Sunday, 29 November 2009

A week full of surprises

Well that was a climatic end to the week and I feel somewhat pleased with myself and the events that have occured over the past few days. Something I cant always say.

Since Friday I have been rather busy. Friday was a major muslim holiday here and that meant lots of things, mainly lots of people not in the city so it was a little quieter. Also having been paid meant an easier weekend so that was good. It was also the key muslim festival where they sacrifice livestock and give the meat to the poor. It is a great custom although it is done in public and whilst I never saw it this year, it is quite startling seeing so many animals simply slaughtered.
This all happens around the mosques and the meat is blessed and the animals are humanely killed.

Off to Senayan City to watch New Moon. The mall is currently under investigation as it apparently has office space when it should not have blah blah blah, Another tale of corruption and then someone trying to fix it. It will no doubt end in nothing. There are calls for it to be closed. Nah that wont happen.

New Moon. Enough said.

The place was fairly busy and the need for coffee could not be satisfied there so we nipped (Yovita and I) across the road to the other stupid sized mall in the same street, Plaza Senaya. Starbucks was accomodating there so we mulled the movie and watched the rich and famous wander around looking at £200 handbags.
Its Christmas and so time for Crimbo cards and the joy of writing them and then sending them. If you are lucky and I have your name and address there is a 75% chance of you having a card written and posted to you. However the choice is limited although better than last year, so keep an eye out for Indonesian stamps and well that will be from me.
Enjoyed spending the day at the mall and watching a movie I had no interest in and then chillin in a coffee shop. Good way to spend Saturday.

I went to work on Saturday to complete some big reports I have yet to start and so spent some time sorting that out and then went home for a bit. I met Yovita at Semanggi and after a nice cup of tea in Dunkin Doughnuts, off to get my passport photos taken for my new passport. I have to get that sorted this week as it can take up to 4 weeks for a new one and with Christmas looming need to have it sorted. Photos easy. Forms to complete simple. Pay in cash - no worries. Pay twice as much as you will in England. Shocking. Plus the hassle that this city has to offer. I can only hope it all goes well. Biometric photos, printed forms and visits to the embassy. Joy.
Back here for the evening after going deaf from the music and rubbish signing from what ever was happening on the stage. Lots of little girls very over dressed surrounded by proud mums. Great. Get me away from that.

Top night for Soccer though with West Ham just about managing to win, lots of goals at Man U and other scores meaning a good weekend.

I was awake at 7am this morning. I had an appointment with Yovita at 8am at her house. So leaving late, deciding to take photos of the mountains from the window in the hallway of my apartment, forgetting my bike keys never really helped. But it was a nice trip as it was early and no traffic.
I sold my bike. I bought it for 6 million in 2008 and I sold it for 5.2 million in 2009. Thats not bad. I then was shown a bike I am renting for the next 4 weeks and asked if I wanted to try riding it. Yes of course. I am now the proud owner of a Yamaha 135, teenage racer bike. Not much difference to a Fiesta or Nova with a big exhaust and rattly doors. This bike also has a clutch. That was and is scary as I have to think now as well as ride, indicate, brake and not get killed by the traffic about what gear I am in. I managed to stall it about 15 times in front of the owner but I still said I would take it. And for £30 I cant complain about the rental price.
Then I had to wait for a man to come and interview Yovita as she is putting her name up for me so I can buy a new motorbike, which I am excited about. I will or rather am getting a Yamaha Jupiter MX 135 with sport wheels and auto clutch. That is exciting. I have yet to see the bike as the showroom (someones front room) did not have to look at but I am assured it is the same as the one in the brochure. It will be delivered to the dealer on Monday but then I have to wait for the paper work which takes 14 working days to get. So that is the 21st of December. I can wait. On the 22 I go to Bali. So thats ok. It can sit an gather dust for a week.

So my bike was sold in 10 minutes and then I was given another bike to ride and then signed for a new bike pick up in December. Quite exciting.

Riding home on this machine was a challenge as I need to get used to the gears and with Jakarta traffic not really concerned about my plight, I had not to stall to it, which I did rather well with. All was going well until I felt the back wheel wobble and the bike shake and at 40/50kph is not a good thing. So stopping, yes a flat. I have ridden my honda all over the city and outside and never once had a puncture.
Embarking on a new experience of pushing a motorbike down the main artery of the city is fun. Asking where I can get it fixed was easy. After about 10 minutes walking, I found a bunch of Ojeg men (motor bike taxi men) and behind them was a man who fixed tires. That is something I like about this city, someone is always there to help no matter where you are. So sitting on the kerb talking with the men about not wanting goat satay and AC milan seemed to pass the time away. I called Yovita and asked the going rate for payment. 15,000 or about a quid. That is good. 15 minutes later, all sorted. The security guard waved me off and back into the crush for a the final stage home.

Tidak Sticker Boss? Iya Motor Baru, Ada Rental. Was the conversation in the bike park. A sticker is my prepaid parking slip. Motor baru, ada rental is I have a new bike and its a rental. Met with smiles.
The parking manager could not help me as I need to go to Customer Service tomorrow, get a piece of paper saying I have changed my bike and then go back and see him and then free parking again. Great. Love procedure.

Fancied some nice bread for afternoon tea with cucumber, cheese and tomatoes. There is a new Carrefour in the mall next door. It is not that big but all full. The mall is big but empty of people and shops but I am told they are coming.
Managed to get everything I needed in 15 minutes. 45 minutes later I managed to get served by the worst cashier in the world and that takes some beating after working for Safeway, Morrisons and Somerfield. She was possibly just not trained but made too many mistakes and kept asking the supervisor for help. Carrefour is very nice but the service is rubbish,.
I would complain but why bother, it never worked when customers used to complain to me. I used nod and be all yes thats bad etc but nothing changed.
The bread etc was great and eaten with the sound of a fearsome thunde storm hitting the city.

A top weekend all in all and the count down now to the Christmas holidays. 18 days. 14 of those are working days. Then holdiays until the new year.

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