Sunday, 7 February 2010

Air Con, Floods, ATM'S and rubbish Banks

So much for a quiet week. This week has been depressingly awful throughout with the occasional break for good things and news. I must say it has been a long week and work was one of those things that would not go away but was surprisingly better in some respects than I thought. The new teachers started teaching and that was good, a result in some ways and it felt good to have them teaching and feeling upbeat about life here as some of the others well lets say, dont do that often.

I finally had the AC installed in the apartment on Tuesday and due to some technical issue I have pipes running around the outside of the unit but it is cold and apart from the odd squeak which if you hit the AC unit stops it is a nice thing to have on and running. There is now no noise from outside as the windows are closed so no dust and no mosquitoes. I still have ants but I always will.
So the AC men came as did the land lady and her boyfriend both of whom never spoke, Luckily Yovita spoke to them and that was ok. I finally paid the rent for the apartment today so I am now officially broke again. But I do have somewhere to live until March 2011. And its mine with my stuff in it. And for now thats enough.

The rainy season is still here and despite the temperatures being at least 90 degrees some days the rain falls thick and fast. Tuesday was one of those days. Lucky for me I left after 8.30 from work when the volume of traffic had fallen. The roads were flooded all the way home. Except at the apartments where the rain had not reached there yet. Dressed in Poncho, waterproof trousers and trainers I set off into the dark to get home. Half way home there are a couple of university Campuses which are always busy and due to there being no drains always flooded. This time I took my bike through floods which were over the front wheel and with high revs in 2nd and a damm good balance as cars going by were making waves I got through them with ease. My feet were soaked and the bike moaned and groaned and the brakes took a while to work again but it did what was asked. If that had been earlier then there would be a chance I would not have made it. There are a few ways to get home but no matter which way you choose in the rain all the roads are flooded. The water had gone by 10am the next morning like nothing had happened.
It has rained on and off like this all week. Today has been so hot that the swimming pool was warm and empty as the locals dont like swimming in direct sun as they get darker skin almost immediately. So swimming in an outdoor pool alone in the bright sunshine at 2pm is a wonderful thing.

I have a dislike with the people that manage my money and credit card here as they are not incompetent but they are not very good. The call centre is bad, the service is awful. They reduced my credit card limit without notice and then charge my for the being over, without any notice.
Then on Thursday after work I wanted to get some things to eat and pay my bills so I went to an ATM in the apartment, put my card in. Nothing. I could not access anything. I tried another one. Exactly the same.
I sent an sms to check my balance. I had a reply saying my account was closed. In Indonesian.  Fantastic.
I have to then buy some credit for my phone and call them. Thats easy enough, except I need a English speaking operator. I got one almost immediately who after taking all my details told me that I was talking to the Credit Card section and they had to transfer me. Ironic as the telephone number on the back on my ATM card is the same as the one on the back of the Credit Card.
10 minutes I had to wait until I was disconnected.
I called again. This time after some threats the man at the other end of the line started to help me. After 20 questions about who I was and being unable to provide any of the security information he needed, I got my account balance and then after that some more information about why and how and what can happen next.
' to help you feel you account is more secure we have blocked your ATM card from accessing your account and therefore reduced any security risks or attacks that can be made on you account ' was his reply. How considerate. I told him that I had to pay my landlady tonight otherwise I would be homeless. Strangely that did not seem to matter much to him. Being pissed off whilst made me feel better, actually did not get any reaction.
In Bali there was a skimming and scanning ring that was ripping off ATM's for BCA and so because I have been to Bali lately they blocked it for my security. However they failed to notify me first and therefore really really upsetting me.
Friday I had a meeting in the city with the other Directors of Studies. I was told by the BCA customer service I could get a new card in the morning by going to any branch and asking for one.
Now that is another mission impossible as no one in banks speaks English, They do in Permata as I taught them!
So I went to Yovitas building where they have a BCA and she helped me fill in the forms and the paperwork and find out why. That was very helpful. By 9am I had a new card. However this one does not have my name on it so it is really not very secure at all And I had to change the password which means I might forget it and then lose the card which I hope wont happen.
Getting to the city for 8.30 am is another mission. There is a 3 person rule which means you cant enter the heart of the city between 7 and 10 unless there 3 people in the car. We had to stop and pick up a JOKI. A Joki (pronounced Jockey) is someone who you pay to have sit in the car while you get there. They are smelly, well this one was, ungrateful for the 10,000 given to him and its a strange feeling to have a complete stranger in the car with you. But it serves the purpose.

The meeting was fine.

My weekend involved shopping at Ambasador as I am looking for a sofa for the apartment and I have found a nice, cheap affordable one. So that will be got at the end of the month. Then I went drinking in Senayan City with Yovita and carried on into the night, going to Mellys in Thamarin to meet friends and rounded the night off playing pool.
Today was swimming, shopping, eating and sleeping.

Full of optimism for next week. Need to start planning the rest of the year, saving for the UK and a few other things. Lets see what happens.

For those I send this too. Please can you click the link from the email Why? Cos I like to see where this gets opened. 31 countries so far... The more the merrier.

Here comes the thunder and lightning and it will be big....

see you
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