Life may usually be about the journey, not the destination, but sometimes… Yeah. It is definitely about the destination. After quite the long journey, I am elated to report that I have safely made it to my new host country: Indonesia! The photo to the left is an aerial view from the hotel; my first glimpse of Indonesia that I can take at my own pace (i.e. not from the back of a speeding, swerving taxi).
After such a long haul, I am feeling surprisingly good. A bit tired perhaps, but very much pumped up on adrenaline. The local time here is 1:21 p.m., and my body seems to agree with that information. This lasts as long as I don’t think about what time it is in Chicago right now… A twelve hour time difference will definitely take a couple of days of adjustment.
Good news: all the Stuff that I have agonized over in previous posts made it here safely. No one’s bags were picked over or lost, which is a promising start. At baggage claim I even had my first organic Indonesian interaction, when an airport official was asking me what was in a large box next to me. A fellow ETA brought a bicycle for a friend in Indonesia, which is what was in the box. I told him “sepeda,” which means bicycle. He asked a follow up question, to which I replied with a smile and the universal shrug of ignorance. Saya tidak tahu. I don’t know. I might only have used one word, but it is a start!
Upon arrival at the hotel, we were each given a roomkey, a folder with some useful information, and one of these bad boys:
Now I am really glad that I did not bring my iPhone because smart phones were provided upon arrival. Hallelujah!! Today’s order of business is learning my numbers so that I can easily share my number with the hordes of Indonesian friends that I am intent on making in the coming weeks. 🙂
- Take a shower.
- Get a massage, which costs less than $13 for one hour. Absolutely worth it.
- Find some food. I forgot to tell Delta that I am vegetarian before flying, which means nothing more than peanuts and breadrolls were available. Note to self: don’t forget next time!
- Lay by the pool and smoke a cigar that I have hauled all the way from Tampa. This journey requires some celebration!
Tomorrow is yet another day of travel, this time to Pangkal Pinang, my new home where my ability to learn Bahasa will be the difference between sinking and swimming. I’m excited for the challenge. Now off to shower, but first some images to give you a better idea of where I am geographically located (note that the plane is over Singapore and I am now at the end of the green brick road):