Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Postcards, Passports and Pub Quizzes

This time next week, I will be in bar drinking gin and enjoying the air and atmosphere of Bali before going to Lombok the following day. Whoop Whoop. I cant wait.
Its been a long week and there are still only a few more days left to go and then schools out and the relaxing can start.
Last week really not much happened. I started up swimming again and I have been swimming every morning for the last week and now have a strange liking to doing lengths and laps and I am now happy to swim in a drowning fashion up and down for about an hour before I need to go and eat. It is actually making me less stressed and feeling better however the flip side is that I have stopped going to the gym for now and that needs to change.
Better next year me thinks.
The main reason for the lack of evening gym sessions is work and the schedules I keep. I cant really get to the gym or have enough time if I finish after 7.30 and I have been doing that a lot.
Saturday saw me at work and I managed to catch up with most things outstanding and it was relaxing, sitting there catching up on paperwork and listening to music.

I got the computer reformatted so that I have system that actually works and does what it is supposed to and I have access to everything properly and its quick and more reliable so that was nice and it only took 2 weeks to have sorted out.

The bike is well still at the showroom and there is no sign of license plates or paperwork yet which is annoying as    the blue rocket is generally upsetting me and whilst becoming easier and simpler to use but it is also coming more unreliable. I do worry when the whole bike shakes when I apply the brakes but I am hoping that it wont be long for my new one.
Friday night I finished late after observing my teachers teach and as I went to ride away I discovered I had yet another flat tire and so off I went pushing it along and up over a road bridge much to the amusement of the locals until I found a repair shop (which there are loads and normally someone is always open).
The man took a look and the patch over over my last puncture had a hole in it and so that meant a new inner tube. He wanted 35k for that and so I called Yovita and she told me that he wanted to have my driving licence as a deposit as I only had 20k on me. So  I negoiated with him, gave him 15k and my business card and said in my best pidgeon Indonesian that I would be pay in it the morning, something which he seemed to like and then 10 minutes later it was 'goodbye mister' and off i went home.
I returned of course on Saturday morning and the man was more than happy to see me and so I paid up and that was that.

Saturday night was quiz night at Eastern Promise in the city. Eastern Promise is a kind of western style pub that has pool tables and rooms and is a haunt for expats. Sadly or luckily I live to far away to frequent it much so thats alright.
Anyway it was the Annual EF Swara Pub Quiz and so all the teachers from the schools and the DoS team and others attended. 8 rounds, too many questions, too noisy but overall good fun. The beer was nice and cold and the atmosphere was good. It lasted about 2hours and then time for some food. The good thing about EP is that its curry and pies are good and so 1 beef madras later and I am happy.  A few beers later and we left for another place called The Pub but it was empty. So I took Yovita home in a taxi but only after driving around for an hour trying to find an ATM that was open.

I phoned the British Consulate on Monday to see if my new passport was ready. Oh yes its here waiting for collection. How frightfully British and typical as I was instructed not to contact them to see if the passport was ready but rather they would contact me but that was only for the first 10 days. Still it was ready.
I had a driver to take me on Tuesday and he was to meet me at 8am. At 8am I am waiting for him and at 8.20 still waiting so I phone to find out and apparently he is in the lobby waiting. Funny really as I had been in the lobby for 20 minutes. So I go and wander around the parking lot and there he is, asleep in the car.
The journey to the consulate took an hour and a half as the traffic was intense and because of the 3 people in a car rule in the middle of the city we could not take the most direct route.
The British Consulate is not the Embassy, that is somewhere else. The consulate office is on the 19th floor of the Deutche Building opposite Plaza Indonesia. After 4 security checks on the car I got to the lobby, signed in, searched, took to the elevator, got to the 19th floor,searched, signed in, left my mobile phone with the armed guard and stepped into....
The local post office!!!!
I only wish could have taken a photo. It was like a post office counter. Glass serving hatch. Everything in English. Posters and signs about this that and the other and leaflets about the help I could get. On the wall, A clock, A TV and a picture of the Queen. Bless her. Behind the counter a lovely old muslim lady who spoke good English and was very polite.
3 more signatures and I was handed my new passport and my old one which had been clipped to show it was finished. The one is lovely. It has pictures of birds on the pages. My horrid dont smile for the camera photo and a little chip on the back carrying my data. Nice.
Now I have my passport back. Great.

My private student took me to Starbucks for our lesson and we spent the time drinking coffee and talking about the housing markets in the UK. He asked me to accompany him to Kalimantan to see what he does and where his office is (which I presume is in the Jungle). He goes tomorrow and I wished I could have gone but I have lessons and farewells to teachers which leave well. He is a consultant and sells land to investors to offset carbon omissions or something similar. Very interesting and he has to explain this to me in detail in English and he does very well.
I could do with a trip out, it would be great.

Thank you to those who have sent me parcels, packages, cards and seaside humour postcards (which I cant use at the school sorry too rude!!!!) Christmas is right around the corner and I cant wait
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