First day

June 27, 2010
indonesia asia

Today is the first day of my trip to Indonesia! Real Indonesia that is, not Bali, which is what most tourists go to. I had to get up at 3am so we can drive off at 4.30am. The flight itself is at 7.30am. We made it on time. We wasted a lot of time waiting in the wrong line though (Air Asia) instead of the proper one (Garuda) due to poor observation skills. Found Victor’s Jagermeister, I’ll make sure to buy it on the way home. 2 for $60 I think. I’ll keep one for myself.

Flight was relatively uneventful. A bit worried about safety and stuff due to Garuda’s poor track record. The fact that the music/radio thing in the plane wasn’t working didn’t help either. What also didn’t help was the fact that the movie/screen entertainment thing wasn’t working either. They kept rebooting it and it showed the Linux terminal. Dodgy. If the software for the entertainment system is full of bugs,  it makes me wonder about the plane’s autopilot navigation systems too… Annoyingly I have no photos to show for my travels so far, since the SD card that I brought is 4gb! At first I thought it was still formatted Wii style but I reformatted it with the EEEPC and it still doesn’t work! I’ll chalk it up to the camera not being able to support SDHC cards (4gb in this case). Will attempt to find a 2gb SD card today, if such high technology is available in this country!

Mosquito problem isn’t too bad, but I’ve decided to take my malaria tablets anyway. Just in case. But the ‘in case’ argument isn’t really that feasible because what about all the OTHER countless disease and illnesses that exist in this country? You can’t possible cover everything! Regardless there are many mosquitoes here so I might as well take precautions for that particular disease. Plus I’ve met people that have been hit hard by malaria and it’s not pretty!

After arriving in Bali the humidity was very strong, but not entirely unbearable. Had to change into shorts because it was so humid. Had trouble doing it though because outside the toilets were full of dodgy guys squatting down and smoking. Going inside, there was only one toilet stall. The door  was broken on this stall (door fell off the hinge when I tried to open it). It was also a squat toilet, so the floor was probably dirty. Also the tap was leaking so there was a bucket there to contain the spill. However with some stroke of luck as well as pure skill, I managed to change out of my jeans into more comfortable shorts.Took a connecting flight in Bali into Surabaya. Sus plane. Dirty and creaky/falling apart. Managed to get to the destination in one piece though.

Surabaya was much hotter than Bali. It’s like the offspring of Australian sun and Bali’s humidity.Upon landing we went to a nice restaurant owned by Steph’s relatives. Good food. Awesome slushy thing that we’d never be able to get in Australia. It was worth a photo but I didn’t want to make a weird touristy first impression. Speaking of bad impressions, I was so nervous so I didn’t keep much eye contact and didn’t talk to them much since I  don’t know the language. Looks bad. Poor confidence and stuff. Fixed it later though.

Took an awful 3 hour drive down south to Malang. There was some epic mud slide somewhere about 4 years ago which screwed up all the traffic and made the traffic slow to a crawl. It was more a 3 hour series of constant stopping, starting, jerking, emergency breaking and honking of the car horn. Felt very sick. Lucky I didn’t hurl though, that probably would’ve made a bad impression too!

Valiant and Steph made the observation that these people live in so much chaos they are much better drivers than the ones in Perth. I’d have to disagree though, if these people came to Perth, they’d be fined and confiscated their license (if they even have one) for poor driving. Being a good driver is all about how well you adhere to the status quo and rules of the current country.

I got to see a lot of the way  the country runs during that drive. It’s pure chaos really. Huge divide between the rich and the poor. Lots of people begging as the cars roll past. Dodgy people recommending we take a ‘secret’ road to be able to get out of the enormous traffic jam.

Finally made it to the house. Very impressive house. Awesome walk in shower design. It’s about twice as long as a normal shower. Two or three maids to take care of a lot of the menial tasks that we do back at home such as cleaning and laundry. They’re on call pretty much 247. Sit in a room with a TV while waiting for duties to pop up. It’s a 247 job, to which most ‘fulltime’ 9 to 5 jobs pale in comparison. We went to the local mall. Very close and convenient! Only about 200m away. Didn’t really do anything though because it was almost closing time. Just went to the arcade and played some games. DDR and Drummania.