The Neccessities:
20-24 people
1 aging and decrepid auto resembling a small truck or van ( must have rotten floorboards, sharp metal edges on interior, no fewer than two blown speakers and at least 40% of its nuts and bolts missing)
1 chainsmoking driver between the ages of 15 and 22
1 helper (faretaker) below the age of 12 (chainsmoking optional)
1 cassette of Dangdut music

Park bemo in full sun in sweltering midday heat. Add people SLOWLY. When full, add three more. Close all open windows. Light cigarrettes. Plug in cassette and adjust volume level to 10. Set on course for at least 30 miles. Bemo must stop every half mile to pick up more passengers.

Optional Ingredients/Experiences ( You must choose at least three of the following):
1. Broken muffler spewing exhaust into passenger area
2. Any number of live animals up to the size of a goat (be creative here, don't hesitate to include live sea turtles or large fruit bats)
3. At least one person whose mother tongue is an obscure tribal language that is attempting to speak to you in Indonesian person from East Java doing the same
4. Minimum of three chain smokers. At least one sitting in your lap
5. Windows permanantly closed or boarded over with plywood
6. Driver chewing pinang
7. Door latches and brakes don't work
8. Large basket of trepang under your legs
9. At least one concealed durian
10. Drunken villager attacks bemo with large parang
11. Watch copulating dogs at bemo stand to relieve boredom of waiting
12. Driver orders everyone out of bemo so that passenger can find lost pig
13. Passenger asks you to lift legs so that he may extract hogtied pig from under your seat
14. Sit in bemo at pasar for one and a half hours because driver wants three more passengers. You only have 18 and he wants 3 more! You offer to pay the extra fares in order to get moving
15. Thoughtful driver stops in downpour to cover bemo with black canvas tarp...doesn't stop when rain quits and sun comes out
16. Driver tailgates behind loaded timber truck on Sumatran mountain road. You discover a new method of contracting "Black Lung" disease
17. Sambal from nasi Padang food tries to find path of least resistance
18. Beautiful, smiling Marind woman wearing "Life's a Bitch and So Am I" tee shirt
19. Passenger next to you is shivering from malaria
20. Handsome Biak man flashes perfect white-toothed smile at you
21. Driver speaks no Indonesian or is from East Java
22. Pass crowd of people staring at overturned bemo in irrigation ditch on side of road
23. Little man from Ambon will not stop petting the hair on your arm
24. Miles from the nearest village, in the middle of a sweltering rainforest at midday, the only other orang asing ( foreigner) on the bemo pulls out a travel size can of Evian skin moisturizer and spritzes herself.

This site was created in January 1998; the last major update was in November 2011.