06.10.2013 - 06.10.2013
We're back to being a little miserable and ready to leave. Strange bumps on our feet and crotches. The feeling that, in the tropics, disease and insects have the upper hand. Or at least there is more equal opportunity here than in the higher latitudes.
We didn't know quite what to do with ourselves today. Just walked around. The usual avoiding huge holes in the sidewalks and ojeks coming from all directions. I think there is no such thing as a beautiful city in Asia. Even picturesque Kyoto is not quite beautiful. It is too busy and big and practical; that is, it's a real city with real people leading lives that are only tangentially related to beauty.
But perhaps we should feel lucky we made it to Jakarta at all. Our plane stopped in Suribaya, and we got off thinking we were already in Jakarta, left the airport and tried to catch the bus to Gambir station. Were told the bus didn't go to Gambir but would take us to the train station where we could catch a train to Gambir. Now that seemed strange to us. The man then said, Or you could take a plane. We gave him a funny look. Obviously he had misunderstood us. We just got off the plane, we explained. It was no use. We couldn't make head or tail of what he was saying. Tried tourist information where we were told the same thing, but in better English. The train...all right... We wondered aloud why we read on the internet there was a direct bus to Gambir from the airport, no mention of a train. The official looked confused. Yes, that's strange, he mused. Gambir is maybe an 18 hour bus ride from here. 18 hours! But...where are we? Suribaya! Mad running. Sweat. Panic. Blooming despair. But we were not too late. There was our flight and the crush of passengers boarding. We had time to laugh at our idiocy, to curse the unintelligible English of the Sriwijaya flight attendants. And so we got to Jakarta after all. Lucky.