Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Traveling out in the country

We finally had a chance to get out into the countryside again. There is some beautiful scenery in the mountains.

Even though this is an extremely densely populated island, there is a lot of space out there for agriculture. The land is very fertile. It was fun to see the irrigation systems working to keep the rice paddies wet. "Paddy" is a term borrowed from Malay/Indonesian. Here, they have four words for rice, depending on the form it is in. Padi is rice still on the plant.

Travel was interesting. It reminded me a lot of travel in the Philippines (outside the cities). A lot of different kinds of vehicles going a lot of different speeds on a two lane (at the most) road. This required us to overtake (pass) frequently, which was a bit unnerving. From my more western perspective, the driver seemed to take a lot of risks; the locals didn't feel he was too bad. It wasn't as bad as my experience in the Philippines - maybe because it was the second time in transportation situations like this, maybe because we weren't in a dinky van speeding toward large trucks this time.
We were thankful to be traveling in a bus. It wasn't a very luxurious ride, but it beat the mode of transportation seen below. The motto for vehicles here: "There's always room for one more."

Why were we out in the country? To attend a wedding. More to come...

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