Wednesday, June 9, 2010

View From Above The Forests Of Riau

I've taken you up on the mountain and into the caves in the past few days. So how about if we do something different today? Let's fly above the forest of Riau, Sumatra, or what was left of it. I went there in 2007 for an assignment.

I was invited by a pulp and paper company. They showed that they did better preservation than other players in the industry since they applied mosaic forest system, in which they combine the real forest with acacia plantation for the paper mill. But still, the view from above is heartrending.

I got to see the forest's bald patches.


But I also saw glimpses of the virgin forest.


Beautiful, eh? I've never been to the Amazon river, but the view somehow gave me a clue:)

The ugly side? Well, this assignment showed me that I'm not a good sport when it comes to flying with a Fokker plane.


#1. The girl looks confident upon boarding the plane. Little did she know that she will have the worst turbulence experience, throw up and succeed in humiliating herself.


#2. Still smiling inside the f***ing Fokker.

I was not the only one who got nauseous as everyone felt the same. Therefore, thirty minutes after the flight commenced, all passengers fell asleep to kick out the feeling of throwing up. The guide was a very dedicated man, though.

The guide : "So now, ladies and gentlemen, we are flying above...Huh? Everyone's sleeping already?"
The passengers: (continue to sleep)
#3. The aftermath: no smile at all.
Lessons learned from this experience:
- Never agree to fly over at noon, because the air has been mixed. Try to do it early in the morning.
- If you have to fly over at noon, sit at the front row to reduce turbulence effect and always have those small brown paper bags near you.
- Never make fun of your friends who threw up during the fly over because you can still throw up after the plane has landed. I call it the post-flight syndrome. This happened to FR, an AntaraTV journo.
Have a happy Wednesday!

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