Indonesia – Jakarta and Padang

During my flight to Jakarta I couldn´t sleep although I felt really exhausted, so I watched two movies (A Monster Calls and The Boss Baby). The seat next to me was free, so the lady on the other side of it and I used it to put our stuff there. I also had enough room for my legs and the food was quite nice. The service of Garuda Indonesia was also good, in general everything was a lot better than I expected. Pretty good airline! I had a window seat and got some nice shots leaving Australia.

We landed punctual in Jakarta. I got through Immigration and Customs pretty fast and without problems and walked to the taxi stand outside. Although it was already 9:30 pm it was still super hot an humid. The total opposite of Perth. I had informed myself about cabs beforehand in order to not being ripped off too badly. I knew that the Bluebird Taxis would be the best choice since they use the meter. When approaching the taxis a private taxi driver offered to bring me to my accommodation for 250 000 Rp. I declined and continued to the Bluebird taxis. He tried to convince me that this is a really good deal and I would pay more for sure with the other cabs. I didn´t listen and got into a Bluebird taxi. Although the driver had not really a clue where to go and had to ask several times and it took quite long due to that, I only payed 58 000 Rp. in the end, so almost 1/4th of the price the other guy offered as a great deal. Thanks Lonely Planet for the information! The owner of the Travelers Home greeted me at the door and showed me around. He was very friendly and helpful and ordered a taxi for me at 4:20 the next morning. He was pretty sorry that I would miss out on the included breakfast since I would leave so early, but water, tea and coffee are for free anyway. He doesn´t have any staff at this hostel since he gives all the money he is making with it to a charity organization. He makes his living with another business and only has this place to help people. I quickly used the free WiFi, had the crackers and cheese I didn´t eat on the plane and went to bed for a short but very needed sleep. After all I was really sick. After only 5 hours of sleep I got up shortly before 4 am, had a shower and drank a cup of tea and went outside to wait for my taxi. It arrived super punctual. Within 15 minutes I was at the airport and only paid 40K (about US$3) this time. I had asked when I arrived at what time I would need to be at the airport given that I already had my boarding pass and my luggage was checked through to Padang anyway. They said still 2 hours because the queues can be very long. But I got through both security check points super quickly and without problems and even with having to go to the gate that was the furthest away (about 30 min walk), I had plenty of time. To cover the waiting time I had my first Indonesian meal at the airport.

It has been another Garuda Indonesia flight and again everything was punctual and the service was friendly and good. I had a window seat again. Took pictures leaving Jakarta

and from Sumatra when landing.

They also served a meal on this rather short flight (1h50). I wasn´t hungry though after my meal at the airport. Shouldn´t have wasted that money! I only ate the fruit and let the chicken and rice go back.We landed punctual in Padang and my luggage also arrived. When I walked outside I immediately found my driver who had a sign with my accommodation and my name on it. We drove to Brigitte´s House. I had to wait a little bit until I could check into my room. I waited in the common room on a comfy couch using the free WiFi. The WiFi here was a lot better than in any hostel in Australia! After I checked in I lay down for about 1.5 hours. I was completely knackered, coughing like crazy and generally feeling very unfit. I talked to another guest for a while and then took off to run some errands. IMAG2284 (FILEminimizer)I needed an Indonesian SIM card, an ATM and a pharmacy. It was Sunday and so not too easy to find an open pharmacies. But I managed to get something for my throat and also finally eye drops without active ingredients (it was basically impossible to find a pure saline solution in a small container in Australia) for only 40K Rp all together. I also got a fresh coconut before returning to the hostel. The afternoon I spent on the cozy roof terrace getting some stuff done online and I saw an amazing sunset from there too.IMAG2287 (FILEminimizer)

I was too tired and lazy to head into town again for dinner, so I just ordered something at the home stay. It is more restaurant price here, so more expensive than street food, but it was good and the easiest way. I took some NeoCitran and went to bed at 9:30 pm already. I slept through until 6:30 the next morning. Since I couldn´t sleep anymore I got up and took a shower. I felt a little better than the day before, but still not very good. After the shower I ran into an Aussie surfer dude and we had an interesting discussion for about 1 hour. He left in the afternoon unfortunately. We got banana pancakes and fruit for breakfast (it´s included at this place). I went to the next supermarket to get some tissues and a bottle of water, checked on google maps what would be close enough to go to, took my camera and then walked off. I had intended to walk to AirManis Beach to take some pictures, but got lost on the other side of the bridge. I ended up in a very local area where I was the only white person to be seen. The locals where super friendly and everybody greeted me, many wanted to know where I come from and how I was. For most that was the only English they could speak. But you get quite far just with a friendly smile in your face. I took many pictures and walked up and down the river on both sides for about 2 hours, before I dismissed the original idea of going to the beach and returned to the hostel.

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On my way back I had some lunch in a local place pointing on what I would like to eat since they couldn´t speak English. There are basically no public toilets in this country so when I got back to the hostel I needed to pee super urgently. I was very tired after walking around in the heat and took a nap on the roof terrace and worked on my Perth Blog for the rest of the afternoon. I walked into town again to get a coconut IMAG2294 (FILEminimizer)and find something for dinner. I got some nice deep fried local food for 7000 Rp (about 50 US cents) as take away and got back to the hostel before it got dark. I ate my food on the roof terrace watching another incredible sunset.

I went down to the common room hanging out there for a bit and writing my diary. After another NeoCitran I had another early night. This time I slept until almost 8 AM. The cold shower (there is no hot water at this place) starts to feel really good after a minute or so, once you got used to it. It´s definitely hot enough here to live without warm water. A bit annoying that there often is no toilet paper though. I haven´t been in Asia for a while and first have to get used to the hygiene standards here again. Flushing toilets with a seat are rather the exception here (they are called western toilet), so is warm water. You definitely can´t drink tap water. On the streets there is waste lying around everywhere, also in the water, the walkways are usually an obstacle course, if they exist at all and the traffic is just crazy for western standards. Takes a few days but then you get used to it and it becomes pretty normal. This time we had scrambled eggs and fruit for breakfast. I spent the morning on the roof terrace again, blogging, reading and getting some stuff done. I forgot the time and when I started feeling really hungry, I realized that it was already 2:30 pm. Ups! Since it would have taken too long to find something I ordered some Gado Gado at my place. IMAG2301 (FILEminimizer)That was really nice and I could do with the vitamin boost. After this I finally managed to get out for a bit. I walked to the waterfront and got a coconut. The women selling it could only say thank you in English and that was at this time also my only Indonesian word. So when I tried to make them understand that I would like a straw I ended up getting the whole content of the coconut (pulp and coconut water) together in a plastic bag with a straw in it and a rubber band on top. I would have preferred the whole coconut, especially since the pulp was always blocking up the straw. But well, I just had to smile, took my plastic bag full of coconut and walked off. I sat a bit on the beach trying to drink the coconut water but then it started to rain and I went back to the hostel.

Was a really short trip. I sat outside with some locals and an American girl for a while then I went inside and tried to find out what is the best way to get from Gili Air to Labuhanbajo and finding some good and not too expensive dive option in Komodo. If anyone knows about something there, I would really appreciate some information! First I thought I would just skip dinner and go to bed early again.

IMAG2305 (FILEminimizer)
one of the hostel kitties

But then I got really hungry shortly after 9 PM and ordered some more food. That night I didn´t sleep very well, although it had finally cooled down a bit. But the water tank behind my room was making funny and really loud sounds all night and I slept very restlessly. The next morning after shower and breakfast I packed up my stuff and brought it down just in time for my bus to Bukittinggi. The bus Arrived 20 minutes too early to pick me up. So I just checked out qickly and off I was to my next destination.

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