I recently went on a trip to Indonesia – the liveblog of events can be found right here.
In order to better facilitate the retelling of this experience, I’m going to tell it in chunks. So much happened that to try and tell it all in one big wall of text would completely undermine the wonderful and awesome experience that I had in Jakarta and Bali. Plus, trying to cram all that text out in one go is just unfeasible for me – I work best with smaller volume of words.
So, here’s the first part.
The journey, like all such things, started simply: with packing.
Packing for this trip was unlike, well, any other trip Nadia and I have made together. For one thing, there was more luggage. Normally, we travel light – well, I travel light. Nadia, not so much. I’m usually good with a backpack full of shirts and shorts, where she’ll need a duffel of clothes for all occasions and weather – even if it’s just a day trip. Considering this was to be a three week voyage for her- and a week for myself – significantly more clothing was needed.
So, we did what any sane people would do: Bought new, larger luggage, and filled it to the brim with clothes for all occasions. And, since we were headed across the globe to her homeland – and the homeland of some of her friends here, we acted as a parcel service as well. What space in our bags that wasn’t filled with clothes (and I cannot stress the sheer number of clothes that went with us) was filled with food items and other small trinkets for the folks we’d be meeting, and the family of those friends she has here.
This, of course, lead to our bags being quite heavy – something which she fussed over for a couple days, worried that they would be too heavy, that we’d be hit with massive fines and become bankrupt and destitute all because we had too much stuff with us on the plane.
All this worrying – and repacking, trying to balance the weight of the bags and bring it something near the limit, would be for naught.
Once we got the airport, and wandered up to the ticket desk, the nice lady gave us boarded passes, checked our bags all the way through, then tossed them on the conveyor without ever weighing them. All that worry, for nothing. They didn’t even care!
Sadly, my boarding passes only got me as far as Taipei – I wasn’t checked all the way through to Jakarta. My luggage was, as was Nadia and her luggage, but not me. I would have to get another boarding pass in L.A.
I should take a moment to say that L.A.X. sucks. It sucks in every way you can imagine. The place is laid out in a way that makes no sense what so ever, the security is a fucking joke, filled with incompetent assclowns, and the international terminal is a ghetto. Of course, we didn’t find any of this out right away – oh, no. First we got to wait in line for two hours waiting for someone from China Airlines to show up to work so that I could get my boarding pass.
Waiting wasn’t really that bad, we did meet a nice fellow named Gil. Gil was on his way to Bali to meet a nice Chinese lady from Canada he met over the internet. It’s all kind of fuzzy and complicated, and frankly sounded really strange and suspicious. But, he seemed like a nice guy (if a bit over eager to meet this mysterious woman), so we chatted with him to pass the time.
Eventually, we got my boarding pass, made it through security (where the guards valiantly risked their lives frisking a 16 year old girl), and found an over priced bar to settle in with a nice drink and a passable sandwich. Eventually, we even boarded our plane, and were finally on our way.
The flight to Taipei was fun – A neat in-flight system filled with movies and TV and music was there to help pass the time, and they brought us rather tasty snacks and meals and blankets and pillows. My legs got all crampy about two hours into the flight, but Nadia passed me some pills and I passed out… So, it wasn’t all bad. Rather enjoyable, all told.
We wandered – briskly – through the Taipei airport, found our next gate, and I took a much needed nap. Eventually we boarded our final plane, where I again napped, and landed in Jakarta.
(To Be Continued…)