The past 24 hours have been a blur of sensory overload, high speed scooter rides and impromptu shopping mall trips. I arrived in Denpasar, Bali at 2:50 in the afternoon yesterday and made my way through the longest line I’ve ever stood in, Immigration and customs. Once through the line I found the correct baggage carousel and waited for my large backpack to join me. I waited… and waited and waited until bags from the next two flights came sliding down the ramp. My bag was not in Bali. I had transferred my electronics, underwear and toiletries into a smaller bag while in Portland which sat snuggly on my back as I found the Garuda lost and found and filled out the lost luggage report.
Now exhausted and disappointed I shambled outside of the beautiful airport and into a throng of small Indonesians asking “TAXI?” one right over the other. I said “No, thank you” repeatedly, and continue meandering. The humid heat bathed me in sweat and my boots, jeans and jacket became immediately intolerable. The first of many Islanders asked for my picture with them. They say they like my hair and I feel like a celebrity. A very tired celebrity.
The next six hours involve waiting inside the air conditioned domestic airport terminal, withdrawing 300,000 IDR to buying dinner, tea and what I presume to be some type of traditional outfit. It looks like loose fitting cotton pajamas, I will wear the top tomorrow with my jeans.
I arrive late at the Juanda Airport in Surabaya and find the transfer bus which connects the two terminals. There are no other tourists here. Most of the Indonesian women wear hijabs and long pants or dresses. I take my hair down and tuck it into my jacket. A family of three and I wait a long time for the bus driver to come back, he has walked up the line of parked taxis to yell at them, after beeping his horn to no avail.
The Ibis Budget Hotel is a fantastic thing to behold, attached to the airport and easy to access. I had booked a room ahead of time at my parent’s insistence and thank them in my head. My room is small, quiet and clean with a western toilet and standing shower. I thank God for a safe journey and pass the hell out.
To be continued…