Greetings from Indonesia! I have finally made it to the place that I will be calling my home for the next two years. Well, almost made it – I don’t know how many trips it will take me to learn my lesson: when traveling abroad, things will not go as planned. I arrived at the airport on Sunday, due to take off to Dulles (then Frankfurt, then Singapore, then Jakarta) at 7:35 pm. Foolishly, I expected things to go this way. When I pulled up my flight information, a pop-up window informed me that my flight had been changed. Slightly. I ended up leaving on Monday and flying the opposite way around the world. Fortunately, this awarded me the wonderful experience of Japanese toilets.
Throughout my bathroom stay I was treated with first class comfort – the commode was equipped with arm rests, the arm rests with controls. Amongst about 15 other options, I could control the volume at which I would like to hear the flushing sound!
Now, this is where the whole which-day-it-is thing gets a little messy, so I’m not going to specify too much; we’ll just have a mutual understanding that the following takes place between Monday morning EST and Wednesday night Jakarta time. In there I lost about a half of a day. After a twelve hour flight to Japan and an eight hour flight to Singapore, I spent a night and most of a day on the small island city/country of Singapore. We had to stop there to get work visa paperwork filled out, but an agent took care of that and I was free to explore the city. To describe Singapore in two words, I would choose “never-ending mall”. Or “endless shopping”. Literally, there was a six or seven story mall everywhere I looked. I was impressed, and then I saw the floor descriptions: not only did the floors go up (1, 2, etc.), they progressed downward from the main level (B1, B2, etc.)!
I was also blessed with the opportunity to join a few of the other new teachers in Singapore, and we continued on to Indonesia together. Unfortunately (although everything is a blessing in disguise, isn’t it?), I was informed the day I was to arrive in Indonesia that my living quarters were not move-in ready. Therefore, for these first few days, I am living with another new teacher, also named Lauren, in a sort of guest house near my future apartment building. Although I was disappointed to remain in a living-out-of-suitcases state, it has been really fun to get to know Lauren (who will be my apartment neighbor). Also, I’m hoping that there are some positives to the apartment still being worked on, but more on that soon!
This week is basically an Indonesia survival class for all of the new teachers, and I have been beyond impressed with the organization and care taken in making this a smooth transition for us. On Wednesday, all of the other teachers will join and we will begin an intensive week of curriculum and classroom preparation.
On a last note/preview for a coming-soon post, I am living in an absolutely fascinating, wonderful country.