Here I am back in Bali after 6 weeks traveling through Java. I arrived late Monday night at my new hotel, the Aquarius Hotel in Legian, which I had booked on the internet. It didn’t have any ratings as it was a new listing. I thought ‘new’ meant it was a new hotel however the taxi driver put me right on that one! As I have been feeling so crook lately (Aussie lingo for not feeling well) I thought maybe it was sinusitis from all the air conditioning in Jakarta so booked a room with a fan, so that my sinuses could enjoy a break from refrigerated air. However the room I was shown to was horrible. It was so hot as there was no air flow and it was on the top floor which meant it had baked during the day and the hot air hadn’t been able to escape. The next day while eating breakfast, I debated whether to move to another hotel or ask about a better room. After doing some research on booking.com, I decided to start where I was. I asked at the front desk and discovered that the best room was only $10 more a night and upon looking at it, I instantly booked it and also extended my booking for an extra night! My new room is firstly more of a duplex where it backs onto another one and is right at the back of the property which means it is further away from the street. Normally this would mean that the room is significantly quieter however they are renovating next door at the moment and I am only separated from the building site by a thick stone wall. The building noise though, is minimum and even though I could still hear them finishing up at 8pm last night, it was not invasive. Maybe because I am still recovering from the high noise levels in Jakarta!
The second awesome thing about my new room is the air conditioner!! So much for taking a break from refrigerated air! I have decided that being cool is far more important than alleviating my sinus symptoms! Had the room also included a fan I would be totally content as I could then minimise the use of the a.c.. It has been so hot in Bali this year, maybe because of the Sumatra/Kalimantan burn offs? I can’t believe it is the dry season! It is supposed to be mild with cool breezes! In the mid to high 20’s not the low 30″s! There are many other small things I love about my new room and being closer to the pool is one and the private verandah is another!
So now that I am comfortable in my new room, I can focus on my next task; getting the paper work organised for my next visa. My tourist visa runs out in a couple of weeks and I have a flight to Singapore booked so I can visit the Indonesian Embassy there to get a social visa which is valid for up to 6 months potentially. For a social visa I need:
A letter of invitation from a sponsor and a copy of the KTP (identity card)
A booked flight home to Australia within the next 6 months
2 passport photos
A completed application form
I visited Pak Agung, a very good friend of our family, yesterday and he has very kindly agreed to be my sponsor. He is currently writing a letter of invitation for me. I have since decided that I need to be absolutely sure that I have everything I need for this visa before I get on the plane and so I have contacted several friends, Pak Agung, Ayu & Pak Nyoman (APBIPA) to see if they can recommend a visa consultant to help me with my application.
So, while I wait for their recommendations, I am enjoying relaxing in Legian and getting some jobs done including trying to finish several of the blogs and projects I started in Jakarta. Unfortunately I can not use the 3G on my ipad and have to rely instead on wifi. Many places here provide free wifi to their customers but it is nowhere as strong as 3G. I visited my usual shop behind the Bintang Supermarket in Seminyak to talk to them about replacing the XL sim for a Telcomsel sim and the lovely girl behind the counter explained that there is currently a ‘gangguan’ (literally interference) and last week the gangguan lasted for 3 days! I am trying to be patient but it is so difficult! It feels like when the power goes out and all your ideas to kill time while waiting for it to come back on involve electricity! I have finished 2 blogs, started a new blog (this one) and have edited 2 iMovie projects ready for uploading! Maybe it is time to get a second opinion about my 3G!
I Skyped the year 7 class this morning, the first time I have Skyped school this trip! Dad & I have Skyped several times and have discovered the only way to Skype successfully is to turn off the video and other than a voice delay, it works well. However I do prefer FaceTime! There is no voice delay and if both parties minimize movement, you get both vision and audio! The year 7’s asked me questions about food, tourist destinations I have visited, accommodation, cars, Indonesian schools, the amount of English spoken in Indonesia and my time in Jakarta. Our connection dropped out several times and I appreciated the year 7’s patience dealing with the reconnection calls! We hope to give it another go next term so hopefully I can tie it in with visiting Pak Agus’ school in Singaraja or Bu Arfa’s school in Kalimantan! The next time I talk to Kathy, she will be here in Bali! Be great to chat face to face and compare our experiences with Skype & FaceTime!