Leaving Home and the long journey to Salatiga

4 Jan

Hour 1- Sydney Airport just off the train from Central

As I sit here at Sydney Airport waiting to meet up with some fellow PIBBI participants, drinking a $9 beer and trying to pretend that I have had more than 3 hours sleep since 9am yesterday I am looking back on the last day and the journey ahead.

Going back to Indonesia seems natural, although the journey this time will be a long one as I don’t have any substantial stopovers like I did last time around. I will leave Sydney late tonight, endure a 6 hours stopover in KL in the early hours of the morning before flying to Jogja, waiting for another 2 hours and catching a bus up to Salatiga. I will keep updating at different stages of the journey.

New Years Eve was incredible. I stayed with my friend at Tamarama, saw David Guetta live on Bondi and discovered a lovely little bar which offered very cheap jugs of sangria and various cocktails (many of which were sampled) The night was unlike any similar gigs I have experienced in Canberra with the crowd being very friendly and lots of people wanting to have a chat. After the mindblowing experience of David Guetta and Armand Van Helden and some late night 7/11 Slushies and a trek back to “Glamarama” (eventually getting home just shy of 4am), the day today consisted of lunch in Chinatown, buying unnecessary items at Paddys and Starbucks in Darling Harbour. After being attacked by pigeons while trying to read the paper at Central Station and enduring the joy which is CityRail here I am in the International Terminal. That’s about it for now, will probably buy some duty free stuff but should probably get back to my beer as it is quickly becoming warm.

Salatiga- 6:05pm WIB (10:05pm AEST)

So here I am at my host family having had only about 2 hours sleep since I last wrote giving me a grand total of about 5 hours sleep for 2011 so far. The flight to KL was uneventful- the plane was noisy and crowded and I was exhausted so couldn’t get into any of the movies yet was not tired enough to get any sleep. Then after arriving in KL at 3am forward thinking Mel had booked a lounge for herself leaving Danny and myself to our own devices resulting in 6 hours of walking around in circles in an empty airport and a few breaks for coffee- again no sleep. We met up with Mel again and boarded our flight to Jogja thinking that it was all down hill from there. No sooner had we got onto the runway came a message from the pilot that due to a technical issue we would have to go back to the gate. Then after sitting in the plane drinking juice for 20 minutes everyone was made to get off and sit in the airport for almost two hours without any updates on the process. Coincidently we ran into some of the girls from Melbourne Uni studying in Salatiga so spent our time getting to know them. Then it was back onto a new plane for a smooth take off and even a small nap!

Arriving in Jogja was a shock as Indonesian Immigration has really stepped their game up since last year. Not only was my passport stamped but my finger prints were recorded and photos were taken. They even had an xray machine to scan everyone’s luggage. After this we managed to catch our friends to get the bus with them to Salatiga (despite being 2 hours later than expected) and endured the long 2 hour bumpy car ride to Salatiga. Since arriving I have caught up with my host family (fantastic to see them all again) and walked into town to buy a SIM Card and in what my friend Hannah would call a classic Courtney move; managed to get caught in the afternoon downpour without an umbrella.

So after that long winded explanation of what was a very long 28 hours it is time for me to go and eat some delicious Indonesian food and attempt to get a decent nights sleep before the opening of PIBBI tomorrow.

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