After a hasty wake up, final packing and race to the airport, I’m waiting to board flight QZ7521 to Jakarta.
So I put up my hair Balinese stye like Nyoman taught me and draw in the happiest memories melancholicly while I try to stay focussed on the boardingscreen.
My liver and brain are doing their best to process the many satu lagi’s I shouldn’t have had last night. To feed my sentimental mood I check the footage I recorded. Man I’m going to miss these guys!
Welcome to hotel Padangbai. I checket out but I never want to leave.
Oh stop being such a baby; in a few weeks all experiences of the last months will just be warm and fuzzy, distant memories.
On the plane I’m sieated next to this elderly couple, the man in traditional muslim outfit, the lady wears a headscarf. They keep smiling at me very friendly but I can’t keep from wondering: what must they thing of me, a girl all alone on a plane…
And then suddenly you’re a young woman travelling alone in a Mulsim country.
From beautiful fresh happy Bali to the dusty Jakarta area.
I land at 2 o’clock and had forgotten to look up a hostel or a town; I don’t want to go into Jarakta city since I only have 30 hours or so to kill till my flight home leaves from this same airport 30 kilometers out of the city.
So I try asking at the infostand, but they can only tell me of hotelrooms starting at 200.000 rupiah a night or don’t speak English at all.
I meet a guy named Finman, a 28 year old banker that works at the airport, who offers me a ride into a closeby town. “There is transit hotel.” He gets off work at 7pm but goes to have a chat with his boss, who is eager to meet me and practise his English, and throws some names of apparently famous football players my way that don’t ring a bell, but are supposedly Dutch, “Ya, bagus!”
Finman gets some time off to bring me to a hotel. I’d spoken with him for a while and he seems like an honest young man so I take him up on his offer.
We drive for 10 minutes and get into a dusty town of little shacks shattered around the side of the road. It all looks so different from Bali, even from th rest of Southeast Asia.
The first hotel stinks, literally, and they charge 170 for a muffled room. 20 meters further is the next. They’re full.
But there is a somewhat persistant mister of the place two doors down, and that place looks clean. 175 a night sounds fair enough, so close by the airport, plus they include a taxi to the airport. Transit Hotel Serasi it is.
The room is still a concrete cage without windows. But with tv… no wifi though. I guess I’ll finally get to catch up on the many hours of sleep I’ve been missing.
The place is ran by men only and, well, it feels like a world apart.
Finman asks to use my bathroom; least I can do. He asks if he can sit down for a moment; sure. “A few more?” Ok. “You want me to pick you up for dinner tonight?” No thank you, you’ve been very kind, but I’m tired. “You want a massage? No charge, because we friends ya.” Ehm, no, no thanks…
It might be a culture or language issue, so I always try to stay openminded about these things, but is getting a little weird right here.
He points to my belly and says “You big, ya? I think you like the food.” and smiles. I think that’s another culture thing. In the west you just don’t tell a woman she looks more than thin. But Koming also had made this remark, very frank and forward, on how I’m a little chubby, but therefore no less gorgeous. So how do you respond to such a thing?
I leave the hotel for a little stroll to get to know my suroundings, as I always like to do.
I walk along the main road and pass a few empty warung-like stalls that seem uninhabited. There’s a lot of traffic and honking at me and people shouting things I don’t understand. Everybody looks at me like “What the hell are you doing here?” I guess they don’t see a lot of tiny blondes wandering the streets alone…
I see plenty of alleys leadig out to what looks like the place where people actually live and the action is. But because of all the funny faces and that I have no idea of the way things work around here I don’t dare explore them.
I go into a bigger lane or what looks like a square and find a warung where I even see some girls sitting without chaperones.
The lovely bosslady helps me with the manu, but still we can’t figure it out too well with hands and feet and the slightest bit of bahasa Indonesia and bahasa Ingris we share, so I follow her to the counter and point at some things that look tasty. An elder man comes to warn me “bery spicy”, but I love my last meal out on the streets!
I’m going to miss you so much Indonesia!
I suppose I should be home before dark.
It’s going to be a long night. Ah well, gives me some time to reflect on everything I’ve been through, to put it dramatically.
And with that realization of how I only have a few hours left on Asian time I suddenly wish there was someone bisa berbicara Bahasa Ingris, to get to know the local life here as this is such a different place again.
I’m back in my room at 5.30 and for the first time this whole trip I feel so very very alone and overpowered by it all I cry.
A refreshing shower later and I’m ready to face this lonely night. My body should be exhausted enough, and I’ve got plenty left to write about, photo’s to sort, things to read, thoughts to wander…
And if I should need the distraction: I have an artschool admission in a few days I still have to get started on. However, those are the serious kind of things I’d rather postpone as long as I can.
Home, or all the awesome beautiful people I met on the road for that matter; they feel so far away at this moment. I know I love them with all the passion my heart beats with, but I will only feel it again when I’d see them… no that’s not exactly how I mean to say it. Or maybe it is… I just can’t tell right now.
I’m convinced tomorrow, another Java day, will be less of a culture shock than the day after, back in the Netherlands, where I’ll possibly feel more lonely, having discovered this new world and now leaving it much, much too soon.
To get used to the cold I turn on the AC tonight and sleep with an actual blanket pulled over me.