Malaria in Kupang

After an all night long ferry ride, I arrived in Alor.  A paradise for all divers, Alor is very pretty. I circled the island. At night, I started to develop a high fever and my head felt like it was about to blow. I had never had that kind of headache before. I went to the police office to get them to sign my log book and they insisted that I stay with them in the policewomen’s dormitory. It was a nightmare.

I don’t want to sound not grateful for their generosity, but I felt that that was the worst experience I had had so far when I stayed with people. I am not sure if it’s because I was really ill or what, but they were really loud. This dorm is a small house, where a few of the police women who recently graduated from the police academy stay together.

In the beginning most of them were not home yet and only one girl there and she was very nice. Because there was no water in their bathroom, she filled up the bucket for me and brought it to their bathroom. I could not shower because there was not enough water so I just washed my face and brushed my teeth and ready to bed. I also asked her where I can charge my power bank and my phone and I put them on charge. My head was so heavy and I felt like my body was so hot and I couldn’t sleep. Not long before I went to bed, the other girls came back and they were talking really loudly and one of the girls was using my power bank to charge her phone and unplugged my phone. I think she was so disrespectful. In the middle of the night, another girl came back and made more loud noises. I really couldn’t wait to get out of there so early in the morning, I said good bye to the first girl that I met in the house and left. I wasn’t sure if they were really loud or if it was because I was extremely ill.

Alor

Alor 

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A traditional house in Alor

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Driving around Alor

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Kolam Bidadari or “Angels’ Pool”

The ferry schedule was uncertain and because I was so ill, I decided I needed to get out from that small island while I could. Being trapped on a small island while I was extremely ill sounded scary. The next day, I took a ferry that went to Kupang. In the ferry, it was a nightmare. I had a high fever, vomiting, serious headache and I was coughing a lot. I thought I was about to die.

The ferry arrived in Kupang at 3 am and I went straight to the nearest hospital.  In the emergency room, only a housekeeper was there. He woke up the nurse and he asked me to wait and lie in a bed. I waited for hours in a bed because I thought that maybe in small town hospital their emergency will open again in the morning but I also thought ‘why there is an emergency room if there is no one here?’. I couldn’t think clearly enough because I had the worst headache of my life and I felt I was going to die. At around 5 am, nearly two hours after I arrived, I heard someone snoring so I went back to the front office only to find that the nurse had gone back to sleep!! Unbelievable!!! I tried to wake him up but he didn’t wake up and instead, another nurse came from another room. It turned out they were all there but they were all sleeping!!! I was furious at them. I had recovered a bit by this point, and I left to find a better hospital. Thinking about it still makes me angry. In the end, I found a cheap motel and stayed there for five days.

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Blood test in the hospital #1

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Blood test in the hospital #2

After I had recovered from the horrible illness, I got back on the road and drove to Indonesian border with East Timor. I didn’t enter East Timor because I didn’t think I could afford it because my savings were so low and I thought everything must be so expensive because they are using US dollars.

On the way to the border, my exhaust pipe fell off. Both screws were broken. Two guys stopped and helped me to wrap my exhaust pipe with banana leaf and I continued to drive to the town with no exhaust pipe on. My bike was so loud and I must have sounded like a teenager from the village. It was so embarrassing. I fixed my exhaust pipe in Kefamanu and the mechanic’s family invited me to spend the night with them.

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My exhaust pipe

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Around Kupang #1

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Around Kupang #2

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A traditional house on the way to Kefamanu

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The mechanic and his wife

After reaching the East Timor border, I returned to Kupang and stayed with my couchsurfing family for a night.

On the way to the border

On the way to the border #1

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On the way to the border #2

At the Border #1

At the border with East Timor #1

At the Border #2

At the border with East Timor #2

The next night, I got on a cargo boat to Surabaya. It was the longest time I had spent inside a ferry. I spent a total of 5 days to get from Kupang to Surabaya. It was so boring because all I could see was only the sea and nothing else. I was glad when we finally arrived in Surabaya. I feel relieved because I knew that that was my last long ferry ride. Woohoo!!

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Loading my bike #1

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Loading my bike #2

What do you think?