Our weeklong stay in Debut gave us an opportunity to ease into Indonesia, learn a few critical phrases, get accustomed to what’s available in the markets, and reacquaint ourselves with the high-finance feel of the currency, where 100,000 rupiah is approximately $10AUD. We find it easier to do the mental arithmetic to Aussie dollars — knock off four zeros — than the more headscratching conversion to USD, which we haven’t used in years anyway.
Our little town of Debut has very little in the way of shops and supplies so a local taxi or van is in order for a 20 to 30 minute drive into Langgur where an ATM coughs up a maximum of 2,500,000 rupiah, about $175US. The wad of bills challenges the Velcro on my wallet and I have to find alternative ways of carrying money.
The fresh market is typical, and in a few visits we’ve learned what’s readily available — bok choy, tomatoes, eggplant, ladyfinger bananas — and what’s not, most notably mangoes, which we learned are out of season, and much in the way of fresh herbs. Everyone is patient and helpful as we navigate the ways of the marketplace and the language.
The big surprise for me is how difficult it is to find vegetarian food in restaurants. During our sojourns into town, and also at our rally dinners, there isn’t much in the way of food for me to eat, and when I ask if vegetarian food is available I’m met with puzzled looks. This is not what I expected in Indonesia and I’m hoping it’s just the case in these particular islands, where fishing is the dominant industry.
We stayed behind the day much of the fleet departed for our next stop because I wanted to catch up on laundry and get the boat more organized after the passage from Australia. We also wanted to walk the road along the shore to see more of the village and stretch our legs a bit before heading back out to sea.
Everyone wants a ‘selfie,’ by which they mean either they want us to take their picture or they want to take our picture with them. We’ve posed for more photos than we can count.
And now it’s time to go, a little less than 200 miles west, to a destination that Jack has dreamed of for decades.