August 20th, 2009
After my relaxing time on gili air it was all rush, on the day of Indonesian indpencance i had to start my marathon that would take me across the world.
Day One: gili air catch the spesial ferry at 13:00, arive in Bangsal and catch a bemo to Mataram even though its the capital of the island we find that we aren’t even sure its a city. Grab a quick bite to eat and say good by to my friend then hop on another bemo too Lembar where i hop on the next ferry and slowly watch the sun set as Lombok drifts into memory. Later that night i arrive in Pedang Bai and try to find some reasonable accommodation and after an hour i find something not too outrageous. After i have some place to lay down i head out to find some food and fun to celebrate this day, that done i decide to check some email to update some people of my progress. Here is where i find one of the biggest shocks i have had in Indonesia, after going into a cafe i think i hear the price for half an hour of time to be 2,000 a very reasonable price as normally its around 3,000, so i use my 30 minuets and go to pay, only to be told that no the price is 12,000! When i make a friendly protest at the very high price i am rudely and forcefully told to leave if i can’t pay, when i say that the issue isn’t that i can’t pay the issue is the the price is outrageous i am even more forcefully told to leave in a very unfriendly and hostile manor and been told that its that price or nothing, deciding that he is obviously charging so much that he can afford to be rude and lose customers i decide to leave and share my woes with some other tourist, and i find a german with a few bali girls whom thinks i am in the wrong and here i find the main problem that the tourist here have no clue about indonesia or even bali outside there little world, dejected i leave him to his world and find some Swedes to enjoy the rest of the night with.
Day Two: waking up in the mid morning i pack and head for the prama bus and spend most of the morning hanging around my bus comes and its off to Denpasar airport directly, that is spuriously to some actually south of Kuta and some times called Kuta airport. After arriving and booking my ticket from kl to china i find a tourists that has just arrived and is waiting for friends, so i spend some time with her and then hop on my flight. Arriving late at night i decide not to bother my friend that night so i sleep in the airport that is surpassingly easy to sleep in.
Day Three: Waking early i make my way slowly to paya jaya, after arriving 4 hours later i stop for a bit of gaming in one of the fine cafe’s next to my friends flat, I go up and to repack my bag from my long term bag stored there and catch up with the internet and his flat-mate. after that its back down stairs for lots of indian food over a leisurely lunch while trying to arrange a drink with my friend, sadly we couldn’t arrange it so some hours later i waddled over to catch a taxi to KL Sentral, have my last tea tarick and hop on the airport bus, once in the airport i check in and head down to the air-con winter of the departure lounge where i find the free wireless out of order and dispute help from england i couldn’t get around it, so i put on some extra clothes and waited for the departure.
Day Four: Waking up i see the flat expanse of china gliding away beneath me, i hadn’t expected it to be this flat ! An hour or so later we land in Tianjin and having all of my language i can go quickly past all of the other passengers waiting for there’s to come out i get quickly detoured though customs after they see i am coming in on a south african passport, but it was quick enough. Once out of the formalities its more waiting but at least this time its not in an artificial winter and there is some cheap-ish food and a friendly face of an experienced person whom helped me find the bus into Beijing. A few hours later i arrive in Beijing and another smiling face of the agent whom I have been talking with arranging my teaching job with, she took me to a nice chinese meal then onto the bus terminal where I am put onto a over night bus, where i fast become a kind of celebrity after watching one of the rambo movies i drift off to sleep with the night drifting past the windows.
Day Five: I am woken up to a cold misty mooring by the usual chinese loudness, do they honestly think if they talk louder and look angry i’ll understand them ? But undaunted i gather my things and stumble out of the bus to be greeted by another person from the agency who promptly bundles me into a car and deposits me in a hotel giving me just longer than one second to drop my bags takes me to the provided breakfast that isn’t too bad though very bland, though free food what can i do but eat my fill. After that i go back to the hotel room and shower and rest before getting picked up and taken out to eat where they talk the whole time in Chinese saving me from having to make any comments . Later that day it was into the office where i gave a demo lesson and singed my contract (making sure to singe for just 6 months not the year they wanted me to). With that legality over it was back to the hotel room to pick up my bags and get driven out to my next and final destination in this marathon a little town called Wen’xi where i am shown to my surpassingly nice flat ( two bedrooms kitchen, pantry and 2 balconies) and then taken out to another meal before i can finally relax into my new surroundings and start to look forward to teaching, needless to say i spent the first few days sleeping and the next exploring the little town before starting my job 10 days later! it did make me wonder why all the rush, but that is china…