By: Magus Kutabarat –
Billy Bob spent a few days exploring Samosir island and socialising with tourists and locals. He trekked through coffee plantations to waterfalls and family villages, cycled along the lakeside and rode a motorbike up to the mountain where the panorama was spectacular.
He found a small lake, which was on Samosir island, which was on lake Toba, which was on Sumatra island. He had to remind himself this is the biggest volcanic caldera lake in the world. This is Wow! factor. He immediately put Lake Toba into his Top 10 wonders of the world.
One time he stopped to watch a funeral party and was invited to join. The dead man was old with many grandsons, so was considered to have had a successful life. Hundreds of family and friends danced around the body in celebration of his successful life. Because they were Christian, pigs and buffalo were slaughted for the feast.
The music band continued to play. Billy Bob particularly liked the seruling bamboo flute, but the amplified music was played at maximum volume which must have given people a head ache, but they didn’t seem to mind.
He drank tuak palm wine. The first glass tasted strange but his third glass was enjoyable.
He drove back slowly, noticing many kerambah fish farms and wondered if this polluted the water with chemical fish food. Sustainable farming is always possible, but only if its balanced organically.
Relaxing back at Tuktuk with the tourists, many complained that too many jet ski and speed boats disturbed the peace, and at night karaoke was played loud outside. They didn’t seem to care or consider other people. Many tourist places in the world have to regulate these activities to develop and balance tourism.
Lamhot told him, it can be difficult to co-operate business, but the Samosir government has appointed a bule woman as head of the association of hotels and restaurants (Perhimpunan Hotel dan Restoran/PHRI-red), and she might be able to make changes for progress.
Billy Bob hoped to meet her to discuss this. Soon he was to begin his volunteer job for a NGO company for environmental issues. He was looking forward to an interesting time ahead. But this night he was going to Roys Pub to have some fun… (to be continued)
Photo: One evening twilight in Tuktuk. (Aquardes Pakpahan)