As you may have already read in my previous posts, my unique, short and latest experience was a handful of days in Jakarta only. When I returned to Bangkok an old, fine retired American man who had travelled around the world but NEVER to this country, described me Indonesia as a den of muslim bloodthirsty fondamentalist willing to slaughter any fucking westerner...especially Americans. Moreover as soon as I started to visit places different from the huge capital city of Jakarta I noticed so many veiled women and kids, compared to Thailand or Vietnam and Cambodia (in these last 2 countries people are covered just for sun protection actually). No need to say it made me feel a bit uncomfortable, thinking they were very so strange...I was asking myself what's the point in concealing your hair? How wierd should be these girls/women who cover themselves and their kids?Then I started to talk with some of these girls during my trip in Sulawesi, in Bandung, in Yogyakarta e got surprised how smart, fine, friendly, open mind they could be. In other words they were as normal, sensual, clever and interesting as a not veiled one could be, no difference! Unbelievable isn't it ahahaha and those small kids so sweet.
I would add that so far Indonesian people, along with Cambodians, are my favourite, definitively the frendliest Asian people I have so far met, always ready to help you, always curious of your country and your habits, not racist at all like too many Thai people are (you are a FARANG never forget it), they are NOT as rude and aggressive as many Vietnamese were in the most touristic places (I was told that Vietnamese in small hamlets are also nice). Of course we were often overcharged but always in a polite/smiling way and just at the beginning, once you master a few words of Indonesian language, and I hope I will do it soon, you can get local price especially when you learn what "local price" is like. The only 2 things I disliked in Indonesia were:
1) The terrible traffic jam and it's highly dangerous driving style.
2) The non-sense huge difference of entrance fee in most government natural parks where foreigners are asked fees 8 or 10 or 15 or 20 times more expensive than local. It's like if an Indonesian tourist coming to visit the Colosseo in Rome would be charged 400 instead of 20 euro...
A special mention to Anissa (she explained me about "Universalist Muslims" which is a cathegory that inclide middle and high-class, open mind, professional, often travelling muslims who feel like citizens of the world but ALWAYS put Allah at the first place, prayingand her 2 lovely friends who took me and my friend Valerio around Bandung highlights, I'll never forget it and for sure they will be our "special Guests" when they come to Italy.