Monday, November 13, 2017

Around Sorong

Sorong is not a picturesque city, but it has a lot of energy. It is our first stop in 'Asia' and the differences with the Pacific Islands we have frequented in the last couple years are a shock to our systems. There is much more of everything: supplies, cars, roads, people, pollution, garbage.

Happy Mark with rice and hot sauce.  Added
bonus: It's OK to eat with your hands here!
We went to Tembok Berlin (Indonesian for 'Berlin Wall') one evening for some local fare. There are dozens of food stalls lined up offering whole grilled fish and pieces of barbecued chicken. We chose a place recommended by one of the Customs officials, placed our order, and sat down. A young man brought 4 bowls of water and placed them in front of us. Matt asked (using the International hand gesture for washing your hands) whether they were for washing our hands. That was apparently a hilarious question and the whole staff cracked up. I guess it would be like someone going into a restaurant in the US and asking if a napkin was for wiping your mouth (versus, say wrapping your food with it and eating it). We laughed sheepishly along with them.
Homemade firecrackers made from plastic bottles, duct tape,
and some sort of flammable fluid. Very loud.
The fish and chicken we ordered was flavorful and moist. We all took a little too much of the sambal (spicy chili paste) and spent the rest of the meal trying to stop our eyes from tearing up. We have a long way to go before we can keep up with the locals who seemingly pour the stuff on by the gallon. It's hard to believe they have any taste buds left.

Visually inspecting the inside of the cleaned tank for corrosion.
While exploring options for hauling out Perry in Indonesia, we met Wick Alliston. He owns Pt. EON Engineering, which hydro-tests Scuba tanks, among other services. Ours tanks were due, so we dropped them off to be tested and Wick kindly offered to show us how they do it. It was fascinating for the adults and children. He also invited the kids to splash around in the pool with his lovely daughter. He has been a huge help and an invaluable source of local information.

Pressure testing the tank with water.


  1. Re: the water bowls...I’m glad you gave the locals a good laugh. The story made me also have a good chuckle.

    1. Yes, we seem to provide endless amusement to the locals here. Anything we can do to brighten someone's day! The kids like to yell "Hi Mr. White Man!" to Matt when he's walking around. The other day, Matt saw some German tourists across the road and started yelling "Hi Mr. White Man!" to them. They thought he was crazy (not necessarily incorrectly).


Add a comment: