After two days it feels like we’ve been in another world for weeks. Where to begin…?
Our first morning we had quarantine and customs officials aboard. Very friendly and courteous, but lots of forms (done in duplicate with carbon paper!). Then all the BPOers went ashore and piled in a little bus to go to an ATM, since no one had Indonesian money and credit cards are not accepted, and then we went to the biggest store. There we each in turn wrestled with our electronic devices and SIM cards and data plans to get ourselves connected. Then a brief rest back at the boats before meeting to walk to the Raja’s house — the King of Tual — for traditional dancing and dinner.
Walking through the street, with our Tourist Board escorts in colorful garb, we attracted lots of attention. In fact, everywhere we go we attract so much attention that it is exhausting just to be around all the excited and friendly people!
The dancing was beautiful, and then the real fun began, with everyone wanting photos posed with everyone, plus some of us trying to dance, plus just tons of smiles everywhere. The photos will hopefully tell the story better than my words.
I tried to upload short video clips here, but no luck. Someday…