Thursday, June 14, 2012
(Disclaimer) This is not an advice column…
This morning I got on the first of many flights…some of which are booked. With my passport* still being processed in POM a week ago I’d been hesitant to officially start booking. After much pestering in the Admin office I finally get word that the passport is on its way back via DHL (which in most places might give you a sense of comfort – not here). So I let the travel agent know she should confirm my tickets through to Singapore. She emails me the final info and I am set, or so I think.
The next afternoon she calls in to inform me my reservations were dropped and the plane is full. I have two options – fly two days later, losing two days of my trip or two days earlier. It really wasn’t too hard of a decision, who doesn’t want 2 extra days in Indonesia? With a new agenda set I can officially start booking. Except then work, deadlines, meetings get in the way. With one place booked in Yogyakarta I
responsibly leave for the 3-day weekend to enjoy some time at Salamaua. Back in Lae on Monday it is time to get serious with flight bookings, but the websites are not accepting my credit cards.
On Tuesday, with two days to my departure, I finally get my card to work for booking one flight out of Singapore to Denpasar. Accommodations, well I’ve been told I can do that there**. Thank goodness for Mikal, she used to live in Indonesia, and has given me all sorts of awesome info***.
Yesterday I booked a few more flights and a place for tonight in Kuta since my flight gets in late and will take a shuttle bus up to Ubud in the morning. I’m armed with the names of a few tour companies (again thanks to Mikal, who really should be coming with me!) And just now, from the Airways hotel**** where I’m passing my layover time, I’ve booked a guesthouse (again recommended by Mikal). Somehow things are coming together… it feels very unreal.
I haven’t even gotten started on the lack of visas I have for these countries…but it seems that in all except Vietnam you can now get them upon arrival…(don’t worry mom, I have a plan for Vietnam🙂 )
*Things do not always get accomplished in a timely manner and visa processing is one of those that can not be relied on…yes, I was stressing just a ‘bit.’ A trip and no passport to travel on??? Might be time to get a second passport (which, yes, you can do, but you need your first passport in order to get the 2nd…)
**This is not the well-planned trip I had in mind.
***Mikal gave me maps she marked up of places to go, the foods to eat, dances to watch (and to ‘sit close so you can see their crazy twitch eyes’ as well as useful terms – my favorite: ‘I don’t like rice‘ – BRILLIANT! (‘Saya tidal suka nasi’). (She knows me soooo well🙂 ) or ‘Satu lebih bin tang bear degan jerk nepis.’ I’ll probably use that one a lot.
****All of Lae seems to be leaving with school holidays and elections – I was on the flight out with a few friends and a few more are coming on the 11 o’clock flight. Makes flying fun.