5/17/18: Anxiety In Indonesia

I woke up at the same time as Anne, at 5:30. She had to catch a flight to Bali. I opted to take the ferry back since it only costs $3, as opposed to $30 for a flight.

I went for a 5-mile run. The streets were FILLED with so many dogs. I’ve never seen so many hanging out as a group like that. At one point there were 15 dogs around me, all barking and following me. I was completely outnumbered and a bit scared. I just yelled “hey!” at them a few times. They continued to bark, but eventually left me alone.

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Sunrise!

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The run was quite tiring. It was so hot, and I guess I’m still a bit tired from the hike.

I showered and left to run some errands before my bus pick-up at 9:30. I had a few things on my to-do list: get a new SIM card, go to the ATM, buy tampons, and get lunch to take on the ferry.

I walked into a mini-mart. No tampons.
I walked into another mini-mart. Still no tampons. Why is it always so hard to find some damn tampons on SE Asia??
I walked farther down the street to a phone store. No one was there to help me.

I walked into an ATM. The buttons didn’t work.
I walked across the street to a different ATM. It only allowed me to take out a max of $100, so I canceled.

I walked down the street to find some food. Nothing was open.

I walked back toward the homestay and into a mini-mart with an ATM.
The ATM allowed me to take out a max of $200. I was happy for a moment. Until my card didn’t work.
Frustrated, I walked back to the $100-max ATM. I needed cash.
I got the cash.

At this point, it was 8 am and more phone stores were open.
I walked into one and asked for a new SIM card (mine had mysteriously stopped working the week before).
They told me I had to register the SIM card, which would take 30 minutes.
I didn’t really have 30 minutes to spare.
They told me I should get a message in a half hour saying registration was complete. If I didn’t get the message, I could come back to the store and have them fix it for me.
I knew I wouldn’t have time to come back, so I just hoped it would work. (It didn’t.)

I got back to my homestay, pretty tired from all the walking, around 8:30.

I asked them if they could make me fried noodles to take with me to the ferry. They said they could do it— yay! Finally something was going my way.

My shuttle bus came around 9:45. There was another girl already inside. She was French and had a really thick accent. She literally couldn’t say “r”s— it was always with that uniquely French R that comes from the throat and sounds more like a K than a R. (Wow this makes me sound so ethnocentric. American Rs are the only Rs that should exist! Of course!)

Five minutes later, we pulled off to the side of the road and waited while our driver chatted with some dude. I was annoyed because it was disrespectful of our time.

I guess they were discussing us, because the guy the driver was talking to came up to the van and asked where I was going. I told him Kuta area, and he said I should just join his tour agency service because he’d take me all the way from Lombok to Kuta Bali for 200,000 IDR (about $14). I agreed because I needed transport anyway, and I’d be saving money (transport from Kuta Lombok to the ferry terminal was 100,000 IDR, the ferry costs 46,000 IDR, and it would be at least 100,000 IDR from the Bali harbor to my hostel if I didn’t take his service).

The French girl and I switched into the car parked across the street and we got going.

We arrived just outside the harbor in Lembar at 11:20 and were led to a large seating area.

A guy came over and asked us where we were going. We told him Kuta, and he gave us a receipt with the name of the shuttle company on it: Pesona Bintang.

We sat down with a few other backpackers and waited 40 minutes before we were told to walk over to the harbor.

Once we were at the harbor, we waited in line for about 30 minutes. There was a ferry docked, but we weren’t allowed to get on yet. In the meantime, people kept coming up to us, relentlessly trying to sell fried rice, water, fruit, and snacks.

When we were finally told to move up to the front of the waiting area, I assumed we would get on the ferry that was already there.

However, as soon as we got to the front, the ferry pulled away.

We  waited about 5 minutes for the next ferry to dock in, and then waited 20 more minutes for all the trucks, cars, motorbikes, and people to get off. It was endless. I have no idea how they fit 50 trucks onto one ferry.

We finally got on the ferry around 12:45, and then waited another hour for the new trucks, cars, motorbikes, and people to load on.

This ferry was different from the one I took coming into Lombok— the seats were different, the layout was different, and there were even mattresses for rent in case you wanted to sleep.

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Matresses

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The usual pre-trip mediocre acoustic performances began, where a guy stood at the front of the boat with his guitar and sang for money.

The second performance was crazy. I was facing away from the front when I heard the sounds of a baby crying. It wouldn’t stop, even after a few moments, so I turned around to the front and realized it was a guy singing. It was very bizarre. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone sing like a whining baby before.

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My mie goreng (fried noodles) from the homestay

I read my book, Hear The Wind Sing by Murakami, slept, and listened to podcasts for the next few hours.

Just past 6, an announcement came on the loudspeaker. I didn’t understand what the guy was saying, but suddenly a bunch of people got up and bought water and food from the concession stand. I was pretty sure it was for Ramadan, the period when Muslims must fast from sunrise to sunset for a whole month.

We finally docked in Bali around 7 pm.

All the backpackers walked out together and we met up with a man who worked for the shuttle bus company.

We piled into an old bus/van and got going. 4 of us were going to Kuta, 4 others were going to Ubud.

While sitting on the bus, the anxiety that I’ve been having lately returned. I’ve been having this feeling in Indonesia that I’m just waiting for it to be over so I can move on to the next country. It’s strange. I just can’t seem to settle in. Maybe it’s because I’m looking forward to seeing Amanda and later Adrian, or maybe I just am getting burnt out from all the travel, or maybe I’m just not loving Indonesia. In the day-to-day it’s fine, but when I think about how I still have 2 weeks here, I feel uneasy. I’m really hoping I can shake this feeling off soon.

We dropped off the Ubud people first.

We got to Kuta an hour later, at 9 pm.

I was still 5 kilometers from my hostel, so I needed to catch a cab.

I hailed one down on the street, and told him Legian. We negotiated a price— he started at 100,000 IDR, which was ridiculous. I told him 30,000. He told me 50,000. I said ok.

We got to my hostel 10 minutes later. At reception, I messaged Anne to let her know I had just arrived. I felt really bad because I knew she was waiting for me. I just hoped she hadn’t been waiting at the hostel all day.

She told me she was eating at a restaurant down the street. I told her I’d meet her there.

I dropped off my stuff in the room and then walked 10 minutes to the restaurant.

It was a bit pricey, and she was already done eating, so we left to find another place. We walked 5 minutes down, but didn’t really see anything that looked good. This area is SUPER touristy with tons of Australians, older people, and families. All the restaurants were big, expensive, tourist-trappy places that didn’t seem appealing at all.

We turned around to head back in the direction of the hostel, figuring we’d see something on the way.

However, at this point it was 10 pm and every restaurant was either closed or closing.

I decided to just get something from the mini-mart, figuring they’d have fruit or something, but all they had were chips and crackers.

Anne found a restaurant called Sammy’s Bar that was still open. Thank God.

I got noodle soup and she got garlic bread.

We paid the bill and were back in the hostel around 10:30. We were both exhausted and went to bed shortly after that.

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