Home -> Travel Blogs -> Tanjung Balai 20 May 06 Pg 2

After the jetty saga, we felt more at eased (without all the motor and taxi touts) when we were in town proper. Based on what we have explored, Tanjung Balai was nothing more than 3 main streets of shops. As of what I have seen in Medan and Tanjung Pinang, it was mostly the Chinese that owned the business while the Indonesians worked as assistants. We visited a couple of temples in town and understand that the Chinese here were mostly Hokkiens and Teochews.

Beer was easily available in provision shops and definitely cheap at around Rp5.5k per can. As mentioned, most shops carry Tiger/Carlsberg/Heineken: popular brands favoured by Malaysians and Singaporeans. As we walked along the streets with a Bintang, I hear Indonesians mumbering "Bintang, Bintang". Not sure why they do that, but perhaps they don't fancy drinking beer at noon. Maybe it is considered extravagant to them drinking beer at noon. I don't know.

Lunch was Chinese-style pork rib soup with rice. As of the places I visited, the prices of Chinese food is comparable to Singapore (i.e. a bowl of noodles cost Rp9k-Rp15k). Athough I didn't get a chance to eat in a warung, but I would expect it to be alot cheaper than Chinese food.

As we made our way back to the jetty, we hooked up with some Indonesians while they processed our ferry tickets for the return journey. They commented that it was a waste for us not to stay overnight. One of them "kindly" offered to be our tour guide and promised to get us some women (or 16-17 years old girls). We laughed it off. They even "taxed" our beer just before we board the jetty!

Now, that was corny.

Ben and Black posing in front of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), the Indonesian crest. This was located at the junction outside of the jetty.

Ben and Black posing with their beers in front of the shop where we had lunch. Lunch was Bak Gu Teh (Chinese style pork rib soup) and mutton soup. The bill amounted Rp72k and I don't think it was cheap. Note the signage beside Ben's head. Loosely translated as "grass eating goat with skin".
This is what politics is about. Defacing others and oneself in order to achieve one's agenda. A picture speaks a thousand words.
Before we left Tanjung Balai, we tried the local rice noodles soup. The noodle featured in the picture has a weird name: rat noodles. We also have "rat noodles" in Singapore and the term came about because it looks like a rat's (or mouse) tail. As seen in the picture, Tanjung Balai's rat noodles doesn't look like rat's tail. A bowl cost Rp11k.
3pm (WIB), on deck of the last ferry back to Kukup, Malaysia. There were less than 15 people (including its crew). Reason was simple: it was a Saturday afternoon and how can you expect the ferry to be full? The sex tourists are all busy settling down and I was dead drunk with my beer cans.
Ben and Black posing with all the empty beer cans "we kept" from our drinking journey. Ok, we actually found these on the ferry deck.
Hail Indonesia and Beer Bintang! (What is Mr.Heineken doing in the picture?)
Pure agony. Why can't we have "S$1 per can" Carlsberg in Sillypore?
As the waters turn murky (we are entering back to Malaysian waters again), our hearts grew heavier. The flag still fly high, but we wonder when we will be back there again.
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