Tag Archives: sumatra

THE TASTE OF PIG by Peter Nolan Smith

My great-grandaunt Bert circumnavigated the world on her father’s whaling ship in the 1870s. In 1960 National Geographic published a story about her childhood travels and at her 101st birthday the old Yankee lady related tales of the black-toothed betel-nut chewers of Indonesia and tiger hunts on Java. The only two other family members had […]

BERENTI MISTAH by Peter Nolan Smith

In 1991 I bought a round-the-world ticket for $1399 from Pan Express. The owner set up a magical itinerary. “New York – LA – Hawaii – Biak – Bali – overland to Jakarta.” John recited the trip from memory, since he sold hundreds of these tickets every year. “What do you mean ‘overland to Jakarta’?” […]

FROM BIAK TO MEDAN on Kindle Amazon

FROM BIAK TO MEDAN covers my travels from Indonesia’s Irian Jaya to Sumatra in 1991. A time was before cellphones and ATM. My modes of transport were liners, jets, prop planes, horses, motorbikes, trains and buses. I was a ‘mistah’, but soon learned enough Bahasa Indonesian to know that ‘angin’ was dog and ‘babi bear’ […]

Islands Of Nowhere

In the winter of 1991 I spent a month on the Pulau Weh at the westernmost tip of Sumatra. The quiet island was remote. Few westerners ventured north from Medan. There were better beaches in Thailand and an ethically more interesting culture around Lake Toba, however I was drawn to this destination knowing it was […]