We flew in for a perm

Trip Start Jan 28, 2009
Trip End Sep 05, 2009

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Thursday, July 2, 2009

Time trickles on...
Our wedding is 2 months away and I wish it were sooner.
As much as I have relished the adventures of O+M, the tales, the incidents, even the creepy-crawlies...I'm tired. Tired of people preparing my food, tired of bus connections, tired of soul-less closets that never get filled, and...tired of being asked where I live, or do I speak cockney, and what do I think of Mickey Rooney's left foot. Ok stop there O-dog.  Get the violins out I hear you say; day after day in tropical paradise, ancient ruins overgrown with lush jungle -  look Mariko! Angelina stood there! - mouth-watering curries in red, yellow and green, not to mention fresh seafood, encounters with orangutans...BUT, there is no constant in these endeavors (well, except that I eat curry pretty much every day). I miss constants. I miss my - scratch that - our bed, our kitchen, the spice rack, especially MY Telecaster. Oh, and I need a job. Anyone? Hello?

We are currently in the hub of Indonesia - Jakarta - a hyper-tech metropolistic sprawl of miasmatic hedonism and $7+ cocktails. 100 malls stand triumphant in chanting "Prada, Gucci, buy now, pay later, but hurry while stocks last...". One marketing ploy read " Can you survive the NEXT sale?". Shivers.

Why are we here?

For a perm.       

Actually we both got our hair done. Mariko does look super-cute 70s and I'm, well, not looking too bad myself.  It was $80 well-spent or 16 nights in our previous accommodation at the serene Lake Toba, or 2 one-way flights to Kuching, our next destination.

The original plan was to take a super-luxurious train east, through the misty valleys and coffee plantations of Java, as far as Yogyakarta, and soak up a bit of the old culture. Then onto Bali by boat. Not to be.

The Indonesian government, with their ever-inventive "Visit Indonesia 2009" slogan -pay those copywriters their weight in buffalo dung - have decided that 30-day visas (@ $25) are sufficient to travel the vast expanse of this beautiful archipelago.

-  "Excuse me Mr. Immigration Officer, how far is the nearest border, don't even mind if it's politically unstable."
- "About 1000 km. You can pay several hundred $$ to fly there, or a fine of $20 for each day you overstay."
-"I see. Thank you."

Truthfully, there is a 60-day visa available. But this requires a trip to the consulate, bank statements, onward tickets, your father's name, his father's name, waiting around. Do we strike you as anything but a spontaneous and disorganized couple of earthlings?

Enough of this maundering nonsense. Here's what we're going to do. On July 4th - or the day the Americans had a tantrum and through British tea off the docks in Boston - we'll fly to Kuching for $80 (or 2 hairdos). Kuching is located in Malaysia, in north-eastern Borneo. We'll work our way up on land and sea to Sarawak, in particular, Mulu national park. The one I've been waiting for.

More about that later.

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