Landing in Yogyakarta without Luggage

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

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Saturday, March 30, 2013

I need a shower and to get to bed, but here I am blogging instead.

Another early start.  I set my cell phone for 5:30 am for a 6:30 am departure.  I managed to shower and finish most of my packing, including putting my wet socks in my big green bag to check.  Then I went to breakfast - had a very nice omelet and the not very nice toast, but it was breakfast to start me off on a long day.

We walked down to the dock and I immediately regretted packing my cameras both in the bottom of my day pack - too much trouble to get them out so I convinced myself I would have a photo-taking holiday today.  I would have liked to take a photo of the morning sun on the water of Lake Toba.  Plus the water lilies were open as well.  It wasn't too long before we made it to the mainland and were greeted by our driver - back into the van and we were off for the 4-5 hour drive to Medan airport.

On our itinerary list, there are a whole bunch of towns listed, each with some notable feature that Dewi explained as we drove along.  The traffic was horrific as usual.  At one point Mrs. Evy wanted to switch seats with me so I had the one in the middle middle and could see all the action on the road.  At some point, it rained a bit, so that made driving even dicier.

I don't know that we stopped for anything much except some toilet breaks and one stop to look at the lemang or something like that.  Sticky rice is mixed with coconut and salt and maybe something else, rolled in banana leaves, then put into a section of bamboo and roasted over a fire until the bamboo outside turns black.  We all stared at the bamboo sections filled with this dish.  I decided we should try it so I bought one for 10,000 rupiahs - about a dollar.  It was removed from the bamboo, sliced into rounds and put into a box with writing advertising this small outdoor stand I think - or maybe it was generic, but still specific to the dish.  I thought it was quite tasty and shared it with anyone who wanted any.

We went through an area of rubber plantations and palm oil plantations, another area with rice paddies, and area with factories for making flour and other food products, but mainly the road was one big urban sprawl.  I still like the old little wooden buildings - like cottages - on pilings with their shuttered windows.  We did pass through an area closer to the airport with very upscale homes that Dewi said were inhabited by rich people.  We passed a town that had open windows on the 2nd or 3rd floors of the buildings so that swallows would come in and build their nests of spit.  Then, depending on the quality of the nest, the owners would be paid.  If the nest was clear, the most money; if it was yellow, less; and if it was yellow, had feathers in it and blood, the least.

I lost another section.  How annoying.  It was on tombs and cemeteries.  We saw a bunch of both and Dewi mentioned that our driver was Batak M and joked that he might be buried in such a tomb if he were to die.  Malcolm said he hoped it wouldn't be for a long time yet and Graham added that he hoped it would be after we got to the airport.  I may have misremembered this part though.

We had our farewell lunch to Sumatra at a fancy Chinese restaurant with no one in it when we arrived at 12:30 I think.  We ordered - it seemed that there were some snafus as usual.  I don't think people were all that keen on this place - Oh, big problem, the beer was warm and no cold one could be found.  We said thank you to Dewi and our driver and gave them our tips.  Malcolm made a cute little speech for Dewi.  I only had a short thank you to our driver but did mention his most excellent driving.

We got to the airport in plenty of time for our 4:40 flight.  So we waited in various places, had to go through various securities, and bring out our passports more times than one would have thought.  Oddly here we could keep our water bottles filled with water and no one asked about liquids, gels, etc.  I didn't have to take out the computer or take off my shoes, scarf, belt, watch, or anything else.  That part was very nice.  We made it to Jakarta but didn't have much time between the first flight and the second to Yogyakarta, so when we went to retrieve our checked bags, they weren't there.  Graham had already kind of predicted it.  Both he and Malcolm waited for a day (I don't think it was more than that) for their bags when they arrived in Medan.  The baggage claim people assured Mrs. Evy that the bags would be on the morning flight and arrive at the airport here by 7:30 am.

We met our new driver for Java and Bali and were driven to our hotel which has wifi in our rooms.  We will be here for 3 nights - which is good, but would have been slightly better if we could get a head start on laundry.  Oh, well.  Time to stop whining and get to bed.  Borobudur is tomorrow.

I forgot one of the most exciting events of the day:  deplaning in Yogyakarta.  It had begun to rain and was now dark - around 9:30 pm I think.  The other times we have gotten on and off the plane on this trip, we have had a shuttle to the plane and then climbed up or down the stairs.  The shuttles were a pain - at least once we were stuck in it for some time on our way from the gate to the plane.  Well, in the rain we descended the stairs and at the bottom were each given a nice, large umbrella to continue the rather long walk to the gate through the puddles on the tarmac.  It wasn't exactly fun, because my feet got wet in my crocs, but it had a spirit of play about it.  I think we would have enjoyed the experience more if we weren't so tired at that point.  We definitely weren't hungry after a meal on the first flight and a snack on the second.

I have had to enter this note on wordpad, because my wifi isn't working.  The diagnostics say it is a driver problem and I need to update to fix it.  Now how exactly am I to do that??   I am hoping this is not the problem - not sure what is worse - I would be upset not to be able to use the internet for the whole next two weeks.  And especially today since it is Easter Sunday - I was hoping to be able to Skype with Serge and Theo today AND I want to be able to call Kara on her birthday.  Oh, no, this can't be happening!

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