I recently saw the following quote and it reminded me of my last night in Sumatra, Indonesia after spending ten days exploring the island:
You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen. ― Kody Keplinger
As the only foreigner sitting in a food court in Medan, I was motioned to join five young Indonesian guys who barely had a word of English between them. Obviously, my Bahasa was even worse, but I managed to work out that they wanted to go for a beer.
- Name: Adam Sawford
- Age Group: 31-35
- Hometown: Hobart, Tasmania
- Country: Australia
- City: Medan
- Duration: 30 & more days
- Travel Type: backpacking
I have to admit that I was initially hesitant in accepting their offer, but my curiosity got the better of me – being in a predominantly Islamic country, going for a beer with some locals was the last thing I expected to do that night!
I went with my gut feeling, assured myself that everything would be fine and soon enough we were flying through the streets of Medan, three motorbikes between the six of us, with the ‘leader’ of the group pointing out sights to me along the way.
I was reminded of my earlier uncertainty around ten minutes later when we turned down a back alley, but rather than worry, I found myself shaking my head in amusement at how stupid I’d been to accept their offer… As we made our way down the narrow lane, I wondered how it was all going to play out. All three motorbikes pulled over outside a small restaurant and I soon realised that there was nothing to worry about – we went inside and I was introduced to the leader’s entire family, who he called in from the adjoining house!
We took off after some broken conversation and I bought some beers to take to the ‘nightclub’, which consisted of plastic tables and chairs on the side of the road. There were several of these establishments next to one another and the sound bleed from the ridiculous levels of techno being blasted from each of them meant that the music was indistinguishable!
I had a 6am flight, so I had earlier tried to explain that I needed to be back by around 2am in order to pack and make my way to the airport. I wasn’t really sure whether they had understood my request, but after a few beers and plenty of people watching, they signalled that it was time to go.
Another trip through the city followed, before I finally recognised the guesthouse. I got off the motorbike and the leader showed me his watch – 2am on the dot!
I’m sure I would have got an early night and been fresh for my flight the next day had I not relaxed and just let life happen, but I don’t think it would have been quite as memorable!
You can find Adam on social media – to read more about his adventures: