Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to m….. Ah F**k it.
We had a decent flight from Bangkok to Jakarta. It was not too long, the time difference of an hour also played a part in that.
Jakarta was a culture shock in terms of the way the traffic worked… or didn’t work.
There are people who make a living out of walking into the middle of the street to stop traffic, so that all the cars and scooters coming from a side street can turn into that street. Our Uber driver (yes we were delighted to learn that there was Uber in Jakarta) passed a few coins to these people, so we asked why do you HAVE to “tip” them, after which he said you did not have to but then you would most likely have your car keyed or kicked… So in essence you are bullied into paying these “human traffic lights”. It was an interesting discovery. The Traffic in Jakarta was ridiculous.
Our plan was to stay the night and then start making our way down to Bali over the next couple of days. We decided that night that we would just go to the Airport in the morning and get the next flight out to Bali… It was my birthday the following day after all.
The morning of my birthday started out positive. We had our bags packed and our Uber was ordered. I was pretty excited that I was going to be in Bali for my 28th Birthday!!!! Jo was keeping the day exciting and was making sure that everything was going smooth and that I was always cheerful. She kept reminding me that it was my birthday and that we were headed to Bali…
Our driver asked how long we had been in Jakarta and seemed a bit disappointed when we told him only overnight. He mentioned the places that we could have gone to see and what there was to do, and I know that all these big cities had so much to offer and there are always wonderful things to see, however Jo and I shared the feeling that this trip was not about the cities… we wanted to explore the countryside and see the natural beauty of places.
At the airport we were busy trying to buy the tickets to Denpasar, Bali, when I realized that I had forgotten our passports in the safe of the hotel that we had spent the last night… F*&k!!!!
So we ordered another Uber, bearing in mind we stayed about an hour and a half away from the airport. We told him to try his hardest to get us there the soonest, my mind was racing about if the staff had already cleaned the room. The worst always comes to mind when this sort of thing happens, I was thinking about where the closest Zimbabwe Consulate was and how I was going to get back into South Africa, or if I would have to go back to Zim first…???? I did then start thinking that surely they wouldn’t have any use for a Zim passport or even Jo’s South African one, however her German one was the one that would possibly have the most interest! I know, I know, I shouldn’t assume the worst of people!
When we arrived back at the hotel we discovered that no one had even been inside yet so I went into the room and opened the locked safe to find the little side bag happily sitting where I had left it… I felt so so so relieved. So it was back into the Uber’s car and back to the Airport. We arrived at the airport at around 3pm, and had originally wanted to take the 3:15pm flight. We were delighted to find out that we could still take that flight because it had been delayed until 4pm. YAY!!!!!
We made it through to the waiting area where they announced for the first time that the flight was going to be delayed. We looked around as we saw many disappointed faces and were pleased that we already knew this and were happy for it. We got some free water and a free meal package for the “inconvenience” which was an added bonus.
The flight only took off at around 5pm!!! We were also then shocked to find out that it was not a 3 hour flight but instead there was a 1 hour time difference between Jakarta and Bali. This means that I would lose an hour of my birthday to nothing…. 😦
We arrived at around 8pm and were determined to make what was left of the day an awesome one! We ordered a taxi at the airport because it was the quickest thing we could find out about and made our way to the guest-house,Warung Coco, which turned out to be only 4km away, but that still took about half an hour due to traffic and the buckets of Rain!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We arrived and had to make a dash for cover, where we were greeted by the friendly staff. We checked in and got ourselves showered and dressed up, ready to salvage what was left of this day. The staff had told us to watch out for our stuff because there were pickpockets around the main Party Central areas and to also take care on the roads when walking around.
We crossed the road and sat at the burger place to get some sustenance into ourselves before we go and throw a bunch of booze into our bellies. We then hit one single bar where there was a lot of activity, and soon find out that there is a beer special on some weird named beer. We take it, all of six cans. It cost us close to nothing and it had a decent 5% alc on it so we were happy. After those few we met a rowdy couple, one from Australia and the other I cannot remember, somewhere european. They seemed to like shots, and strong ones! So we took down some tequila, much to my delight, but it was not the greatest but it was still shots, and I felt that I needed them…
By this stage it was just after midnight and we were feeling pretty sloshed so we decided to call it a night. We started walking down this road that connects the party street with the one we are staying on and the heavens decided to open again. We took some cover and thought we could wait it out. We couldn’t. We decided after 15 minutes or so that we should just try get home, even if it means getting wet. I had Jo’s wallet in my underwear and both our phones in my jeans pockets. We started making our way through the rain at a mild jog, with me in front and Jo about 10m behind me. I turned around and saw 2 guys on a scooter pull up next to Jo, they then pull away and I figured they were probably like all the other taxi and scooter-taxi drivers we had met that evening, all offering rides and most also would offer you drugs. I presumed they were offering the latter, but as they drove past Jo shouted “Fuck, they took my bag”. I immediately turned and bolted after them, in the pouring rain, I saw them slow down a bit further up so I had a bit of hope that I may catch them (Not sure what would have happened then, but that is never important at this stage). I ran through a large puddle which was so big that it was also concealing the walkway, which had disappeared because there was a turn off into a house so I lost my footing on the step down and just as I was recovering, I face-planted when my foot tripped on the step back up onto the walkway. I had managed to get my hands down but I could feel that flesh had been torn. The scooter turned a corner and was gone. I then went back to Jo, who at this stage I could not see too well because, during my slow-motioned trip, I had lost my glasses. I tried retrieving them but soon realized with the amount of water running down the street they had probably been washed away.
We had a small recovery break and checked to see what had been lost, before running back to the Guest-house. They had made away with Jo’s bag, which was a gift from my mum when she went to Aus, a credit card, which we cancelled immediately, a hair brush and some tissues. The valuables and our cash was all with me in my pants! Thank heavens.
We then had another beer at the guest-house before retiring to the room where I cleaned up all the damage on my hands…
Love being in Bali for my B-Day!!!
The following day both of us were horribly sick, and not the hungover kind. For some reason the beer special beer had not been processed by my body and was still sitting in my stomach, until I threw it All up that morning… Both of us were just throwing up beer, it was horrible.
***We have no photos of that day or the following day so I am just going to attach this one of my happy family to make me feel better***
We had to make our way to the Police to report the incident and we also phoned through to the insurance company just to find out what we needed to do.
We were a bit beaten up about the events that had taken place and it put Indonesia on the back foot when it came to our thoughts about it… but as you will read up in the future posts, it ended up being a magical place.