This morning, Silver Shadow docked in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city. I was booked on the four-hour Surabaya City Sights tour and to get to the motorcoach I passed through the cruise terminal, where Silversea guests were warmly welcomed by smiling people, some in costumes; smiling security guards; and a musical performance.
As I have noted previously, I’ve rarely seen as many smiles as in Indonesia. The Indonesians seem to be exceptionally welcoming of Westerners. I felt warmly received everywhere I went on this morning’s tour.
Outside the terminal, I boarded the motorcoach for our tour. Our guide, Edy, spoke English extremely well, and we were surprised when he revealed to us that he had learned to speak the language from watching television and from practicing. He told us a lot about Indonesia and about Java, the fact that there were five religions here, including Islam and Christianity, all tolerated. December 25 is a national holiday, for example. He explained that the Javanese language had only 20 letters in its alphabet, that there was no equivalent to the letter “f” in English, and that the Javanese had trouble pronouncing English words beginning with an “f,” pronouncing it as “ph” instead.
My day ended back on Silver Shadow with an Indian dinner, specially prepared by an Indian chef on board Silver Shadow and served by my butler Roland in my suite. The dishes were authentic Indian, so much so that Roland had asked the chef if he might make a little extra and set it aside so that Roland could enjoy it at the end of his shift. I hope he did.
I captured my day in photos, 30 of which I posted here. That’s 30,000 words if you believe that each is worth 1,000. Tomorrow, I’m up early for an 11-hour tour to the temple complex of Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — an exciting day behind me and one ahead.