Sunday, September 21st, 2003 – Day 215

Sunday, September 21st, 2003 – Day 215

Well I came here for the bull race. It was meant to start at 9.00am. I got little sleep last night. Two guys were sleeping on the ground outside my front door for some reason. As I said they get up early here. Some guy was giving a academic lecture to 5 students outside my door at 6.00am.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sumenep – Java (21-09-2003)

I was up around 7.00am and walked around and packed. I decided to try to get to Solo City in java for this evening. At about 8.00am I headed towards Geleng Stadium(about 1.5km away). I was followed by three young guys who started trying to converse with me in English. I was wary at the start but as they had school packs decided they on the level.

They wanted me to come to there school. They said it was on the way to the stadium. I did and I met there teacher. I had to go to there classroom and was asked to interact (question and answer session) with the English learning students for 10-15 minutes. The teacher said they do not get many tourists here and if they see one, they try and get them to come to the school. They asked my the various standard questions and asked me to take a photo. They asked me to promise to send it on.

The teacher then gave me a ride of his moto bike to the staduim, there I bought a ticket for 2000 IR. People were staring to stream in.

The beginning of the bullrace originated from the fact that Madura is not so fertile that is not good for agriculture, instead the Madurese catch fish and breed cows and bulls which are also used for farming especially to plough the fields where paddies or second crop plants are grown.

A man named Syeh Ahmad Baidawi who firstly introduced the weay of working the soil with using bamboo sled pulled by two bulls known as ” Nanggala or Salaga “. He was actually a proselytizer who came to Madura to spread up Islam bul also touch Madurese the way of ploughing the fields. This is way he got title ” Pangeran Katandur ” ( Prince of Planter ).

The early purpose the bullrace held is to get strong bulls for ploughing. The Madurese take care of the bulls and compete them in ploughing their fields as soon as possible. In this way the idea of competing come into existence and then developed into organized sport called ” BULLRACE “. The bullrace soon becomes routine activities carried of every year especially when harvest on the fields has finished

The Madurese take grat pride in their race bulls. They are reared specifically and it costs them lot of money. They are powerful big animals. They are fed the leaves of corn, beans and soybean trees and good grass. They are also fed the mixer of traditional spices like crushed ginger, pepper, chili, honey, beer and tens even hundreds of eggs. The mixture is later forced into the mouth of the bulls with using a bamboo lath. A owner gives a bull up to 50 eggs a day!!!

To make the bulls strong and health the bullowners sometimes also massage them by way of treading their backs, train every weekly and at times lulled to sleep especially when the racing day is approaching.

The Use of Magic Power

Three or four days before the racing day come, bullowners and their families crowd the surrounding of the racing track looking for good parking for the bulls, as on this particulary day black magic is common among the bullowners. In this case the one tries to overpower bulls from the other. Fashing for the bullowners is also prepared as such is believed to give them the inner power and strength to defeat the black magic of others.

It was nice seeing all the bulls. They are treated like royalty. They are masaged, washed etc. One team came in on two open back trucks. The bulls and supporters were in the first. In the second were more supporters and a private band who were playing local music.

Each team (they may have been about 30) had a tent. It seemed for every two bulls, there are about 20 men to look after them. It was a bit different from the Bali races as instead of a cart, they use a sleigh here (with no wheels). They go a lot faster here and it s a straight .5km straight race. Another difference was the jockey. All of them here were maybe 10-12 year old boys. It was amazing to see them hang on using the whip on the two bulls. Even more amazing was the way they stopped them.

Like a greyhound track they are turned into a blind corner at the end of the race, facing a dead end wall. To stop them, the kid jockeys jump between the two bulls (wild west cowboy style). It was amazing to watch.

Still there were many false starts as the bulls are hard to control. They are monsters. At the starting line, the bulls continuously broke free. It could take 20 minutes for a race to start as bulls broke free or crossed the lines or turned on their owners. Still, the speed was impressive. They go faster than man, at 100 metres in 9 seconds.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sumenep – Java – Indonesia – Bull racing / Kampang Sari (21-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sumenep – Java – Indonesia – Bull racing / Kampang Sari (21-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sumenep – Java – Indonesia – Bull racing / Kampang Sari (21-09-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Sumenep – Java – Indonesia – Bull racing / Kampang Sari (21-09-2003)

I stayed there until 11.15am and got a rickshaw back to the hotel. It was 2000 IR for 1.5km. There waiting for me was the guy who over charged me last night on the beano from Ambuten. He found me (even though I did not tell him where I was staying). He wanted to be my guide! Basically I told him to get lost. He wanted to drive me to the station for a fee saying it was too far to walk and very dangerous. What a f%%^$.

I hired a rickshaw for 1000 IR to the station. They all want to over charge. I asked would he take me for 1000 IR. He pleaded ignorance even when I showed him the note. They don’t want to agree price until the end of the journey where they demand 5000 IR to 50,000 IR. I usually walk away until they cycle after me and agree. Always agree the price before you get on!!!!

I got a ride for 5000 IR back to he capital. From there I got another Beano to the port of Kamal for 8000 IR. From there a ferry to Surabaya for 2000 IR. From there a bus to the main bus station for 2000 IR. From there a bus to Solo (six hours) for 19,500 IR. From there a rickshaw to the PARADISO HOTEL (4 m) for 4,500 IR.

So the total cost was 42,000 IR (about 5 Euro). It took me nearly 12 hours. I had taken a motor bike ride, two rickshaws, a ferry and four buses. A few points about the journey.

Firstly, everyone in the above chain of events wanted to overcharge me. I meant eveyone from the beano drivers, bus drivers to rickshaw drivers. There is something in the combination of transport, money, foreigners and Indonesians that causes them to be greedy bastards. I know they learn little and they think I am rich. Indeed, I do not mind paying a little more (10-15%), but not 200%.

A few examples. The bus from Surabaya ferry terminal to the bus station is about 12 km. Its a bargain as the taxi drivers will want 20,000 IR. One looked for 50,000 IR. There wee lots of buses available to al points of the city. Mine was about a 70 seater and there were about 10 people on board. I put by bag on the two seats beside me as there is no baggage room. Many locals did the same as there was so much room. The conductor wanted to charge me X 3 as I was taking up space. Even when I put my two bags on my lap (very uncomfortable), he still wanted to charge me more. The locals were openly laughing. Told him no. Spend the rest of the journey with the back pack in front of my face with two empty seats beside me. Two locals were discussing the pros and cons of wearing shoes (like me) versus there flip flops. I did not join in with their discussion.

At the bus station, I had to pretend I was mute. I had about 10 touts shouting at me asking me where I was going. I ignored them and scoped the buses for my destination. As usual there were agents outside the back of each bus waiting to sell over priced tickets to tourists. I heard they would try and charge me 50000 IR to Solo. As my bus was leaving, it was going about 10 km an hour, I jumped in the front. All I could hear were the agents shouting. I was away. I wish I could have given them the finger. It was a nice journey but the driving was reckless. Tailing gating, passing when there was oncoming traffic, road rage. I saw it all. People go to bed early here and rarely travel late. The bus was empty most of the way. It was a pleasant journey apart from the crazy driving.

I paid what the locals pay: 19.500 IR for the six hour journey. This was the same amount I paid fro my trip from Porolingo to Surabaya (2 hour journey) with the help of a tout. This tout also wanted 2000 IR for directing me 5 meters to the back of the bus.

Another example. At the Solo bus station, it was 11.40pm and the rickshaw driver wanted 3,000 IR to take me to the hotel. He tried to take me to two other expensive places (better commission in dearer hotels) before getting me to the Paradiso. He then wanted 5,000 IR (I gave him 4,500 IR) as it was 3km. It usually a mistake to show weakness as they then double the price again. He still was not happy (they never are). The guy from reception came out and said I should pay him 8,000 IR (includes the commission the hotel pays drivers). I refused so the hotel guy had to pay commission of 2,000 IR (or more) even though I had wanted to come here.

I wanted water and a beer (I had not eaten all day and my bum was sore from all the sitting) so the guy from reception walkes me down to a stall down the street and the cost is 13,500 IR (correct price). I pay 50,000 and my guy and the reception guy count out my change about 3 times using different denomination notes and coins. He gives me the change and says lets go. I stay and count the change. Its only 30,000 when it should be 36,500 IR. All laughs… “Our mistake” and they provide extra amount. I count again, again it was only 34,000 IR. Ohh, “our mistake” again and I finally get the correct change. My guy (who was part of the scam) says, “you foreigners are very good at numbers”.

My point is when it comes to money, you can not trust the indonesians. Its hard to say, but they see nothing wrong in cheating us – or any non-Muslim. They dislike the Chinese as much as us. Shopkeepers are fine. They are honest, but when it comes to services, especially transport, they all up the price.

Anyway I got back to the hotel and watched the last 20 minutes of the Manchester United V Arsenal game live. It was good. I paid 30,000 IR for a large double bed with a large ceiling fan. One problem though was the fact that the power switch to the fan was connected to the lights. I could have the fan on during the night (essential) but also the full glare of the lights. Hmm, Catch 22. I was getting annoyed at this stage and woke the reception guy from the mattress behind the counter. I should have kicked him awake.

I made him hold the chair on the bed as I un screwed the 3 bulbs. It was 1.00am at this stage and I fell asleep quickly.