“The sun still has to come …”“Nah, sun has already set …”
This is the Indonesian verb, meaning “walking”. A Savior when walking through a street cramped with tuctucs, taxi’s and rickshaws. Some of the drivers lay asleep in very charming poses, including exposed belly and all. The others all ask the same:
“Do you need a ride?”
To make clear you do not need a taxi or any other mean of transport, you just say these two magical words (far more powerful than saying no) and voilá, they won’t ask you again.
After a long walk (think a march walking inside a sauna the size of a city) and after drinking gallons of water and immediately sweat that out again, I decided to jump on a rickshaw for the last part.
Clammy walks, adrenaline kicks on ojeks (motercycles), risking your life when crossing an intersection, going on photos with groups of children making you feel like a celebrity, Jakarta’s nightlife and big discussions about Lychees and Rambutans. This pretty much sums up all adventures in Jakarta. What a great start :)
“Calling for miss Joyce for flight to Singapore.”
The words that would be the start of my journey.
The voice kindly but firmly asked me to make my way to the desk as soon as possible. I wondered what was going on. I was on time and had no check-in difficulties. Maybe they already lost my luggage?! I walked to a lady working there and told her that my name was announced. A great way for bypassing the queue for going through the metal detectors and scans.
At the end everything was fine. Turned out my seat had been changed. 37H became 34H with an empty seat next to me as compensation. Great!
Who expected that this week was filled with more hard, little, Indonesian embassy ladies are wrong. This week, in fact, was very ‘smooth’. Even picking up my visa went without a single struggle.
This week was filled with meeting people, the birthday of my aunt, many ‘have fun’-wishes and ‘farewell’-sayings, getting the last bit of stuff (dont forget, sunscreen and lots of mosquito repellent) and a systematic evasion of packing my backpack.
Monday I received a lovely postcard from my 1.5 year old neighbor, Luc with a wonderfull drawing on it. What a great start!
Wednesday morning around 10:30 AM the airplane starts its engines and takes of to Singapore. Here I will hop onto the next plane to Jakarta where I will arrive on Thursday around 8:30 in the morning (3:30 AM Dutch time).
Let’s see, all the important things? Passport: check, ticket: check, money: check, ‘Where’s Wally’: check. Okay, that should do it. Let the journey begin!
My to do list told me that I had to arrange a visa to get into Indonesia. Again something to check from my list. Easier said than done. Let me start at the beginning.
The day it all began. I made an appointment to apply for a visa and filled in the form that was part of it. After having answered all the question and made up half of it, I was ready to go to the appointment on March, 11.
“Date of return. No idea, I’ll just write something down.”
“Is it possible to follow you during your travelling, Joyce?”,
“Making us jealous with you stories, Joyce?”,
“At least, you have 1 follower for your blog already!”.
A blog, right. I hadn’t thought about that. These quotes brought me back to that little girl who, every time she got a new journal for her birthday, Christmas or Easter, swore an oath to write something every single day. The result: In the farthest corner of my closet lay five journals containing not more than 5 stories each. All the other pages: just white pieces of paper, never touched, forever unwritten.
But, that was then and now is now. Hereby I am going to take the oath once again,
Wait, that is not right.
“Dear readers, hereby I swear to write about my Indonesia adventures on a regular base”.
And this post marks the beginning.