If you ever find yourself immigrating to Indonesia, make sure to take every opportunity to make the 13 million hours of necessary travel time as pleasurable as possible.
To dilute the effects of the travel time and to incorporate the processing of entry visas to Indonesia, the chosen route to Indonesia was, Dublin – Dubai –Singapore – Jakarta. The theoretical route is rather different – it went something like, shaky investment – poor advice – economic downturn – negative equity………final destination – potential bankruptcy, a route which has taken about four years.
Some would say, lucky to get to spend a few nights in Dubai and Singapore en route to Jakarta while others prefer the “just get there” approach and take the two eight hour flights back to back. Myself, opting to put Jakarta on the long finger would gladly opt to travel around the bowels of the earth for week on end before setting up home in Jakarta, nicknamed the Big Durian. However, a couple of two night stopovers was as much as I could afford. It was all set; firstly there was the big trip to Dublin. Considering myself a somewhat seasoned traveler the journey and experience of Dublin didn’t faze me, we had bigger fish to fry with Dubai and Singapore, Dublin would be a breeze, disembarking the train and feeling like a victim of daylight robbery as I had handed the princely sum of the cost to hire a e-type Mercedes for the pleasure of standing on the train until Thurles, I arrived in Dublin and hailed a taxi to the airport.
Shock, raced through my body when on the window of the Dublin taxi, there was the sign, “No Hoodies” not an issue for me as hooded garments don’t form part of my 2013 earthen coloured capsule wardrobe but a real blow to my two daughters who had their hands buried deep in the pockets of their new fleece lined hoodies that granny bought them for going to one of the hottest countries in the world. “No hoodies” I couldn’t believe the discrimination of it, I mean poor dress sense should isolate anyone from getting a paid lift.
Twelve hours later, sitting into a taxi in Dubai they found themselves putting on said hoodies again, as the sign in the Dubai taxi, clearly signified that passengers showing shoulders or wearing revealing clothing could be fined or at least made exit the taxi. My nude coloured scarf was deemed appropriate however my knees did peep out mockingly from beneath my respectable cut-offs at the “no knees” sign, I took some solace from the fact that the issue was with everyone’s knees and not just my veiny joints and I tugged the legs of my shorts down in an effort to avoid any insult to the Bangladeshi driver whom incidentally didn’t display any sign for nose picking or the release of flatulence in the taxi.
Forty eight hours later in a taxi in Singapore, I popped a juicy fruit into my mouth, assuming this was a polite gesture as I’d just spent nine hours on a plane and the stench of economy class red wine and sour cream and onion Pringles doesn’t bode well for a fresh breath. Needless to say, it was the wrong thing to do. The absence of a squad car following the taxi, pulling us over and forcing me to spill the contents of my handbag onto the road, making me identify and claim ownership of the offensive, “juicy fruit”, as he slapped on the cuffs with force, made the faux pas bearable. As the driver politely pointed out that it is not permitted to chew gum in Singapore, I subsequently flung the contraband into the first bin I saw, first making sure that there was no-one following me with a view to imprisonment? The worst imaginable fate, as I had always envisaged that if I was banged up abroad it would be for something more pleasurable than a spearmint stick.
So having managed not to get arrested in Dublin, Dubai or Singapore, before I sit into a taxi in Jakarta I wonder what rules will apply here.