Three days to go, and everything is ready. Rather unusual: on previous occasions there were always so many last minute things to do, to organize, to arrange. Suspend subscriptions, you don’t want to find three months worth of newspapers on your doormat when you come back. Make sure all the bills have been paid: you don’t want a stack of bailiff notices that got lost in between those newspapers, either, when you come back. House fortified, doors and windows locked; new, sophisticated alarm system that was installed some weeks ago, initiated and tested. It works! Neighbours angry because of the noise.
Two days to go, all done except for a few small things. Packing my suitcase. The backpack has been discarded a few years ago, pulling a suitcase with wheels trumps carrying, and in most places, these days, you can roll your way from bus station to tuk-tuk or taxi (or bemo or opelet or mikrolet or pete-pete, or becak, bajaj or ojek – remember?), and into the hotel. If not, there is always somebody eager to help. I am off to a bookshop to buy one more book on Indonesia: I happen to find a whole stack of interesting books, instead, and come back with six. Now I don’t know anymore what to take, I cannot bring them all, the travel library is already significant, another word for heavy.
Last day, we are leaving tonight. Finish the contents of the fridge, empty the freezer. Throw the last rubbish away. Back up the computer, transfer relevant files to the netbook we take. Repack the suitcase, and discard half of the travel library again. Pack an extra, empty bag, in case we buy things during our trip. We always buy things during our trip, including an extra bag to carry them.
Trying to check in online: it doesn’t work, despite the airline email inviting me to do so. Trying to buy a train ticket online, to get to the airport. Doesn’t work either. I call the railways, a friendly lady tells me “the system doesn’t respond”. An omen? Harbinger of things to come? Nah…
next: arrival in Jakarta