Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Impressions

Today is the third day in Indonesia and the second day in Yogya. Already I have met loads of fascinating people. On the first plane from OKC to Dallas there was a lady from Mississippi who was friends with John Goodman's wife.

Once I made it to LA and was waiting for the plane to Hong Kong, I met a girl from the University of Denver. She was on her way to Hong Kong to study business for a year. Then when the plane was boarding I was near two ladies from East Kalimantan. They were adorable and when they realized I spoke Indonesian they had me translate the announcements for them. We finally boarded, but the plane ride was terribly long and uncomfortable, but it did the job.

On the plane from Hong Kong to Jakarata I met a very nice Javanese woman. Her name was Diane ahd she worked for a chemical company in Jakarta. She was returning from visting her son and daughter who are at school in the US. Her daughter lives in Columbia Missouri and her son in Indiana. She was helpful and nice to talk with, and next I am in Jakarta we are to meet up for a meal and a chat.

Things were fairly smooth getting to the hotel. I was so exhausted I almost went straight to sleep, but I decided to have a bite first. For my first meal in Indonesia I ate Soto Ayam and it was a terrific choice, very comforting and filling. The next morning I caught taxi to Gambir for the morning train to Yogya. The train station was a little unsettling, but definatly a good experience. I managed to board the train with two bags and three suitcases. The porters helped with the last little bit, and then wanted compensation. Being that the train was rather loud, I couldn't hear what they were saying and throughly embarrassed myself by handing them various inappropriate sums of money. The train was beginning to leave and the porters were becomming very distressed, but managed to hand them a suitable sum just in time for them to jump onto the platform.

The train ride it self was scenic, but long! I wasn't sure how the bathroom would be, so I held it as long as possible, but 10 hours is too long without going and I had to. It was not as bad as I thought it might be, but it smelled awful! By the time the train stopped in Yogya I was so tired I wanted to collapse. Again I was assisted by a couple of porters and grabbed a taxi to UCH. I'm fairly certain I over payed the porters and the taxi driver, but I was much to exhausted to negotiate. When I made it to the hotel I went straight to bed and did not wake up until about 5 the next morning. In all it was about 12 hours of sleep.

Since it is bulan puasa I wasn't sure if and where I could eat. Around 9 in the morning I recieved a call to the room from a lady saying I could come down to breakfast until 10. So, of course I rushed down to grab a bite. After breakfast I went back up to the room for a bit for a little rest. My roommate arrived about 12 and that was nice. She has been very nice so far. Actually, everyone has been spectacular. Aussies seem great. It is a bit strange being an American here though. I am somewhat of a double foreigner.