After sending eight years outside of my home country and going on a fair number of business trips, one can get quite blase aout travelling. So as I landed at the Medan airport, it was interesting to feel the excitement of old bubbling up again. Medan is nowhere as exotic as any of the -stans but to me it is territory unexplored, having never been to Indonesia (Batam doesn’t count).
The first thing that struck me when I arrived is that the Indons smoke… a lot. I can feel my lungs choking up as I walked out of the airport and scrambled onto the taxi which cost Rp 50k to get to the city centre.
As usual, the best way to experience local life is through the food. So my friend and I wandered around until we found a food centre.
While ordering the food, I was surprised at how much Malay I can actually remember simply from growing up in a multi-ethnic country — but I still can’t count beyond five. Nasi soto ayam, sate ayam, ifu mee seafood, teh tarik dingin, milo dingin. Rp 68k. I uttered a quick prayer and started eating. Stomach, thou shalt be strong!