DAY 84 | INDONESIA
Welcome to Jakarta!
First day in Indonesia and the first stop is none other than Jakarta, a city which other travelers tell you to avoid at all costs because of how crazy and hectic it is and not many people would be able to communicate in English.
When I first landed, I was already getting anxious, my flight was delayed for 7 hours and arriving at night makes me feel even more lost, add to that no SIM card to contact my couchsurfing host, only used the crappy airport wifi to tell her that I landed. Then I reminded myself that my instructions were simple; find the local bus, buy the ticket to Bekasi Kayuringin station; a name that I never once pronounced right, and just show up there.
30 minutes of trying to figure out which buses arrived and what stations names the man was shouting, I missed the first bus… Typical.
Another 20 minutes, the second bus arrives and I fought my way through the crowd to put my bag on the bus before it gets filled.
The Indonesian Adele to the rescue
Then I found a seat at the very back of the bus next to an Indonesian girl in her early 20s, her name’s Adelle. At the next stop though the bus was almost full and by the time two old ladies got on, there were no seats left. So, Adelle suggested to give them our seats and we’ll just fit in that space behind the seats.
And so we did. It was a ride full of 20+ photos of Adele and I stuck in that space, a few more with the two sweet ladies, using google translate to know more about me and where I’m heading, a video that Adele took in which she kept speaking in Bahasa but I was included in it smiling, waving and giving thumbs up, no idea where that video was uploaded with the many apps she kept using in that 3-hour bus ride. When we got to the station the ladies took their phone out and took a selfie with us, then exchanged numbers with Adele, I wondered when that would be useful. The two ladies though were so very entertaining to watch compared to the crowded streets of Jakarta.
My first gift in Indonesia
Now that I’m off the bus, Adelle so kindly called Titah; my couchsurfing host to pick me up. She insisted on getting me something to drink while we wait, wanted to have my phone number but I told her I have no Indonesian one yet, she then told me 5 minutes and she’ll be back.
Guess what? She actually got me a SIM card, even though we couldn’t talk much with so little English exchanged, this was one of the sweetest gestures and I already felt being very welcomed in Indonesia and thought this must be a great start for my last destination of this 4-month journey.