Medan: A Prologue

Monday, December 7, 2009
Well, I have decided to blog about this when I get back, but never mind, since I have the time now, I might as well write the prologue.

I couldn't exactly remember how I decided to visit Medan but I have always been curious about life across the Malacca Straits. I know little about Indonesia and a lot less about North Sumatra. Off I went together with Kelvin, a hall mate to the 3rd biggest city in Indonesia, after Jakarta and Surabaya to get a taste of life across the Straits.

Landing at Polonia Airport after an hour long trip from Singapore, we were whisked into a bus and taken to the terminal. The bus was packed like sardines but oh well, I can still squeeze in. I remembered Kelvin saying "Welcome to Medan" and was delighted to have finally step foot on another country. While waiting for immigration clearance, I noticed an irony. There was this big electronic board with the message "Terminal ini bebas asap rokok" and yet cigarette smoke filled the air. The baggage reclaim conveyor belt was extremely short, with only a distance of few metres. After that, your luggage ends up on the floor. Never mind that, I got pass immigration painlessly. All those stories about Malaysians having a hard time entering were unfounded claims.

Hopped into the car and off we went over to Kelvin's grandma's house. I was a bit confused initially as there is a one hour time difference between Medan and Singapore. According to Kelvin, Singapore wanted to be in the same time zone with China, hence the one hour forward approach for the island republic. Nothing much to see at night and it was time to call it a day. Adventure starts tomorrow!

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