Monday, November 14, 2011

Visitors from Outer Space!!

Not exactly, but from Jakarta, Madrid may as well be. Al came to visit from Madrid a couple weeks ago.  He's a friend from a life many moons ago. He'd written to say he had some time off and was thinking of coming to see Indonesia.  I encouraged him to come and see the tropical jungle that is.

He arrived in Jakarta and navigated the taxi to my apartment without much trouble. The bad news of no duty free vodka was quickly supplanted with jamon, salchichon and cheese from España. Oh rapture. I still haven't opened it.  I had a hard time giving him even two days worth of things to see and do in Jakarta.  He stumbled around my neighborhood in the blistering heat  and accomplished very little.  That's the true welcome to Jakarta.  Spending lots of time and energy to not get a lot done. In less than a day he say Kota Batavia (the old Dutch fort), Monas (the National Monument) and I met him for a walk around Al-Istiqlal, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. We made the most of Friday night and the girls met us for a big night out.  In this one area, Jakarta doesn't disappoint.  The proof was in his hangover the next morning.

He jetted off to Yogyakarta while I carried on at school.  We'd made plans to meet in Medan when I had mid-semester holiday. I stayed in Jakarta to enjoy the All Blacks win of the Rugby World Cup and took a flight out to meet him early Monday morning. We met up without incident and had a couple good days in the jungle.

In his time in Indonesia, he was able to see bits of Sumatra, Java, Bali, and the Gili islands.  Not too shabby for only three and a half weeks. When we parted ways I thought I'd see him again before he left for Spain but that was not to be.  Plans are never certain in Indo. All the same, it was fantastic to have a friend for the outside world come to visit. I'm not expecting that again any time soon though maybe once I get to Seattle I can convince some folks to come and see my amazing hometown.

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