!