Discussing Our Visit With The MENTAWAI TRIBE In Indonesia (Part 4)

Discussing Our Visit With The MENTAWAI TRIBE In Indonesia (Part 4)

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In this four-part series, We’ve taken you deep into the jungle To spend five days living with the Mentawai Tribe. In this final episode, we're sitting down to recap our experience, Speak about what we learned, And give our honest opinion about visiting the tribe. Holy crap There was a lot of people there. Who else is going to be living like this, In the years to come. All right, so what's it been? A week since we came out? Almost a week. Almost. Today's Monday. Yeah, we left on Tuesday.

And we're on Sipura Island, the island to the south. Yeah, up here in Tua Pejat. Yeah. I guess I've never asked you, what do you think about the whole thing for you? Overall, I mean, I'm glad we did it. It was a nice experience. My initial thoughts, if I had to sum it up just very quickly, I think it's nice. I'm glad we did it. It's cool. But I think, spending as much time that we spent in Indonesia, it didn't blow my mind in the same way that maybe I had these expectations.

It was good. It was definitely good. But I think it's kind of built up to this level of what it's supposed to be. It's oh, the Mentawai tribes, and everybody talks about it, and everyone thinks it's going to be this mind-blowing experience.

For me, I was even thinking, maybe I'm going to get my first tattoo here. Something like that. But it just, it didn't reach that level for me. But I enjoyed it. Yeah. Yourself? I enjoyed it, too. And I think, for me, it's two parts,

right? And we haven't edited it yet. But I think we're going to, the first video is the first two days where it's just us and them. It's, a more intimate thing. And the second two days was obviously when Maria and Oggy and Patricia joined us. And it was a lot different. But in a way, I think I'm glad we got to see both sides. I'm glad we had the intimate

time with the family, with Lajet and everybody. And then even though it wasn't as intimate when everyone else joined, it's, this is the reality of it. I'm glad we got to see that. And I'm glad it's, on video. So, you know, we understand the reality of what's happening here. But for me, yeah, I think it's a special place. I think it's unique because we've been in Indo for so long. And we spent a lot of time in, villages. It's, there's a lot,

obviously, there's a lot of similarities. But sometimes I think I talked to, we talked about it before and with Margarida, it does feel like you're not, sometimes, you don't feel like you're in Indo, you know what I mean? Or you feel like you're in Indo, you went back in time. You know what I mean? There's obviously, there's so many similarities to normal village life. But sometimes it feels like I went through, a time machine. And this is Indo before, right? Before outside influence, before modern amenities. Yeah, that's how, most of Indonesia was. We're gonna call this, or if we

call it, you know, the truth about the tribes, the biggest thing for me, and, I think how we also went into this as we got closer to here was, one, you know, a lot of tourists are going there, which we didn't know,yeah. We didn't really know that. We didn't understand to that volume. Yeah, this is actually, well, not a touristic place, but people are going. Yeah, it's pretty touristic. And the second thing was that,

the wide majority of Mentawai people don't live in this traditional way. Not, not a full on, not, not a hundred percent. Yeah, and we didn't, figure that out. we got, we got, we learned all this stuff as we got towards Padang, and then we learned it, when we got here. Then when I was in Siberut for a few days, I was at Liki's house, and we were just sitting there hanging out. Yeah. When I first met him, and there's people coming in and out, and tourists, and things like that. And I was what's going on here? I was confused. oh, these are visitors. A lot of people come stop by my house. You know, people. Yeah, and then I

met a group of Germans here, and I saw that all of them were doing it. They're yeah, you know, we stopped by. We met Liki as well. Everyone, stops by his house. that's kind of, the gateway. Yeah. Everyone, preps there. Yeah. I was really taken aback. whoa, everyone's doing this. We had no idea. Yeah, because the first time was when we were in Monday. We were in Ricky's

beach house, and then there's all these backpackers there, and they're oh yeah, we all went to the tribes. We're what? And then they're yeah, I was in a group of six. You know, I was in a group of whatever. Yeah. And we were oh man, all these people are doing this. I didn't realize it was that popular. Yeah, and then when I, yeah, when I was trying to book it, you know, trying to, get us a slot. They're well, I'm booked on these days and these days. Yeah. And I was kind of, in brief contact with other people. well, this, these are the dates I have available. I was like,

holy crap. People have, full schedules booked up. Yeah. I'm taking four people this day. The next week, I have six. You know, do you want to join people? Do you want to go private? Yeah. Yeah. So, it's something I never expected. What do you think, what do you think about the, that aspect of it? It's a double-edged sword, right? There could be a lot of good that comes from it. You know, it's

this is our culture. We want to showcase our culture, because that's what the big thing Lajet was talking about when I was asking him, what do you think about the tourists? you guys are so off and on. there's tourists going, and then they go home, and then there's, it's a cycle, and you pretty much always have guests. you don't really have that many days of a break. Like, are you finally relieved when the tourists leave? And it's we can just live our lives. But he said, he said he enjoys, when tourists are there. Yeah. You know, I don't, and he seemed genuine about it. It didn't seem like he was saying that for us, for the camera. I got, I mean, he said

he really enjoyed sharing the culture, and he was, kept talking about these interviews, and if you want to see the best, he was, he really knew, the best interviews to watch, because I think he really appreciated people with a genuine interest to see their culture. And then I think, also, you know, that's cool if you have those kind of tourists, and then also, there's a lot of money going around, obviously, and I think tourism can be good in, to a certain extent, right? Yeah. To a certain extent. I think if the money's going to the right places, because obviously these trips are expensive, and I can fuel them, maybe take some burden off of them, because, I mean, we saw there's a lot of people getting old, and I mean, it doesn't hurt to have a little bit assistance. They don't have to be going 100%, yeah, 100%, you know, just in the jungle. There's a little bit of outside support. But on the flip side, I don't think it's

gotten to that point yet, but it's, it's kind of on the way. I just, you don't want it to be this insane touristic thing. Yeah. You know, I think it would detract from the experience if, I mean, I thought, in some places, the logs could have been better that we were walking on. Yeah. Like, I feel well, there's so many people coming here, you can still walk on logs, that's cool, but, maybe a big one, cut in half, nice to sit, stand on, but you don't want it so mass tourism to this point of it's all paved, and, you know, things like that, and, and, oh, at a certain point, we need to get cell service out here, and we need to build, like, a toilet out here, and we need to, it's, it's all these little things that are going to take away from what it really is. I don't know if it'll ever get to that point, but it's definitely not, an extremely far-fetched idea. Yeah. That with a mass influx of tourism, something like

that could happen. Yeah. No, that's how I feel. I feel like at the level now, it's okay. I think, I think we even said that, and when we spoke to Lajet, right now, it's okay, and we even said, we hope it doesn't, you know, get too much, someplace like Bali, dude. yeah, it's, mass tourism has greatly affected Bali, and it's, this is not a place where you want that, and, you know, we said, and we said that, and he said to us, no, it's, you know, it's not going to become like that. Yeah, I don't think it'll become Bali. I mean, obviously, we need to see, but I've heard, Bukit Lawang, we obviously haven't been there. Yeah. But I've heard that's a little, a little bit over the top at this point already. It's kind of been commercialized to a point that detracts from the experience. Yeah. So, I think, I think that's, the closest parallel to what it could get to. Obviously,

I mean, we haven't seen Bukit Lawang, the situation. Hopefully, it doesn't, yeah, now, I think it's okay. I mean, I wonder how many people are, how many people do you think are, I mean, there's probably, there's tens of people going in, or at least in the area, we know, that's the other thing, we haven't been in every area, but there's, what, 50 to 100 people going in, you think? I don't know. In what time frame? every Tuesday, the ferry comes in. Oh, maybe. It's not, thousands of people, but, you

know. I think 50, maybe max 100, maybe. Yeah. I don't know. I think that we caught, like, a slow swing. Because we came in, and a couple people joined us, and then, because typically, when big groups, I think they're at Kuki's house. Yeah. I don't think so many people stay at Toikots house. Maybe a few, I think the Germans did, but I don't, I don't think that, I think normally there's more people in that area, the area that we were at. Yeah. And then we, I mean, we got to a point, there was only six of us, basically, with that

entire Sikalio Suck. Yeah, I would say maybe 50 to 100. Yeah. And it's spread out. There's people there. There's people in, Butui. So, like, for me, I think now it's okay level, but I think it was, it was a surprise for us. Like,

we didn't know, we didn't know it was like this. You know what I mean? Yeah. And you don't really see that anywhere online, in videos or whatever. So, for me, I think that was, kind of a surprise and it's okay. yeah, this is the whole thing with tourism. we can't fault

them for bringing tourists in and, we're going in there, we're tourists. Exactly. I'm not going to fault them. I understand, and they need to do what they need to do, but I hope it doesn't, they don't let it get to a point where it's, too much. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I guess, I guess the other way, the other angle I look at it with tourists is, what do you think about, you know, because we got to do it, we got to do it just us with them first and there wasn't a schedule of things to do. You know what I mean? It was all right,

what are you doing today? oh, I need to get this log for my house or, you know. Yeah, that was really cool. I need to feed the chickens and, you know, but then when the tourists are there, you're doing this thing, this schedule, right? And everyone's doing the same. And now that we've seen, yeah. And now, and on the video, everyone else's videos, everyone's doing the

same, the same thing. what do you, what do you think about, what do you think about that? I mean, in some ways, they've kind of, they've narrowed down, right? because there are tourists coming in, they've kind of narrowed down, this is what people want to see. People want to see the loincloths. Yeah. That makes them feel like a part of the experience

and gives them, an insight. Yeah. I think the poison is super interesting. Obviously, eating the worm. So, I think they've, they've definitely selected these things. You know, I think there's a lot more that goes into their culture. Yeah. That isn't broadcast or experienced by most of the tourists. Yeah. But I think that they've hand-picked these things because they are

maybe the most interesting things for tourists. It's I think all those are cool. I'm glad we did the loincloth. I'm glad we did the fishing, grubs, the poison. I'm happy we did all that, but I'm really glad that we did a lot of stuff outside of that as well. Yeah. People have these time frames and, how long do people want to stay out in the jungle? I mean, we talked to Lajet and he said the longest someone's really been here, like, in, a tour group or whatever, is a week tops. Yeah. You know, that's the most anyone's

ever done. Yeah. So, I mean, if you're staying a week, you obviously see a lot more, but I think more often you're getting, two or three nights. Yeah. That's probably your most common trip. And they're probably this is what we can fit in that is going to be,

you know, the most, the most dense that we can pack into this time frame. And you can't, like, I wish we could have gotten more deeper in the culture, but, you can't in a few days, dude. it's, we would need to spend a few months in there, you know, to really understand and learn things and also, to see other types of traditions and see other types of ceremonies that don't happen frequently, right? But, that's just, not going to happen if you're just there for a few days. So, yeah, for me, I get, why they do that. you know, everyone goes in and does the same things, you know, and they are cool, but I, I like the first two days more because I don't know because it's, like, it's just not that it's more, not those things they're doing aren't real, they're real things, but, nothing's more real than just being with them. for me, being with them those first two days was already special enough. just being in this environment, seeing how they live, seeing how Lodgett's busy doing all this work, his wife is busy taking care of the daughter, cooking, feeding the chickens, just seeing, and maybe not being, so deep into the culture, but just seeing, this lifestyle, dude, that for me was pretty special. I don't know. Yeah. I don't think it's something that many people see.

Yeah. For me, one of the coolest things, I mean, when we were taking that log, we had no idea what it was for. why are we carrying this 150 kilo log through the jungle right now? But then after seeing him cut it and carve it and create the steps and then seeing the other houses that they all have that log. Yeah. I was, holy shit, this is really cool. we were a part of this house. this is going to be here for a long, long time. Yeah. We were part of that and

we saw it and then every single time we'd come back and we'd walk up those steps. Yeah. This is it. we helped with this. Yeah. And it's, a real functional thing. Yeah. A real functional, important part of the house. Yeah. He said, you can't have an Uma without this. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Yeah. Now, yeah, I guess the other thing for me is that I think just, by the nature of how you and I travel, I'm just, I'm kind of turned off by, an agenda. You know what I

mean? Yeah. That's, just, and that's just me personally or maybe you too. It's just, like, me and you, we just get, we get on our bikes, dude, and we just go wherever. You know what I mean? There's no agenda. There's no schedule. We have, rough things we want to see. Yeah. But it's not, like, all right, we have a guide. It's, at, you know, at this time we're going to go do this and at this time we're going to go do this. So, despite the nature of, what we were doing with them,

that's just a turn off for me because that's not how we travel. Yeah. You know, the first two days is, how we do things. Exactly. You know. But people do like that. Well, that's what I'm saying. It's, if you're bringing tourists in, I totally under, I get it why it needs to be like this. Yeah. You know, and I think, Maria and Oggy and Patricia and anyone else goes, they do

enjoy that, a bit of, definitely, a, I mean, Oggy had an itinerary for their travels. They already have, places booked, flights ready to go, you know. They're very much the type of person that wants to see, okay, day one we're going to be doing this, this, this, day two it's this, this, this. You know, and I still think, they kind of did a good job. at some points I felt,

maybe they were a little bit too lax. Yeah. We go do something during the day and then we, like, everyone would come home and, lounge for a while, which, I mean, we were all pretty, pretty beat, so it wasn't the worst thing, but I felt like there was a lot of downtime that could otherwise be filled. So, I think, yeah, the schedule was a little bit light. Yeah. And then, speaking on, the tourism and, you know, we, we had no idea to the level it was at. Yeah. As always, hindsight's

20-20 and looking back, it's, we should have known. We should have known. We should have known, you know, otherwise, how is it so accessible? Yeah. But I, but I think that, you know, the way that people create content about it, they kind of just keep this mysterious sort of. They hide that.

They don't, they don't really make that secret. Maybe not intentionally hiding, but maybe, maybe, yeah, I don't know. But I think it's just, the over glamorization of it. you see it and you see, like, all these slow-mo shots and, the light hitting and these guys smoking in the jungle and. Yeah, yeah. I think you just have this idea of what it is and you already build this idea, but then, you know, if we really, reached out and typed in, mentawai tribe tour on Google, we would have got, we would have got hit with all the results, you know. Yeah, yeah, for sure. all these websites in English, I'm sure

the majority of them are all in English. You know, and then, oh, okay. And I think, I forget the number, but they said there's X amount of guides there. Yeah. There's quite a few. Yeah. Several, several dozen. Yeah. Up to, 50 or something. I don't know. So, in hindsight, we should have realized. We should have known. Yeah. Yeah. But I think that we already had, you know, this mindset of what it was. Kind of, yeah. No, for sure. I guess, yeah, we could talk, that's one of the things I want to

talk about is just, the other content. And I don't, I don't want to bash other YouTubers, but obviously, there's been a lot of videos made there, especially ones that have gone, super viral. Yeah. And, yeah, I just think that, yeah, you know, they, I think they missed the mark on, on, what's happening and what's going on and, the reality of things. And it's not to, I don't want to blame them or fault them because, I think they're just naive. And, man, if I guess,

if you look at some of our old videos, we're naive, too. So, we're totally can fall into that. But I just felt like the way we went in was, we had, I don't know, we went in, looking for the, the real, the real shit, you know what I mean? that's how we kind of, how we kind of went in. we saw a few videos. We were a little bit unsure. As we got closer, we were, like,

what's really going on here, dude? And then I have watched more other people's videos, after. And then I'm, dude, these people, completely glorified and romanticized this entire thing. And they missed, a lot of stuff. so rough. Yeah. They missed so many. They missed a lot. They missed the whole tourist aspect. They missed some of the realities of living in the jungle. They didn't talk, they really didn't talk about the people, you know what I mean? they just focused on their experience, which is, which is fine. But I don't know, I felt and in the past, if we've done this, probably, we definitely have messed things up. But I feel like the reason why, I don't know, we went into this, all right, you know, everyone has made the same videos here. Everyone's done the same things and, covered all the same topics or whatever. But

there's got to be more to this. we kind of went in, searching for the story. We kind of went in, all right, why are there so many tourists here? how does this work? Or why are there so many? Or why, you know, why do not everyone live in this way? Which we can talk about later. you know, not all the people live like this. So, yeah, I just, I just think a lot of these videos, it's no fault of those people. But, for me, I re-watched some of them afterwards and I was this is bullshit. It's cool. and it's good at what it does. Like we said, like I've said, there's two ways to make a travel video. generally, from vague, you can focus on the experience of the traveler or you can focus on the place you're in.

The place that can include the people, to include the culture, to include the food. I try, I think we try to be pretty balanced, right? we focus on, our trip and what's going on. But we also try to, tell stories and let the people tell their story. And if you look at these other videos, they're beautiful in the way they tell the experience of themselves, and they're amazing, but they totally miss, the Mentawai people. they don't, it's so surface level, dude, into what the people, you know what I mean? But, yeah, and I think, I think at the root of it, a lot of people, not saying that they're bad people, but in a way, that's not what their content is. They don't, they don't care. Yeah, they don't, yeah. It's like,

they're just, they're kind of just glancing over it. You know, they're I'm gonna go here, and then I'm gonna fly to here, and I'm gonna go to Thailand, and whatever. So, I think, like, that's their content, and it's, I think people are trapped in this, in this bubble. I've met people, and they're doing, relationship couple content, and I've talked to the guys, they're I want to break out, you know, I want to get out of this so bad, but they're stuck in that lane now, and now all they can make is this glamorous, overly glamorized content, and that's, yeah, yeah, that's, that's kind of, what they're stuck in, in a lot of ways.

Yeah, I mean, there's definitely vloggers that go there as well. I don't know. I haven't seen, like, a ton of videos, but, what I have, I've seen little bits and pieces, and I just think that it is over, overly glamorized. Yeah. Yeah, and I mean, I think we did a good job, but I also think that there's even, in our experience, there's, right, that's kind of, why we're having this dialogue now. Yeah. It's because there's not really a time to insert these, these comments,

and concerns, and questions, as we're going, and with the people. Yeah. You know what I mean? So, I think that even with our, in our own content, there could be a little bit more transparency. Yeah, no, for sure. Yeah. No, I, I, yeah, I mean, I think we did as best we can. I think

we haven't gone back and looked at everything yet. I don't think, I think we could have done better, always. Maybe, you know, we go back another time and do more, but yeah, I think, the whole, it felt like the feel we had, we even, talked about it, the feel we had going in was, we're really searching for something more, and, we, that's why, that's why we asked Lajet, can you, are you willing to, sit and talk with us for, an hour on camera, and us ask you, some real questions, you know what I mean? Nothing too crazy. Yeah. But, we were, we were always, searching for more, and I think hopefully we can, I don't know, hopefully people, I think they, obviously, most of our audience is Indonesian, and I think they'll appreciate it. Yeah. And if Westerners do watch and are going, they'll have a, hopefully can have, a better understanding after watching the videos. Yeah, I'm curious what the Western opinion of our video is, because I feel like Westerners, especially people that are seeking that experience, are, are more drawn to that crazy cinematic, you know, whoa, because then they want to take the selfies, and the photos, and, all these beautiful pictures with their amazing cameras, and, that's the experience they're looking for. I think it, I think if it's a Westerner who's, wants to travel there,

and they're using YouTube as, a, you know, as a information, oh, I want to go here, I want to watch a video, and figure out how to get there, then I think that's how they would feel, but I think a Westerner who maybe just consumes travel content just for enjoyment, yeah, maybe they would appreciate it more. But, it also, came full circle for me, this whole thing, because, I don't know, the way I used to look at Instagram, all, the people that do crazy edited photos, drone shots of the most insane things, and I used to love that, dude, the pictures of drone shots in Thailand of, the rocks, and, in the Alps, and all this stuff, and then I was, I travel, as I started traveling, and then I went to some of these places, I was, this isn't real, dude, this is so over edited, so then my whole, relationship with Instagram changed, I was, this is all, it's artistic and creative, but it's not real, this is fake. It's talented. Yeah, but I never thought about that with videos, and then all of a sudden, we started making content, and I started trying to get into the scene of, who makes travel content, and then I saw, the classic people that do very experienced, super edited cinematic cool things, and that's what I used to and I used to watch videos, of the classic guys with the GoPro that go somewhere for 30 minutes, and, there's nothing, and they just walk around, and I was, why do people like this? I was, I don't, this is so boring, this is, this is, how do, and these people have, millions of subscribers, and then, it's slowly clicked for me, and especially, here, I get it, because it's not real, this other stuff is, it's not real, it's amazing, and it's creative, but it's not as real as, just having a camera, and being somewhere, and, like, documenting it, and, I mean, hopefully, we can, when we edit it, we, I think it'll be more like that, obviously. Yeah, it's gonna be more like that. I don't think we filmed, any slow-mo. No, I don't think we filmed any of slow-mo. No, but yeah, it was, a full-circuit moment for me. I was, I understand, I get it now,

I get, because a lot of these people are so popular that make just raw travel videos. I was, like, I didn't get it. Yeah. It's, now I get it. It's, people want to see the real thing. And I even think with our content, when we started off, it was, okay, we're gonna learn how to make videos, and we were learning how to, do these cinematic shots, and this is a slow-mo, and, the focus, and all these things, and we need to focus on transitions, things like that, but I think, I mean, obviously, there's still a time and a place where we do it sometimes, but we don't nearly take as much time and energy on that. It's more about, what the experience is. For sure, dude. with, with the time that we have, and, you know, there's a limited amount of time that we have in the jungle. Do we want to spend that with, okay, do that again, and trying to get, the perfect focus, and shot, and, you know, composition of the film, but. For sure, and if you, if you

bring it back to this, that's why I think our first two days is going to be special, because there's no, we're not going to do anything crazy, right? It's just capturing our experience there, and there is no agenda. It's just, us with them, and I think that in itself is, for a lot of people is, is good content, dude, and it's special, and it's unique, and it's not bells and whistles, and it's, I think people will appreciate seeing that. I'm curious. I think, but, I mean, I also think that the last two days, I think it's nice. It's good, No, for sure, I think, but, yeah, because, once more people are there, it's more fun, and it's more exciting, so that's why I was, I think it's good we had both. Yeah, I think there's good stuff in the second one as well. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Do you feel like you're biased to it at all, because, you Yeah, I was gone for most of the second. I think, no, I just, not, I obviously, enjoyed everyone

we were with, but it's, I think it's just a different, when we're in there, and we're speaking Indonesian the whole time, and it's just us and them, that to me. Well, you have to think also, I think, I mean, everyone we were with, I think they also understood that our experiences were different than their experiences. You know? Yeah. just being able to connect and speak a common language, you know, obviously a lot of the guys there, their English is still developing. You know, so I think that it puts a barrier on you, us not only knowing the language, but knowing the culture. Yeah. You know, and just being familiar, and it's, you, we can

buddy up with them, do this, hang out, and just, we're hanging, we're one of their boys. Whether we're just kicking it, drinking a coffee, or playing chess with them, or, I mean, they're obviously going to be more willing, hey, you come with me, we want to show you this, if it, you know, something more intimate. Versus, bringing a whole group of people, so, I think, because we've been here so long, understand the culture, and speak the language, like, our experience is going to be different than 100% than everyone else. 100%, yeah. 95 plus percent of other tourists. 100%. Yeah. I mean, going off that, would you, what would you recommend people to go, how would you recommend people to go? Because, we talked about this a little bit before. What do you, what do you mean? which, for me, I would recommend people to go, but I think that ideally, I think you do a couple other trips to Indo first, and then you go. Oh, I think

there's an argument for both, because, they're, that for them, that's crazy, all of them, Maria, Oggy, and Patricia, this was the first time they've been to Indo, and the first thing they did. Yeah, exactly. So, I think there's an argument for that, maybe throw yourself in the fire, if you recommend someone do it, if you've never been to Indo, just go, but I lean on the side of, I think, if you had gone to Indo a couple times, and maybe get an understanding, and then go, it would be better, or if you can't do that, if you're gonna do, a three-week trip to Indo, maybe do it at the end, just so you could, learn a little bit, for, because for me, if you can just learn a little bit of basic things about Indonesia, then you would understand why this place is special, in a way, right? Because those people come straight there, and they're like, this is Indonesia, bro, and then they go out, it's no, it's not, this place is actually unique and special. It's so different, yeah. And if you're also, if you, understand a little bit more about Indonesia, you're not gonna, you know, if you've not been here for three years, like, us, and, can speak, you're not gonna be, that into it, but I think you would just be able to, soak more in. Yeah, yeah, I think so, yeah, I think so. I mean, I think coming fresh off the boat directly there, you know, when people start their trip, I mean, when people travel, right, Western people travel, they have a couple weeks off work for the year. Yeah, yeah.

People are really into showing off their travels, okay, I just landed, I need to show this, I need to get the selfie, I need to get the cinematic shot, I need the shot with, a picture of me and the shaman, you know, so I think people are really into that, and I think, kind of, whether it's at the beginning or end, but I definitely see the merit to that being maybe at the end of your trip, like you're saying, you can kind of just get a better understanding, because, yeah, when we were there with the three of them, they're this is Indonesia, that was their first experience in Indonesia, and that's kind of what their assumption is, but I also thought maybe it was also nice that they throw themselves into the fire early on, and then everything else is kind of, eased off of that, you know, maybe, you know, travel's not always the easiest, you're going hard for three weeks, especially people, they only have three weeks, it's boom, boom, boom, boom, their days are pretty filled up, it's they have one rest day, travel, and they keep moving, so I think there's also the argument that if you, finish off with that, you're just going to be completely beat by the end of it, yeah. And then, I guess, the last truth, which is, kind of heavy, and obviously, like, we talked to many people, we talked to Elijah on camera, and, people off, is, like, you know, the reality that the majority of people don't live in this traditional way, and it's unclear of, what's going to happen, you know what I mean? I mean, I guess, in general, it's, I don't know, we learned this too, is, a lot of people have, are moving out of the jungle into the normal, the normal village, and this is, like, I thought this was, such a huge takeaway from us, and, we talked about it in the, in the conversation with Elijah, it's, the way the people in the jungle talk about the way the people are in the village is, it's so crazy, bro, because, in the, and I've talked to, some friends about this, it's, or it's, when you're in Indonesia, and you're, in a city, whether it's Jakarta, or, a small-sized city, everyone's talking about, man, the kampung, yeah, the life in the village, life in the countryside, like, that's a tough life, man, and, you know, kampung living is, so nice, it's a simple life, yeah, simple life, yeah, yeah, it's, it's the simple life, it's a more rough life, it's, this, it's, this out of, you know, it's this easy, happy, kind of distant, distant life, yeah, but now, it's, it switches, it's, now the kampung is, like, the culture of the city, and, the jungle is, the kampung, yeah, and, the way they talk, even, Elijah talks about the kampung is, it's his fancy place, and, in a way, it is, you know, we, I was excited, when we finished the jungle, and you go to the kampung, and, to take a bucket shower with running water and power, it is, but I just, for me, it was, it was just this crazy mind freak thing of, like, they're there, yeah, he left the jungle, he went to the, he went to the village, he's, he left the huton, he went to the kampung, holy shit, but it's, the different levels, right, if people go to the kampung, a lot of people live in the kampung, it's, like, okay, I went to the kota, I went to the city for opportunity for work, and there, it's, you know, you're in the jungle, I went to the kampung for opportunity for work, for school, for my kids, you know, things like that, and it's just completely different, different comparison, you know, but it's just, it's crazy, but, yeah, a lot of people, yes, I mean, and you can't fault anyone, no, that's the thing, it's, you can't, yeah, a lot of people are moving out of the jungle to go to the kampung, because they maybe want an easier life, yeah, and I, you can't, I can't, you can't fault them, or, Lajet said, you know, the kids, if they want to send their kids to school, then the school is in the normal village, and they have to do that, and he was, I mean, his family, they all moved out, or his older brothers have kids, his older brother has kids, and moved to the normal village, so they can go to school, and he could be there, but Lajet said, I'll send, you know, my daughter to school, and I'll stay in here, but, yeah, I don't know, I don't know what's gonna happen, and, he expressed concern that, you know, he left, obviously, he went to Padang, he went to Bali, he lived this normal life, he really, he didn't just go to the kampung, like, he went to, he went to Bali, dude, I think he was working at these resorts here, yeah, I think he spent time there, yeah, and he was out for a while, and then he went back, and then he said, you know, I came, I'm trying to revive my, I'm scared, yeah, culture, and then he said, when his daughter, I want my daughter to go to school, but, I'm, she's gonna come back, you know what I mean, yeah, so, I mean, there is, obviously, we haven't been everywhere, we don't know, the whole details of everything, but it does seem and people are a little bit nervous about who, who else is going to be living like this, you know, in the years to come, in the next coming decades, yeah, and this is something that people, again, miss, you wouldn't know that if you watch other people's videos, you wouldn't know, dude, this is, and this might not be a thing a long time, there's all these, yeah, there's all these other people that live a, you know, they're, that's the thing, we don't want to take away, they're Mentawai people, and they still do Mentawai traditions, and they still get tattoos, and they still wear traditional garb, and they still do some of the common things, but, in terms of this, the tribal way, that's, I don't know, if it could be at risk, I don't know, I think so, yeah, I mean, at least that we saw, I think, potentially, right, we can only speak on the one era we were in, yeah, I've seen maybe Batui has more people, and maybe that has, a better chance of continuing, and, you know, going down the line, but, yeah, as far as we were, there weren't that many women, there weren't that many children, it was, you know, you have your head figures, you have, you know, Kuki, and Torason, Toiko, and I think that even one of Liki's brothers still lives there with his father, but other than that, I don't, the number, the math just doesn't add up, you know, they're gonna have kids, and, you know, with each coming generation, I'm willing to bet that more people are gonna detract, yeah, and I was asking, I think I was asking Lajet about it, what's gonna happen, you know, there's not many women, and he made a state, a comment saying that there's a lot of women out in the kampung now, but they'll come back, yeah, and I don't know if that's wishful thinking, if that's really gonna happen, I have no idea, yeah, but it just, upon my first impression, it just, it doesn't seem maybe as likely as maybe they would like to think, I don't know, it's not, obviously not impossible, but, like, they're going to the kampung, if they're not marrying someone in the jungle, what's, okay, I'm gonna marry you, someone from the kota, or the kampung, or, you know, mainland Sumatra, we're gonna go back to the jungle together, yeah, I don't, I don't, I do, I don't know, I don't see it, it's I have so much respect for those people that live that lifestyle in the jungle, and especially if you've already gone out, how do you come back, it's insane to think about, yeah, the way Lajet does it, yeah, and the way that he talked about, we, he came back with us the last day on the boat, and we were there, and he was like, I don't really yeah, I could come out here, you know, maybe for a day, get some stuff, like, see people, and then I'm back, yeah, he's I'm gonna go back that night, which I think he ended up staying a day, but, yeah, it wasn't long before he's back, and he said that, he said that Kuki, I don't think, I mean, he said Kuki, yeah, well, I don't think, yeah, I wonder when the last time is now for Kuki, but he said, basically, Kuki's never spent a night in the kampung, maybe, one, but, he just goes, gets something, and he's back, always, he said Kuki really does not, doesn't like it, yeah, not for him, he's so far removed from it, yeah, I just think that, I think the dynamic's so interesting between the people that live in the village, in the jungle, and the people that live in the kampung, and, the, even though it is, quite a journey to get there, right, you take a, I mean, we took a boat for, what, an hour, yeah, and we trekked for 30 minutes, but sometimes you could go, deeper, you could take, two-hour boat, and, trek for longer, it's still, it's a journey, but it's not, it's not impossible, if you, if you're, dude, I'm, I'm, this is too much, I'm, I'm gonna go to the normal village, yeah, it's so one day, dude, it's so close, it's that's it, dude, this boat's running every day, yeah, yeah, they can, they're all, they all know each other, they could get on a boat if they wanted, yeah, yeah, yeah, the, yeah, the reality is, yeah, you're deep in the jungle, man, and, there is a separation, but there is a, dude, there's a way to, yeah, to break out, I think there's, a certain kind of, there's a way that the people still in the jungle look at the way the people in the kampung, especially people that were, were born into that lifestyle, yeah, you know, I think it's one thing, it's, your family's from the kampung, you're kampung people, yeah, yeah, it's another thing of, you were born here, and now you're in the kampung, yeah, which I don't think you can really fault these people, but I think there's definitely a sense of pride for them, for sure, you've, I don't know if it's too far to say, you've abandoned your culture, you've abandoned your people, you know, but potentially, that's in some way some of the vibe that I did get, yeah, yeah, no, I feel yeah, you're, yeah, it's pride, that's what it, it's not, hate or it's, I don't think it's, a bad look, but it's, yeah, I think there's some tension for sure, you know, this is, yeah, or, man, I live, this lifestyle, and, people left, and, yeah, yeah, yeah, I don't know, but, yeah, I don't know, Lajet said what, he said there's tribes on two of the islands, but I don't, I don't, I'm just unclear on that, what do you mean, he said there's still, okay, Sibiru is the northern island, we're on Siporra, and then there's the two in the south, yeah, that's Pagay, yeah, no, he said they're gone, didn't he, I thought he said there's, tribes on two of the last four islands, but, no, but I think it's just, everything that I heard, he said there used to be tribes on all these islands, but now it's, yeah, now it's gone, yeah, you know, you still see, remnants of it, and they still do it, even that building back behind you, yeah, you know, it's built, a massive uma, and they still have, the signage of Mentawai, and they still build it with a traditional style, and have all the symbols, yeah, but I think, actually people living that way, I think it's gone, I think only Sibiru has that, I'm pretty positive, yeah, yeah, which is crazy, yeah, that's just the other thing of, yeah, I mean, I think when we went to the village here in the video before the tribes, that was so interesting to talk to that, yeah, where, like, religion came in, and where religion, really came in and took over, religion really came in and took over, and here it's crazy, it's Christianity, it's, which is so different, like, Islam is everywhere else, right, but here, Christianity really took over, and, those people that we met here in that village, you know, we were trying, before we went into the tribes, like, we were trying to ask them about, Mentawai beliefs, and, he really said, that I only believe in, my one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, very passionately, super passionately, there's even Islamic people, right, that, they believe in, you know, we've been in Java for a long time, the Javanese mysticism, yeah, and they blend, they blend the beliefs, even the, the other guy was Christian that we spoke with when we were with Andres, yeah, and he was saying, yeah, you know, we believe there's spirits in the, in the ocean, or spirits in the, in nature, you know, there's spirits all over, yeah, but that guy, he really drove home the point, and I think, I don't know if it was politically motivated, because he wants to run for office, yeah, he wants a position, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but, yeah, I mean, it was very surprising, yeah, yeah, for him to, like, really drive home the point, there's no, you know, this is the deal, yeah, because, like, Vloget said, you know, I registered my, you know, I registered my ID, because you have to pick a religion, but I don't subscribe to any of that, we have, in here, the Mentolai tradition, the Mentolai belief system, that's what I believe, I don't believe, so it's just, yeah, it's yeah, here, you can really see, damn, religion came in here and changed a lot, yeah, yeah, yeah, that's crazy, yeah, it's crazy how isolated it is, it's, you can take a fast boat to Padang, three, three hours away, yeah, yeah, and, the Minangkabau people are so strongly Islam, yeah, you know, it's so strong there, other thing about the Mentolai tribes that I was curious about, or kind of, piqued my curiosity was, you know, the money, yeah, it's a thing, being honest, it was the money, you know, I was confused on that, because it was a cool experience, we've done a lot of cool experiences, you know, for, for all the overhead, and what, you know, where is this money going, because I still think that we paid quite a bit for what we did do, and I think that we got a better price than most people, yeah, a vast majority of other people, yeah, you know, we spoke to, I'm not going to say, what anyone paid in our group or anything, but we spoke to people at Ricky's Beach House, and she said she paid, 500 British pound, or something like that, yeah, it's either 500 British pound, or it converted from pound to, 500 dollars a euro, yeah, yeah, which is, which is crazy to think about, and then, you know, I spoke to people several times, and they really, seem very honest that, no, when people stay at my house, per group, I get 100k a night, yeah, yeah, you know, so if we're gonna break that down, we did four nights, they did three nights, yeah, you get 700k for that, yeah, and then, what, the overhead of food, and things like that, yeah, really not that much, no, well, you know, really not that much, we weren't, we had chicken, we had a chicken directly from them, we had pork, we bought a pig there, like, they weren't bringing in beef, and, you know, these expensive things to cook, it was a lot of vegetables, and sometimes some egg noodles, and rice, yeah, yeah, it really wasn't that expensive, so, and then, I think you obviously have to pay for a boat to get out there, yeah, I, I talked to them, how much does it cost for a porter, the people from the canoe to the houses, they said, oh, yeah, I don't know, people usually give them a pack of cigarettes each, yeah, you know, so it's, 20k for each porter, yeah, yeah, where does the money go, yeah, you know, it's the thing with tourism, dude, it's, a double-edged sword, too, and it's just, yeah, but it, I don't know, it's interesting here that the, the Mentawai people are, for the most part, in charge of it all, it's just, there's, there's the Mentawai people that live in the jungle, and there's the Mentawai people that live outside, but the Mentawai people that live outside are the ones that run the whole operation, yeah, they're the ones that speak English, they're the ones that find, you know, but, yeah, that's it, that's, the two, the two things that, for me, it was, actually, I think the reason why people aren't living tribally is, I don't think that's actually, an effect of tourism, that's, a, that's something amongst the people, right, why people are leaving, why people are moving out of the jungle, moving to the kampung, it's not, like, a place like Bali, where, you know, tourism has led to, a ton of, in my opinion, has led to a lot of problems in Bali, here, it's, you know, there's the biggest, the biggest thing is, like, and we can't fault these people, it's, they don't want to live in the jungle, that's, that's the main thing that's causing the, you know, the, I don't want to say the culture, or the people that live in the traditional sense, that's why it's, dwindling, it's, that's a problem with the people, but also, when you do bring in tourism, and when you do bring in money, that brings problems of its own, dude, yeah, and it's, it's so freaking hard to, what do you say, and, what do we say, we're tourists, and we, we pay it, and, want to see it, but it's, yeah, you bring in money, and, some people want to get paid, and, yeah, some people want to do things a certain way, and it, yeah, it definitely brings issues, and it's, well, who gets paid what, and why are these people getting paid more, and, yeah, I just hope, it doesn't, it doesn't get more, I, yeah, we said, we have, you know, good words with all everybody before we left, and I was just, please, don't let this become something that it shouldn't be, don't, where it's at is okay now, you know what I mean, don't build this into this crazy thing, but how much is it in their individual hands, I know, yeah, right, if everyone else is capitalizing on and doing this, it's, shit, I'm getting left behind now, yeah, I need to start doing this, I need to start bringing bigger groups, because, it's viable, and other people, you would have to take a collective of the government, all the guides, yeah, the tribes, everyone would have to band together and say, no, we're limiting this, this is how this is going to be, yeah, but I think that it's kind of, in a way, a free-for-all in some senses, you know, and if somebody sees, oh, crap, he's getting more now, he's doing this, and all it takes is one person to start going bigger and trying to, trying to blow it out of the water, and then everyone's going to say, shit, I need my piece of the pie, and everyone's going to start trying to jump on board with that. Tourism, obviously, brings problems in, you know, there's been the issues with, you know, the visas for Indonesia, and how does that bring in, they want luxury tourism, yeah, and we say, well, that kind of, it kicks us out of it, too, you know what I mean, but it's just, it's this hard thing, you can't vet people, and, okay, I think, you know, certain people should go in, obviously, we pay, we feel deserving that we're allowed to go in, yeah, yeah, it's how do you vet everyone, yeah, how do you, you know, yeah, it's it's not, it's not, yeah, it's not an easy process, yeah, and tourism, it can be good, that's why it's, so freaking complicated, tourism can change people's lives, dude, and, I'm sure it's helped people here, for sure, yeah, of course, so grateful for the tourists, of course, I mean, yeah, everyone on, you know, on both sides, the people in the jungle, and the people that in the kampung are, grateful, but at the same time, it's, sometimes it gets out of control, and, if it does get out of control, it's just a freaking ball rolling down a hill, man, yeah, and there's, that's it, dude, yeah, and we can't sit here and point fingers and blame people, you shouldn't have let it go like this, or you shouldn't let people come, it's out of our realm, it's just, like, it's so complicated, if what we were told is accurate, you know, 100k per group per night, obviously, maybe there's some other things, you guys are bringing us some supplies and groceries, coffee, cigarettes, blah, blah, blah, if that is true, that is the extent of what the people actually in the jungle are getting paid, per se, I mean, what do you think about that, do you think that the Mento'ai people, obviously, all the, most of the power is in their hand, right, what are they going to say, hey, we need more, I don't think the outside people in the kampung are guides, and we're going to say, you know what, we're just going to cut you off, we're not going to bring guests here, yeah, yeah, I think they would, they would have to move off the position, right, yeah, yeah, I don't know, that's complicated, too, I think a lot of people have to get paid, obviously, I wonder how many people are getting paid from the money that comes in, I wonder what the government's taking, yeah, I mean, I wonder how many people in the chain are getting, about, the chain above that we don't know about, yeah, I mean, because we've talked to guides, they say, honestly, when it's all said and done, money's going here, here, here, yeah, yeah, we don't get that much either, yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean, I don't know what the chain is, and how many people are getting paid, and then, along with that, it's, the same argument about Bali, it's, where the same thing we talk about Bali is, what do you pay people, what's a fair way to pay people, what do you pay, what do you pay the Indonesians, not just Balinese, who have moved to Bali or are Balinese, that move to, like, places like Canggu or Uluwatu, where they work in a western cafe, where the prices are, you know, more expensive than a normal, and they work, you know, a normal schedule and long hours, what do you pay them, do you pay them, a normal salary, a endo salary of two to three million a month, or do you pay them, you know, more than that, but is there, should you, you can't pay them too much, right, because that could mess up, the flow of things, and kills the market, I mean, we've talked to people, they come in, they get paid, they pay their employees well, yeah, yeah, and then the turnover, people come work for a month or two, boom, gone, so it's, you don't want to go too far out of the spectrum, because, if it is 100k per night for the family, that's a lot of money in their terms, right, usually they don't have money, usually, if you, it's like the traditional jungle lifestyle, there's no money, yeah, that's, if they want to, you know, get a tattoo, they pay with a pig to the artist, if they, you know, they trade amongst each other, that's how they do it, so it's hard to say, yeah, maybe you could say, yeah, that's, they should be getting paid more than that, especially because we pay, get paid that much, but, yeah, I don't know, I don't know what the right thing is, do you think it causes an issue if the price gets reduced, if it's too affordable, do you think that also brings in another issue, then you're gonna bring in more tourism, too affordable for tourists, yeah, I don't think, I don't know, I think people that are coming to do this are gonna pay whatever, it's anything, yeah, maybe me and you, it's different, right, we've been in Indo for so long, and we know what the prices of things should be, and, we, you know, we operate in Indo for, you know, we operate in Indo on this budget, and we know what things should cost, yeah, and we, and when we do something, we know, oh, what rice and meat and things cost at the market, outside people don't, and, if they, you know, the outside people that are coming here for three weeks, it's, they want to go to the tribes, if this is the price, they're gonna pay it, if the tribes is, I wouldn't be, if you told them that, you need to pay, 10 mil, which I'm guessing is, that's more expensive than what we've heard people are paid, they would pay it, yeah, yeah, and I don't think, I don't think if it was cheaper, it would, it's gonna, it's always gonna be the same, yeah, it's, it really comes down to, like, how many people they want to bring in, it's on them, but, it's also, you also got to think, like, they're maxed, I mean, how many people can they bring in, you know, how many, unless they start building umas, and, you know, building, more stuff, how many people can they actually, what's the max capacity, I don't know, I think a lot, yeah, if they really incentivized it, I don't know, obviously, everyone have to be on board, you know, but Kuki's uma could hold a lot of people, that's right, uma could hold a lot of people, well, that's why I think, yeah, they're, you know, they don't have complete control, but, that's why I said, you know, we both said to them, dude, I hope you can preserve this, like, you got your family, your culture, all this, we really love and respect this, we hope you can preserve this, don't let it get out of control, but all it takes is for a couple people to make decisions, and, yeah, yeah, yeah, do you think your opinion would be different, because I've seen, some pictures and videos at this point of, Kuki's uma full of people, yeah, with, a dozen plus people, you know, say we went from Lajets to Kukiz, and we get there, and there's a dozen people, already staying there, do you, I think that would change our opinion on it, be okay, maybe this already is past a certain point, oh, yeah, I guess, I do think we did hit a downswing, yeah, yeah, we don't know, there wasn't a lot of people coming in, yeah, but, like, some of the guys were showing me, oh, this is my friend, blah, blah, blah, this is what we did last week, yeah, yeah, I saw, holy crap, there was a lot of people there, yeah, you know, it's, everyone banded together, they paid, I think they paid, 900k for the guys to sing, yeah, something like that, and I was, wow, it's kind of expensive, right, yeah, how long do they sing for, you know, yeah, I think when, I think when, major changes start happening, that's when I would be, this is too much, you know, things, building a road, changing, completely changing the way things are, because, yeah, to now, they're, you know, you know, you, okay, you could pay extra and get, like, this thing, and, or, you know, they don't eat rice in the jungle, bro, they eat sago, but they bring in rice and fruit and, stuff they don't, you know, t

2023-10-09 04:25

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