Early Morning Arrival in Sumatra

Trip Start Feb 26, 2013
Trip End Apr 15, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Indonesia  , Sumatra,
Saturday, March 23, 2013

This will be a short entry.

Around 12:30 am, I went to try to check-in and was able to do so.  After a security check, I checked out the shop and saw Jo Nesbo's mystery The Bat, but it was over $30 aus and that was paperback.   I then tried to continue through to my gate - 5A - which was in the International Departures section.  I headed for the door - locked.  I noticed a few people standing and sitting in the vicinity so I did as well.  Then finally, the door was opened and we had to go through another security check.  They were mostly concerned about liquids and gels in containers, larger than what was allowed.  I took out my little plastic case with toothpaste and they waved me through and x-rayed my hand luggage.  Finally we were called to board.  It is amazing all the different boarding policies - this one in Darwin was all at once - closest to the door and fastest were the first to board;  from Singapore to Medan, it went the way I am used to with First and Business and special people first, but then it was everyone.

I did manage to sleep a bit before Medan.  We gained 2 1/2 hours in time change from Darwin to Medan, so that is good I think.  I managed to get into the visa application line ahead of most others, so I paid my $25 US at one window and got the visa at the next, then I got it stamped, picked up my checked bag from the one chute (not a carousel) and went through the green customs line, got a taxi, and was dropped off at the hotel.  Luckily I traded in my leftover Australian money for Indonesian, but I forgot to ask for small bills. And I got a bad rate. No tips. 

At the hotel, I was told I could have a room but I would have to wait until noon or 1 pm, so I went to have a cup of coffee in the hotel restaurant.  When I went to pay, the waiter told me the coffee was free.  What a pleasant surprise and free wi-fi as well.  I couldn't pay for my room with my credit card - I think it is because I have an antiquated one that doesn't have a PIN and the desk clerk didn't know what to do with it.  Their machine was like the ones in Australia where you hit enter if you don't have a PIN and then a receipt requiring your signature is printed out.  I had gotten used to saying "credit, sign" whenever I tried to use my credit card.

After I finished my coffee and started to get out my computer, I was called to get my key.  So my bed is huge and the room is fine except for being dark and having no usable window.  I am hanging out here for awhile, regrouping, doing laundry, trying to decide how to get my sewing done, and then I'll take a nap, I think.

So now it is late because I tried to do the Litchfield photos and did some composite pictures so that took extra time.  I really did nothing today.  I sort of regret it.  Tonight I heard some singing that appeared to be live in the hotel I think but couldn't rouse myself to go out to see.  Very lazy.  Wasting an opportunity, but I guess I needed a down day.  So I sent some clothes to the laundry and inquired about mending.  The young man from housekeeping said they didn't do mending and came back with a little sewing kit - thread and needle.  That was very nice.  Can't remember what else I did besides work on photos and take a 4 hour nap.  I tried to Skype Serge about an hour ago but just got his message.  Maybe next sunday if I have wifi.  I didn't realize Sunday was tomorrow, I thought it was today.

That's it for today.  Tomorrow I should do some exploring and get some cash.  And do the sewing and I will have to change rooms.  Not sure how that will work out.

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