Indonesia, our first true stop on THEAsia Tour, as this is where THECars hit the track for the first time! Indonesia is a huge country, 17 000 islands or so, spanning over 5000km East to West, and almost 220 million people. Instant millionaire status too, as 1 000 000 Rupiah is less than 100usd! I have been in Indonesia 3 times before, all in 2006 in preperation for, and for the actual World Championships. I have great memories from here, and after the first day I can again say that this place rocks. Like most of South East Asia, it is hectic and chaotic on the surface, but people are laid back and friendly. In Indonesia strangers are arguably even more friendly than in other countries. Just walking down the street people say hello if your paths cross. And not because they want something from you. I have to say that’s rather nice! But of course it can be dangerous too, as any major city can. Common sense and local knowledge, that’s all you need…I hope!
But the one striking thing I remember from before, that sets this country apart from the other countries I have visited, is the extremes. The rich and the extremely poor, living side by side and rubbing shoulders daily. It seems like in other countries rich, middle class and poor areas are separated, but here, in the cities, it’s just all in one. There are literally people living in a box village across the street or next to a huge mall, or a 5 star hotel. It is just the way it is here. I wonder if this will ever change, and if this way is better, than the separation.
Now as for the RC Tracks here, I don’t know what it is, but they are just amazing. I remember back in 2005 or 2006 when I first had the idea of an Asia tour, I checked that tracks in Indonesia and just couldn’t believe how awesome they looked. How can the track builders build these tracks so nicely? All the jumps, bumps, off cambers, it’s just ridiculous how good the Indonesian tracks are. I want to race the Indonesian National series one day just for the tracks!
Today was the first day at the track, and the first time I got to drive in 6 weeks or so. Took a while but I started to get the hang of it again. A lot of wrenching and driving, preparing all the new gear for the Tour! It is going to be epic! Even Ilias made it out on the track in his pinkmobile!
Tomorrow we start our first event, with a Setup Seminar day, and Sunday the idea is that everyone takes everything they have learned and apply it in a race. Will be fun!