This time we try to be smart. We give a phone to a local boy and ask him to reserve a hotel room in pure Indonesian, to make sure nobody will want to cheat on us. However many times he calls, the prices are still far more than we expected.
Then a taxi driver appears and chuckles, “This is definitely not the way how to get a good price. Better show your face, that you’re white people, then you will get it at least half the price. Everyone knows foreigners don’t have money!”
I couldn’t believe my ears as usually the myth goes vice versa. But it worked – we got a lovely room on the lake side while our Indonesian neighbours paid twice as much for the same thing. But this is a special island anyway .
Toba lake is one of those hippie magnets where a traveller with the aim of spending a weekend finds himself here still two months later, extending the visa in the immiration office. It is a place where people from ultraconservative Aceh come to drink whisky straight from the bottles, loosing themselves to the magic of other worlds. And a lake where a woman with a jilbab finally uncovers her hear. Just a few hours car ride will take the hedonists from hell to heaven.
An what kind of heaven! It has something mystical and powerful in the crispy winds of the lake. With each part of the body one can feel the shivery excitement of the pre storm moments. The long roofs of the houses bring in the sounds of the breeze. This is where we live – in the bottom of an old volcanoe. Reading books on the shores, spending nights with a guitar, walking on the flowing roads and being amazed by the flying roofs. Sometimes passing the signs „Coffee. Breakfast. Books rental. Magic Mushrooms“. It is definitely magical.