Waiting for the Pelni
Photo essay ― Almost 9 hours after schedule time the Pelni* service arrived from Saumlaki [Tanimbar Islands] in the port of Tual [Kai Islands]. In this part of the world timetables for public transport are far from ideal, given the fact that these passenger ships through rough seas visit various islands in the archipelago.
Waiting a whole day for a Pelni service to show up is a normal routine. It was very crowded with people, motorcycles and minivans, like a flock of sheep trying to get into the passenger ship. People use these services quite often because it is the most affordable transportation to get to work, school or home on the other islands. Some people have to stay a couple of days on these ships, given that a journey for example from Fak-Fak to Jakarta takes up to five days, making stops at Kaimana, Dobo, Tual, Banda, Ambon, Bau-Bau, Makassar and Surabaya in between. [July 2014]
*The Pelni public transportation service originated more than half a century ago. These ships connecting people between the islands in the archipelago.
Side note: In this case the Pelni made an extra stop at Saumlaki. It was just a couple of days before Eid al-Fitr, so people could go to their families for the Feast of Breaking the Fast.