Thursday, December 18, 2008


I'm off to an island, with no telecommunications, where the link to the outside world is a four hour ferry, twice per week.

This, of course, means that there is no ATM in town... Which also means that I need to bring enough cash with me to last the full 30 days on the island. I'm budgeting approx $20USD per day (well, really about $12 per day, but this'll allow for special things like snorkeling/scuba trips. etc). That means I need to have $600 cash on me.

Indonesia has a highly inflated currency: $1USD = 10,000 rupiah, and thus, $100 USD = 1 million rupiah.

Well, the largest bank note is 100,000 rupiah, which means that my money belt is bulging with approximately 60 banknotes. My plan is to quickly get rid of it when I arrive, by pre-paying in bulk for whatever guest house/hotel I end up at. This is good for several reasons -- 1: There is less money to lose, should your money belt get stolen, If you do get robbed, your food/room are already taken care of, so you aren't totally screwed, and 3: You usually get a discount on a long-term room if you drop a big chunk of cash on day 1.

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