November 10, 2012

Culture Shock at the Dock

This last week brought the arrival of our shipping container. A couple days ago, it arrived at the port here in Tarakan. The question for us became: How does one get his/her stuff out of a shipping container and to his house? Or, should I start with: Where is the Port? Basically, I didn't know where to start, or even how to know if our container had arrived. But thankfully here in Tarakan we have lots of fellow MAF'ers who have been there - done that. Brian Underhill kindly took the proverbial bull by the horns and found out my container had newly arrived, and so we headed off to check things out at the port!

So here comes the culture shock part. I felt like I was suddenly in a Tin-Tin comic book, or at least scene from a movie. Old trucks loaded up blowing black smoke into the air, rough looking dudes hanging off the side, an old crane working away - that I can't say I felt safe walking near. I guess it isn't that much different to the Indonesia I see everyday, but just the combination of it all in a new setting made it a memorable experience.

Thankfully Brian brought his camera to document a bit of it!

The above photo is us cracking the container open and waiting for the first truck. The guy in the light blue shirt is Pak Nelson, a MAF employee who thankfully came to help out us out (make sure we don't get into trouble).
 Above is a woman selling something...I'm not sure if it is something to drink, or to put in your truck.
It is amazing a truck as old as this Mercedes is still mostly in one piece, considering it's a hot / humid environment, right next to the ocean. A whole lot of bondo and a little paint goes a long way!
 That's our stuff being loaded on the left. 
 Somehow I don't think things at the Vancouver Port Authourity work quite like this.
Flip flops or boots, shirt or no shirt,  no problem. I love this photo! It kind of captures the 'feel' of the situation, whereas sometimes pic's don't do a situation justice. For most westerners, after awhile being stared at kind of becomes normal here, but when they are all tough looking dudes, it takes a bit of getting used to!
As 'exciting' as getting our container was, I'm pretty happy to have it in the past, and our barang-barang presently in our house. Thanks for all the help Brian!

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