Last day in Jakarta, Heading off to Bali tomorrow

Trip Start Dec 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 27, 2008

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

I'm nearly over my jet lag, but not quite.  I'm still getting up at 6am and trying to stay awake past 8:30pm, I'm doing a little better every day.  Indonesia is exactly 12 hours ahead of Boston/New York.  So it's 11:15 AM on Sat the 16th here, and it's 11:15 PM on Friday the 15th there.  Not an easy time change to get over.
Maybe it was the Airborne's I took every few hours on the flights, but knock on wood, I've not gotten a cold from the traveling/time change/climate.  This place it definitely tropical, it rains everyday, but only for 15minutes.  I was out yesterday when one the downpours happened and it was like God opened up a floodgate, you can't believe how much water fell and how quickly it all happened.  Everyone scrambled under the little shopping tents of the market, and then it stopped and it was like it never happened.  It's not too hot, around 82-85F, but really muggy.
It's a little weird being in a tropical city, when I think of it, whenever I've been in a tropical place before I've been on a beach.  Jakarta is a bustling metropolis, I took a video on the street last night from the little intersection out front of my hotel so you can see how crazy it is.  Pretty cool.  It's loud and filthy, but after some of the alleys I've walked down in NYC this is not shocking to me at least not like it was one day 1 =)  I'll try to upload the video when I'm back in the hotel tonight.
One thing that is so totally NOT NYC are the prices.  I went out to diner last night at a regular sort of middle-of the road type eatery; Clean, modern, nice view of the city, regular comfortable kind of place.  I had a simple beef & noodle dish that came with a really yummy soup (some kind of clear broth with caramelized shallots, green onions, and little bits of tofu), and a sweet lime juice drink.  It was all really yummy, totally happy, the bill came at it was 48,000Rp.  That's five bucks!  Five bucks for diner! 
I went to the markets yesterday too. I purposely didn't pack ANY jewelry for this trip; not one pair or earrings or a necklace, not even my watch.    I felt pretty naked while traveling, and couldn't wait to buy at least a little something to wear.  So yesterday I bought a few necklaces, some earrings and a new watch (just a cheap Casio so I don't care if it gets lost/stolen).  The whole lot was less than $40US.  I even bought a fake wedding band set for when I'm walking around during the day.  (My guide book advised it.)
So the wedding band I should explain, especially so when/of you see it in my pictures you don't say.  'what??'  Indonesia is 89% Muslim (even though there is beef on the menu everywhere, haven't figured that out yet).  And a woman traveling solo in a mostly Muslim country can be sort of out of place, it's just easier to blend and not have to answer questions or entertain cat calls if you have a ring on.  No biggie, just a little grease to smooth the wheels.
Tomorrow I'm off to Bali, I'm flying to Denspar in the afternoon and taking a taxi to this cute little town called Ubud.
It's sort of an artists colony and in the middle of the island.  I'm planning to see the Monkey Forest, and take in a Gamalan show, and who knows what else.  I'll stay there a couple of days then head to a beach town, haven't decided which one yet.  
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joannesp on

from Mom
You are painting wonderful pictures with your words. Sounds wonderful. Glad you explained the wedding ring! Be safe. Love, Mom

rrsquared on

I concur!
Your mom is absolutely right, Suz. Loving your stories! And ... wishing I was shopping with you! :) So glad you're enjoying your trip.

suzettesp on

Re: I concur!
Thanks for your comments ladies! It's really nice to see a familiar face, and know that even though I'm literally on the other side of the planet, you both are only a computer away! Thanks for the virtual hug, feels great!
=) Suzette

PS. Everyone here calls me Miss. Susan, I don't know how EVERYONE in Ubud seems to have learned my name in the 24 hours I've been here, but it feels a little like home hearing 'Susan' instead of Suzette all the time.

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