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Martin & Cheryl Do Indonesia! Special Guest Star, Rick!


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Click here for Jakarta Mall Parks Update on Page 6!

 

We spent Spring Break in Indonesia, the 4th largest country in the world, by population, and the largest Muslim nation in the world, by population.

 

I know that this is a theme park forum, but I do want to address some issues raised by our choice of destination, given recent events.

 

You may have noticed some recent articles in the news about Indonesia's execution of a group of drug smugglers known as the Bali 9.

 

Two Australians, the ringleaders, were among the Bali 9, and they have been awaiting execution for years. Many Australians, who are important to the Indonesian tourism industry, were starting to talk about boycotting Indonesia while we were preparing to go on the trip. Indonesia abruptly began preparing for the executions after years of leaving the situation in limbo. Some of those Australians expressing boycott opinions are valued TPR friends. Australia was and is justifiably pissed off, as were/are several other affected nations. We admit to being concerned, but not outraged. Maybe we're moral cowards. We had already bought our tickets and had made all of our arrangements. We also naively thought that Indonesia wasn't really going to execute the Bali 9. I read about the oft-delayed executions every day leading up to our trip. The Bali 9 had been in prison for more than 10 years.

 

Indonesia did execute 8 of the Bali 9, however, by firing squad. Fortunately the executions happened after we had returned home.

 

Part of me certainly understands those calling for a boycott, but another part of me feels that the "West" needs to continue to reach out to Indonesia and help it along the path to economic development. The average Indonesian has about a fifth of the purchasing power that typical Americans and Australians do.

 

I don't think it's okay to execute non-violent drug smugglers. I've never had very strong feelings one way or another on capital punishment, but I know that we generally reserve that punishment for murderers in the U.S. Moreover, some of the news about judicial corruption related to the Bali 9 trials is shocking. Several defendants said that they were offered less severe punishments in exchange for massive cash payments to judges. Several commentators are saying that Indonesia's president used the executions to help himself politically. That the smugglers were trying to remove the heroin from Indonesia to Australia doesn't really support the president's stated justification for the executions, that drugs are a scourge in Indonesia that must be stopped. In fact the heroin came from Thailand, and Indonesia was just a way-station en route to Australia. Ironically, Indonesia's president has asked for leniency for Indonesians on death row in other nations.

 

Nonetheless, you have to admit that you're tempting fate if you smuggle heroin in a country where the stated penalty for such a crime is death by firing squad. This doesn't justify the executions, but the whole thing was preventable.

 

Sorry for being longwinded, but I've been thinking about this stuff for a while and I've never really expressed my thoughts until now.

 

On to theme parks! Okay, most jarring transition ever.

 

Indonesia was nice! We enjoyed the food and the people were very nice. They're pretty reserved. But we had a lot of fun! Here's our first park, Dunia Fantasi, aka Dufan!

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Used our coupons for upgrades to Tokyo.

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There's the first leg.

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Second leg was on one of ANA's 787s! Exciting.

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After a night at the Sheraton, we're at Dufan.

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There's the weird mascot guy. Dufan is the big amusement park in Jakarta proper.

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I think our working estimate was about 13,000 Indonesian rupiyah to USD$1, so we're talking about $14 to get in for adults on a weekday.

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We did not get the premium package with lounge and welcome drink.

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We never did figure out what this was for.

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No straws with your apple juice, no guns, no cats, no giant pills washed down with wine, okay to hold hands with children, okay to bring shopping bags inside, but no balancing bicycles on top of scooters.

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Entrance fountain.

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And our first queue just before the park opened. Not too bad, but it was really really hot and humid.

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It's a fairly attractive park, even if the rides were very standard.

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Some of the nooks and crannies were beautiful.

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There was some okay themeing.

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Some more nice jungle areas.

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We did see workers replacing stones in areas like these.

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There has to be an "America"-themed section. And there's Rick!

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Just slap some old wood on things.

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The food stands were interesting but a littke despressing.

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Halal. You won't find any pork additives here.

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Roughly translates to "Planet Meatball".

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Roughly translates to "Pop Noodles".

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Avocado is a "sweet" flavor here.

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I had one. Not bad on a scorching day.

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Roughly translates to "McDonald's".

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They even collected for Ronald McDonald House in Indonesia. We enjoyed McDonald's because of the air conditioning.

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What's this?

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Indonesia's version of It's a Small World. I did an entire ride through video with the GoPro. Need to see if it's worth showing to Robb.

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This was closed when we first came by but opened later.

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It was an extremely weird dark ride.

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Crazy dark ride troll things.

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For some reason I don't seem to have a picture of the kiddie.

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But here's the Boomerang. Surprisingly not too painful.

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We did not wait for the next scheduled Ice Age 4-D show.

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Theme park mosque!

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I know, a little boring. But there's a lot more to come, not mention my fellow stars, Cheryl and RICK! See you for the next installment, when we drive from Jakarta to Bogor! Hope you enjoy it!

Edited by milst1
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Avacado coffee? I dunno. Even if it is a sweet avacado.

 

The park does look nice Martin, especially in the landscaped areas.

 

Looking forward to more of your trip.

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Really liked this park, except for the humidity.... For some reason i didn't think the other parks were as bad, but this one just KILLED me.

 

Nice start to the report! I echo what Martin said, the country was very friendly, and everyone seemed to go out of there way too help us out.

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The park itself looks very nice, even if the rides aren't that "inspiring." I am curious about that funky looking dark ride.

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^^^I think it was actually more like milk tea or bubble tea than coffee. I had read about it in the guide book that this was a popular flavor so I wanted to try it anyway. It wasn't bad, but yeah, it sounds sorta bad.

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Taking a break from grading papers, even though I only have 8 million more to do.

 

Okay, from Dunia Fantasi we drove south, out of Jakarta, to Bogor, which was about 2 hours away, give or take 5 hours for traffic. I'm serious. Indonesia is THE worst traffic country in the world.

 

So we finally made it to Jungleland, and of course the skies opened up. :roll:

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Heading to Jungleland in Bogor and it's threatening to rain, more so as we get closer.

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We make it to the globe and the covered entrance area (common at Asian theme parks). For some reason, my photos with actual rain are all in the car, but it was really pouring while we waited here for it to let up.

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And it pretty much starts to pour at this point. But we see some decent theming in this area, which is mostly restaurants and some shops and kiosks. We had a decent meal, but it was difficult to communicate with wait staff.

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It looks pretty good. But the rain doesn't stop and we give up and head to the hotel. It's too close to closing time to hope that rides will reopen.

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Now forgive me, but I have to spend some time on our hotel, the Novotel Bogor. For one thing, I got this really cool night shot of a sconce with wildlife.

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Cheryl and I got up really early to get a run in at the gym, and we were really taken by the lush grounds. Apparently Bogor was the summer residence for the Governor when the Dutch held Indonesia. The hotel is actually the "Novotel Bogor Golf Resort & Convention Center". And the grounds are really lovely.

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We had to meander around the property to find the gym and there was a surprise at every turn.

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This is a view back to the hotel. So nice.

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A little man-made brook ran through the property.

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There was a kids' obstacle course.

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We finally got to the fitness area and there was this gorgeous pool.

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Lush trees line the path as we head back after the workout.

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Then it was into our car and off to: Taman Safari Indonesia. Our plan had been to go straight to the rides but somehow our driver snookered us into doing the safari. Note the higher prices for international guests. Malam is noon and siang is evening.

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This was not in the plan because we needed to drive to another park and another city today, but we didn't regret it. I loved these things when I was a kid. Anyone remember Jungle Habitat in NJ?

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They were selling tons of carrots outside the gates of the park and now we realized why. You can open your windows and feed these wild animals.

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Uh, now close window and do not feed carrots, or arms.

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Rhinos. We've already seen 2 of the Big 5.

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World's Deadliest Animatronic.

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Crocs.

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Three of the Big 5! Well, technically no, as these are Asian elephants.

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Whoa. We were stuck behind these guys for a few minutes.

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And again, where are we? Taman Safari Indonesia!

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Our first selfie in front of the sign.

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And another as the herd of elephants came walking through the amusement area entrance.

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This was where the elephants hang out, apparently.

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This shot is from a bit later, when you could go for rides. The keepers were letting people take pictures and stuff.

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Time for rides? It wasn't exactly easy to find the rides.

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Finally, THE coaster. It wasn't the one we had been looking for. Always satisfying to report a change to rcdb, although I wasn't particularly happy to trade a roller for a powered.

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Random bumper car picture.

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Goodbye, Jet Coasters, hello, Mining Coaster. There were guys working up there.

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Scheduled maintenance. They were just cleaning the train, rubbing it down with rags. Finally a staffer told us that they would open about 45 minutes later. Ugh. My guidebook had warned us: Indonesia's sense of time is different and they don't see time as a limited resource. We tried to relax and go with it. In fact, it was quite liberating. If we made arrangements with a driver for 9AM, we didn't jump up from breakfast to be there on the dot. We could linger over an extra cup of coffee and the driver and hotel staff wouldn't bat an eye when we showed 5 or 15 minutes late.

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We walked around. Nothing else was running and we were the only ones in the park. This is what happens when you don't understand the fine print on the website. When the website is working, that is.

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Other tourists who waited for this coaster to open.

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Eventually more guests arrived. There was a train. But every time we walked by it had just left the station.

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Alternative transport.

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Yay!!! Finally opened! And I don't count powereds. But Rick does! It was actually a really fun ride and we got 3 circuits.

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Okay, next update will be the return to rainy Jungleland!

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Unfortunately this thread has received little traction (like a lot of my reports), but I'll keep on keepin' on. Thanks for those who've read, and who've commented. My style is just a little too documental, which often makes it boring. Oh, well.

 

We made it back to Jungleland, then whiffed on Bandung Carnival Land, then hit Trans Studio Bandung.

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We're back at Jungleland, and it's a nice day, but rain still threatens. Everyone was leaving when we were here yesterday in the rain, but now we're here fairly close to opening.

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So we run through the covered part to get to the coasters as the sky darkens. We had lunch here today or yesterday.

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Here's a map. Pretty good-sized park.

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About USD$11 on weekdays!

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To the Harvest Coaster!

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In the queue. Now, I had started going back and forth with the park's twitter, saying, "we're almost there!" And the twitter said they were coming to Harvest Coaster to meet us! And that's how we met Widalia Pagun, the park's Digital Marketing and Social Media manager.

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This was before we met Widalia, waiting in the queue. So Widalia was very excited to meet enthusiasts, or westerners, or both. She had lived in Germany for a while.

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This was the other credit, closed. Snake Coaster, a Zierer Force 2, apparently has footer problems because the ground is too saturated. We learned that Bogor is nicknamed "The Rain City".

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So it was appropriately lush.

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And nicely themed.

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With some good flats.

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A ferris wheel.

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Disk-O

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Swings

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And Widalia insisted we go on the Air Race. That was my last time, everyone.

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And a dark ride.

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And Widalia gave us some swag, like this!

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And this! She even went out to lunch with us! Check out her tweets at @JungleLand_Indo ! Sadly, we don't have a picture.

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Back on the road, about 2-3 hours give or take 5 hours for traffic.

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Funny sticker. After a zillion hours of driving in traffic, we arrived at Bandung Carnival Land to find it closed. So it was on to...

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Trans Studio Indoor Theme Park!

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This is in a mall, but it's huge.

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This is the ground level lobby.

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First stop was the Premier launch coaster, Yamaha Racing Coaster.

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This is by far the best coaster in Indonesia.

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As you know, my camera sucks at night, but here are shots. It's a bit like the defunct Speed The Ride and Big Apple Coaster with indoor stations and coasters that go outside.

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And there is great themeing on the side of the building where the ride shoots out. Decent ride.

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Here is the upstairs lobby area.

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And sort of a midway, which was cool. There is a lot going on in this park, but of course we were j-lagged and completely out of it.

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They had a pretty good "small world" ride.

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With Indonesian Elvis.

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Small World of Indonesia

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And a Baskin-Robbins sponsorship!

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Here was the Jurassic section.

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We paused for a photo.

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Then went for the flying ships. I love these rides that track on the roof.

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Cheryl heading up the stairs.

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Our chariot.

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And some pirate ship views. Sorry about my terrible night camera.

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A shoot-the-chutes.

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We should have done it as it goes through a plane wreck. I think that's what it is.

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The park is really well done, but I did have to roll my eyes when I saw the "Harry Potter Ripoff" section.

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Wizard Battle!

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My only other complaint was the money card system. You needed to use a card to pay for stuff, but the charging stations all seemed to be closed or down. I can't remember if you could get a refund on the balance. I think you could. Apparently it's all about keeping control of the cash so employees don't steal. We did encounter many places with such card systems.

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They had a really good store.

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And I got my shirt!

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We left around closing time, went to the mall food court, and I scored a waffle! Here was another no-cash card system. All in all a good visit. Next chapter: Watch us travel really far to not get a credit!

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Unfortunately this thread has received little traction (like a lot of my reports), but I'll keep on keepin' on. Thanks for those who've read, and who've commented. My style is just a little too documental, which often makes it boring. Oh, well.

 

I wouldn't take it personally and I don't think it's your style. I think the problem is it's Indonesia and the parks and credits just aren't there for the more 'normal' enthusiasts. Not screwed up and deadly enough like India or China, not cool like some places in Asia or Europe, and not any major rides. When your best ride is a motorbike coaster that you only have night pictures of you'll lose some readers.

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^^^Thanks, Elissa. I still think my reports are boring. Maybe I should go more for a Struffel style. "At 9:53 we left the hotel. At 10:01, we had traveled 1 kilometer. etc."

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^^^Thanks, Elissa. I still think my reports are boring. Maybe I should go more for a Struffel style. "At 9:53 we left the hotel. At 10:01, we had traveled 1 kilometer. etc."

 

Only if you include the pictures from the murdered prostitutes you stole the leggings from!

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Thanks for posting, Martin...I find your reports of these out of the way parks very entertaining and informative.

 

Don't worry about the lack of comments...I have never really received many in my reports either.

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I swear, I wasn't fishing for compliments or sympathy. I was just whining. 'Cause I'm a whiner.

 

Quite frankly I haven't opened the thread until now, because I expected to see the same stuff you posted on Facebook. Oh and the fact that I'm busy as shi ite

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^ LOL...no, I didn't see it that way!

 

Hey Philrad71, I like your avatar. While I am not familiar with that particular song/album, I do really like a few Belle & Sebastian songs.

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I have enjoyed all of your reports Martin, and always look forward to new ones that you post.

 

Especially since you always/usually get to parks in countries I may never visit, myself.

 

Keep on keepin' on, hey? And hello to Cheryl, too!

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Quite frankly I haven't opened the thread until now, because I expected to see the same stuff you posted on Facebook. Oh and the fact that I'm busy as shi ite

 

Finals, I assume? I've just run the gauntlet myself.

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^ LOL...no, I didn't see it that way!

 

Hey Philrad71, I like your avatar. While I am not familiar with that particular song/album, I do really like a few Belle & Sebastian songs.

 

Thanks Martin!

 

Yes, that is from their album 'The Boy With The Arab Strap' which I consider one of their best. It amazes me that so many people in the US have never heard of B & S. Perhaps because they're way too interested in crappy music?

 

I think I now have all but two of their CD's and I can honestly say that they are all extremely good from start to finish. I saw them in Toronto last month and they were absolutely incredible. I hear that they are all very shy and don't really want the "big star" limelight, but it's kind of sad that their musical talent goes all but unnoticed on this side of the pond. And when you look at the stuff that is at the top of the charts here, it's rather embarrassing.

 

Edit...sorry for getting off topic here!

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