Ujung Padang–Feb 24, 2013

Today we are meeting up with Iful, our assistant dining steward on the 4 month Grand World Voyage in 2011. Iful was the one who introduced us to the pleasures of fresh ginger tea after dinner. When we planned the cruise he was living in Jakarta but then moved to Makassar. Makassar is the largest city on Sulawesi island, one of 17000+ islands that make up Indonesia.

We had no definite plans for things to see besides Iful. We headed off to see Fort Rotterdam, which can be traced back to the 16th century. Along the way there were many additions, this is a well preserved fort. There are school kids everywhere, all of them eager to chat with us. This is common throughout Indonesia, they want to know about  us at the same time they practice their English skills. The fortress walls now seem to serve to keep the growing city at bay.

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A stop for lunch is followed by a visit to the local shops. Pat has another of her favourite ‘many fruits, coconut and jellies’ drinks. (Not sure why there are no photos of the meal itself, probably because we were focused on eating it!). The selection of seafood was incredible, all grilled outside. Cleanliness was obvious in the grill and prep area outside.

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Various sights along the way to see where Iful works:

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Iful is HR manager for a Karaoke facility comprising 3 sites. He is responsible for over 250 employees.  He loves his job and it shows in his face and everything he does.  It was quite an experience. These venues are 2 stories high, with the booths approximately 8x8ft. Each ‘booth’ provides a private area with video and sound system where you can perform to your hearts content and the limit of your talents. Every song known to man is available, with and without the original performers voice. You can alter the speed, get scored on your accuracy of keeping up with the words, etc. Also available are movies on food. All for 50,000R/hr ($5). No alcohol of course as this is a predominantly Muslim island. This venue is strategically located near several colleges and universities. Clearly a surprise for them to see us ‘oldies’ showing up Smile

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Another wonderful visit with a friend from the past. Thank you Iful!!!!

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