Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Trains but Planes and Evil Automobiles

Day 281
I was up pretty and had breakfast at my hotel before I packed up.

After stowing my things for a few hours I headed back to the internet cafe. I had so much blogging to do and the internet connection was so slow that it was maddening. I also didn't want to walk to much, my foot was still hurting a bit and I felt like staying off of it was the best option. After lunch I headed back to the hotel and took another frightening trishaw ride to the airport.

The thing was that the trishaw couldn't go all the way there. I had to walk the last ten minutes or so of it. Check in was a breeze though. At first I thought that my flight was moved up, but then I saw that it was actually delayed. The whole check in process was rather antiquated. Both the boarding pass and the luggage tags were written out by hand.

In the waiting room I was the only obvious tourist. After some time it seemed that my flight was delayed and I left the security area after some confusion about how to get out. There wasn't any food to buy in the main waiting room. I would have to go th ru security again if I wanted a snack. Security was rather lax and I didn't have a problem getting quickly through it. Not long after this my flight was announced and I boarded the plane. It seemed to be a new plane, but made some really funny noises. Indonesian airlines don't have the best track record and the off sounds had me a bit nervous. I decided to sleep through the flight and ignore my fears.

It didn't take long for me to get my bags together once the plane had landed. I just wished it hadn't been so late, I was meant to have arrived a few hours ago. I really dislike getting to new places in the dark, it makes everything so much more confusing.

As soon as I was outside the taxi drivers attacked. I told them to give me a minute while I looked up in my book what they should cost. I bargained one of the guys down from 150,000 to 80,000. As I walked to a car with my non-English speaking driver (we had bargained by writing down numbers), a man fluent in English said that he was safe and that the normal prices was 120,000. My driver tried to put my bag in the trunk but I decided that it would be best to keep it with me.

When were were about to go thru the airport parking security the driver kept saying "friend" and motioning for me to move up front. I refused to do this. Apparently I had found an illegal taxi. I knew that I wouldn't get in trouble so I acted like I didn't understand. The driver rolled up the tinted windows. At this point I began to feel that the driver was really sketchy and started to pay very close attention to street signs. The sketchy driver then pulled in to a very dark looking hotel and told me that this was it, it wasn't and I told him to keep going. He listened.

When I got to my correct hotel I paid him. He pursued me though and started to throw a fit. I knew that he wanted more money, but I gave it what he had asked for and wasn't gonna cave. He called the English speaker from the airport and tried to get me to talk to him. I refused. I think this was a normal act for the taxi guy and that most people just payed to get him to go away. He was messing with the wrong chick for that. The guy at reception ignored him at first and then spoke to him for a minute. The receptionist continued to check me in and told the other man to go away. The taxi driver kept shoving the phone in my face. Eventually I took it and said "I agreed to pay him 80 and I did, I will not give him another penny and I won't discuss it any further." I heard the man say "but you" as I handed the phone over. By now I was fully checked in and the receptionist showed me to my room.

I had planned to hang out for about 30 minutes, but my growling stomach got the best of me. When I looked o ut into reception the taxi driver was gone. I headed right next store to a restaurant for dinner. I didn't want to wander far.

That evening was rather restless. I kept dreaming that he came back to the hotel to look for me. I decided to leave first thing in the morning. I wasn't really worried about anything, but I knew that leaving would make me feel better.

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