June 8 & 9: You get what you paid for
We finally moved into our new house!
- + Rent + Telephone line + Utilities cost about ~$180 a person
- + One of the showers has hot water
- + I went to the store and bought a fan (maybe don’t take a motorcycle taxi through downtown Ubud while carrying a massive box with a fan in it — life lessons by Sydney)
- + Actually cooked in the kitchen!
- + Gilles left us this weird scaley fruit that was really tasty!
The less good
- + When Gilles said “has wifi” what he meant was the house is capable of having wifi (Gilles c’mon: having wifi and being capable of having wifi are VASTLY different things) — I spent 2 days trying to get the telecom company to come out and resolve this, but after three phone calls, a whole day of missed appointments (by them), and failed conversation with our landlord, still no wifi. Admittedly, I was a little annoyed because of the above AND because I am the only one in the house that doesn’t actually need wifi. After some awkward back-and-forth, I finally got Shea (I’ve been spelling his name wrong :/) to agree to take this on since Joel and I were about to leave on a 6 day vacation. I have yet to return home, but I’d bet we still don’t have wifi.
- + There are quite a few ants (okay — a lot of ants) and even though Gilles said he brought in a cleaner (which we paid Gilles to do), the house is dirty
- + The beds are pretty uncomfortable (but, maybe tonight I’ll feel differently after spending so much time truly roughing it)
Basically tl;dr – move was good, but I spent two days before our vacation pretty stressed out. The move, the problems, the frustration with taking in basically all the logistical stuff for the house, realizing how big a burden applying to bschool would be, stressing about not having enough time to write before taking a trip ALL were freaking me out.
But, turns out, even though I was not thrilled about heading out on vacation, it turned out to be just what I needed …
Day 16 – 21 / June 10 – 15: Two groups, one boat
Joel and I began our adventure with a flight to Lombok. If you’re going to fly Garuda in Indonesia, save yourself the hassle and buy tickets through Expedia or the like. At least as of this writing, their English site is pretty poor and will charge you without confirming your ticket (problemo!). Use the workaround.
Even though the flight was 45 minutes, they fed us! Tuna roll (meh) and yellow spongey rice cake thing (++).
We got in pretty late and headed to the Sheraton in Senggigi (an hour from the Lombok airport). Yay for consulting SPG points still being useful!
After a glorious night of sleeping in a real bed, Joel and I awaited our bus to our boating adventure with Lombok Travel Agent a boating company I ultimately would not recommend (it’s passable and cheap, but operationally an ex-consultant’s nightmare).
The bus dropped us off at a random building in the middle of nowhere where we and the other boat passengers spent FOUR hours (not an exaggeration) waiting while LTA made sure everyone had paid and argued with this massive group of French college students. It was fun to talk to so many new folks, but pretty bad to feel like we paid for a day of sitting in a hot, concrete building.
The problem basically was LTA worked with a bunch of street vendors throughout Indonesia that sold tickets to the boating trip at different price points. Many groups had been told their tickets covered all costs and then came to find that 1) that wasn’t true and 2) they would not be allowed on the boat if they didn’t pay these extra fees (think: admission to Komodo National Park)
After several long arguments and failed negotiations, everyone paid what they were told and we all (finally) headed to the boat around 1p.
The boat was pretty small (and the mattresses smaller), but the food was good, the scenery was amazing, the komodo dragons were great, snorkeling was A+, and the group of people we hung out with were awesome.
The boat basically split into French and non-French. I think the French group was too large and so really weren’t motivated to socialize outside their group. Later in the trip, when we were dropped off at Labuan Bajo on Flores, we caught up with 2 from the group in a smaller-group setting and they were super cool.
Still, our crowd was pretty international and we spent most of the trip calling each other (lovingly) by each person’s country and (at least for me) really reconfirming that, fuck-it, for as different as our nations might be, we are just people and ultimately the same. Also, there is nothing like playing hours of Bullshit with two decks of cards and:
- + 1 Ukranian
- + 2 Germans
- + 1 Brit
- + 1 Australian
- + 1 Italian and
- + 1 American (me)
Of course, I’d be lying if I said Joel and I were extremely social. We spent a lot of time reading and going to bed early. Yay for being cool!
As icing on the cake, when we got dropped off at Labuan Bajo, Joel and I spent about one hour exploring and the rest of 2 days working, which we like 🙂
I actually spent a fair amount of time on the boat digging into The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (no one warned me the book was >1000 pages … and unfortunately the last book I read that was this long was The Wise Man’s Fear and Rothfuss is probably an actual wizard so not who you want to be compared to).
One note on The Wise Man’s Fear: Doesn’t this title kind of make you think of Wise Man from Sailor Moon? Or do I need to finally let go of Toonami and middle school?
Anyway, Sanderson reminded me how fun it can be to totally create worlds so, pretty haphazardly, I’ve decided to throw all sense to the wind (highstorm?) and rewrite the 90 pages I have already written and totally invent my own setting. Yay for redoing a ton of work! But actually I am excited. Seriously, I am so grateful to Sanderson for giving me the confidence to do this: you are a genious world-builder even if I tend to prefer The Kingkiller Chronicle to The Stormlight Archive (but hey it’s not really a competition, everyone can be grade A beef!).
So hopefully that’s it for awhile. I am eager to buckle down and grind on my writing over the next few weeks before Singapore come July. Will keep y’all posted!