We made it. We are at the hotel in Jakarta. I e-mailed Cindy a description of the adventures of the first half of our trip. She should post it for us so the rest of you can read all about it. [Note: I’ve added Mom’s email to the blog. See the blog entry before this one. –Jim]
We arrived in Jakarta at about 10:40 PM and sailed through immigration without any problem. We were met by two of the missionary couples – the Leishmanns who we are replacing and the Petersons who are friends of the Don and Vivian Ostler. from Orem. I got us a couple of porters to help us get our luggage. They were really nice men and I was able to use a little of what Indonesian I know without them laughing at me too hard. I convinced the Kanes to do the same thing and then we over-tipped them by a mile. It turns out you are supposed to not tip very often. I think I will continue to do as I do at home only reduce the amount. It seems only fair with the economy being so low here.
After getting our luggage we got into two small SUVs and got just a taste of the traffic problems we were told about. Actually there were not many vehicles on the road but we hit a couple of construction areas which called big bottlenecks. It is rather hard not to get a little anxious when a 20 ton truck is about one inch from your door and trying to get even closer. But our driver seemed to know what he could do and what he could not do so we got through without a scratch. The other couple said it gets worse during the day because of the motorcycles who weave through every crack and seam in the traffic pattern.
When we arrived at the hotel there was 6 to 10 security men on duty. Most of them were just standing around talking – rather like a gaggle of men rather than a working group. The cost of having them must be really cheap or there is no way that they could pay for themselves.
At least the reservation was still good and since they had filled the standard room, they up-graded us to the penthouse suite. When we got to the room we could not turn on the lights and neither could the Kanes. It turns out that you have to insert your room key in a special slot for them and the air-conditioning to work. It is a good system because it keeps down the cost of lights left on.
Speaking of air-conditioning, it was quite hot and humid at the time we arrived. I can not imagine what it is like when the sun is up. We were told that the smog is very bad – so bad some couples can not take it so must be sent to the country. I am sure we will be fine but another part of me would like to be in a less crowded place.
The room is two decent size rooms and a small bathroom. The tub is quite long but really narrow. Rather like a narrow casket. However nothing mattered since it was the first time we could take a bath or shower in over two days. It felt like heaven. The room also comes with wi-fi which is how I could write this post.
It is now 6:15 am on Friday the 22nd here. We tried to see if anyone was online so we could Skpe them but no one was available. If you read this before 5:30 pm Provo time, please ry to Skype us. After that we will away for most of the day getting set up.
We are excited about getting started and hope that we can get the details out of the way by Tuesday.
Love to all of you – more later.