Surabaya, Indonesia

February 22, 2015

During the relatively short flight from Penang, Malaysia to Surabaya, Indonesia, I can’t help but to think about those lives that were lost on the recent flight from Surabaya to Singapore. Even with all the flying I have done over my life time, I still absolutely do not enjoy flying on Airplanes…but, with so many places to go and see as well as so many things to go do around the world….how else do we get there…so, never-the-less, Surabaya is the next stop. And, it is a welcome one…after so much walking, this will be a good place to soak the feet. If you decide to come this way, just do a little research…you can find excellent accommodations with an even better cost associated with it – especially in those areas of the world where the dollar is strong 🙂 See what I mean…great pool, great view, with a great room 🙂



Whenever I come to Indonesia, no matter what part of the country, one of the things that jumps out at me so quickly is the family unit. Not to say that there are no challenges here…we know families are families…but, this is always one of the first sites I see when getting around the country:


This is one of the more common sites around Indonesia….a family on a motorbike…sometimes you will even see a family of four on a bike, babies in the middle…daddy driving and momma holding groceries in the back….they make it happen!! This is one serious motorbike culture….you will see chickens tied to the back, goats tied to the back, vegetables in carryon containers tied to the back….and there are so many of them, once you saw it you would believe that there are hundreds of thousands of these bikes everywhere…everyone has one….one thing about this place….They Make It Happen!! Rain or Shine….No Excuses…Get It DONE!! And, after a little rest for the feet, of course it is time to get some chow….Again, Food is absolutely everywhere. Of course there are plenty of restaurants, but when in Asia I find that the best food is the most accessible food…and you get that right on the street – “Street Food” 🙂 Right down the street from the hotel, there was a small tent….a restaurant actually…family owned and operated….this fine gentleman and his family hooked up some ridiculous seafood in short order…spicy, delicious, and left an indelible wonderful feeling on my palate:

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As in the other cities, I didn’t spend as much time going through Surabaya!! Needed rest actually, and the traffic is ridiculous…it can take hours just to get to a few places…even with all the motorbikes. But, I did make it over to a local mall. Met a find Indonesian fellow who gave me a quick primer on Indonesian Culture, “Malik, my friend, there are two things that we do in Indonesia. We Eat and We Shop.” How true those words are….all over Indonesia…. One thing really interesting about Surabaya, is that the mall is not just a place to Shop. It also doubles as a form of a community center….every month, they have at least a couple of community events. In this case, one of the local schools was having a fashion show. Quite unique the show was, but also shows an example of what some malls in the United States could be doing to serve as more than a focal point for conspicuous consumption 🙂



Another interesting observation, is that each neighborhood tends to either have some form of a shopping mall or miles and miles of strip malls. Not of the variety you see in the U.S., these are more like shopping stands or small mom and pop shops that line the streets and the families live inside the store…business and home come together here….all the time!! I did venture out into the neighborhoods to get a look see…this is an example of what we would call in the U.S. a gated community. Many of them have high ceilings and unlike many places in the U.S., they maximize space as there are no set-back requirements….again, space is maximized.


Well, I think I have my legs and feet back again….and I am adjusting now to this 12-13 hour time difference….talk about mental confusion…if you come this way, you may want to build a little time into your schedule so that you can adjust to the time difference on the other side of the world 🙂 Off to Tulungagung and Central Java.

One Response to “Surabaya, Indonesia”

  1. Rabiah Muhammad said

    “We eat and we shop.” I’m adopting this as a mantra!!! 😄

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