Leaving Jakarta white a crying and a happy eye.
Time is flying by so fast. Time after time. The semester in Jakarta ended as quickly as the one in India. I have been in Asia for almost a year already. I am so tiered of rice. And I know I will miss it soon. With final exams, booking tickets and a steady trend of Goodbyes the last week went faster than any other. My colleagues made me come back to the office to give me a Christmas sweater. They actually got me a sweater. And it’s actually nice for Christmas. I’ll send a selfie as soon as I have a tree on fire behind me.
The people are definitely what impacts our experience the most. My time in Indonesia has been more social than my life in India. Countless evenings with friends, home cooked meal and gross Indonesian wine. My colleagues shrieked and laughed when I would enter the office and my classmates took me to meet their families and come to their islands. To keep up with them it will take a lot of unsocial moments in Europe when I will stare at my phone to connect with those I miss in Jakarta on the other side of the world.
I knew I should be sad but I couldn’t but be so freaking excited. Ahead of me are a week on some of the nicest places of Indonesia: Lombok, Gili and Komodo. I will make a dream come true and see those Komodo dragons. And then 3 weeks Papua New Guinea with my whole family, to discover the jungle roots of my mother.
Getting on that plane to Lombok
I was about to leave the Indonesian capital to Lombok a beautiful and still kind of unknown island. On my last day in Jakarta most of my friends and colleagues wanted to say goodbye and so every last meetup is followed by a last drink, a last game or a last hug. That’s actually very nice that people care. Even with the cab waiting I still got text to just wait for one more goodbye and one more friend literally running through the lobby to see me before I leave. So I left to the airport a little late.
Now it is important to know that Jakarta Airport has three terminals in considerable distance from each other. And it is even more important to know which one to go to. You see where this is going… My friends were convinced that Terminal 3. I managed to get through the door to Check-In, but they told me that I was at the wrong terminal. “Dua, Two! Terminal Two!” I tell myself to stay calm and wait for the shuttlebus. And I tell myself to stay calm as the shuttlebus slowly passes terminal 1 and finally gets to the second terminal. They didn’t even let me in. “No, No Mister. Terminal 1”
I knew the plane is on “last call”. So running, sweating and begging I try to convince the check-in stuff to let me try storm through the airport and yell “Stooooooooop the plane!” at the gate. Well, they didn’t want that. One nice guy totally saved me. He pulled me to a colleague of his. She took my passport and came back with a boarding pass for a plane at 5AM. “Free. Stay here.” Already with boarding pass but still with luggage I was stuck between counter and security and ended up sleeping on the floor. It gets cold down their even in Indonesia.
Faith in people
Back to check in my luggage the guy found me in the crowd. He took my boarding pass and my luggage, climbed behind a closed counter and checked me in himself. The dozen people in the queue ahead were not happy. “Sorry I am here for 6 hours already,” I tried to explain with an awkward smile. Saying goodbye I ask to shake his hand a last time to use my little Indonesian cultural skills to touch my heart after his hand. And I ask for his name: “I am Lalu, I am from Lombok,” he smiles. I guess he just wanted me to see his island. We depend on people all the time and they on us. The airport guy at the cabs used his power to screw me over. Lalu used his influence to save me. How will sleep better tonight?
Gili Trawangan and flying turtles
When I finally got to Lombok I had no idea where to go. Ekki had cancelled on me and I was already a day late. A day that would be painfully missing later on. So I blew all plans and booked the next night on Gili Trawangan, a famous tourist destination. On a motorcycle they drove me 90 minutes from the airport to the harbour. We drove under orange trees, through the rice fields and fish farms, over the jungle hills and along the coastline. At the roadside we saw waving kids and monkeys getting ot on. We even got stopped by the police. I loved that trip.
The Gili Islands are famous for their beaches, nightlife and turtles. I actually managed to touch a sea turtle in the open ocean. It gave me the annoyed look decadent people give beggers. Above the endless blue the turtle is the only thing visible in the sunlight, it really looks like its flying gently through the open waters. But what sounds like pure romantic is honestly not much more than Indonesian tour guides yelling: “Turtle! Turtle” and a dozen white people hurrying to get that perfect GoPro-turtle-selfie. No wonder those turtle don’t feel like posing anymore.
My blog is always a bit behind my real life. Next is my amazing time with Ekki on Lombok. He found me at the beach chewing sugar cane and looking like I a bamboo-eating bule madman. Bule Gila.
Clean Bandit – Rather Be ft. Jess Glynne