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Travel, tow trucks and time-sensitive tribulations
(Christmas Holidays)

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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We are coming to the end of a long holiday. It's one nice thing about working in Indonesia; there are lots of holidays.

We had planned to travel to Bali by car. We were going to leave at six in the morning and drive for ten hours until we got to Banyuwangi, where we'd drive aboard the ferry for the short hop to Gili Manuk.

We set out, almost on time, and were cruising along the toll. Then the van (Isuzu Panther) started acting up. After about ten minutes it seemed wise to pull over and pop the hood.  The smoke was already pouring out. Thankfully we had a case of large water bottles. Emily, the smarter half of this marriage, is an incredibly organized and prepared woman. Our driver gingerly unscrewed the cap of the radiator. A cloud of steam poured out, and kept pouring out. One after another seven or eight large bottles of water were poured onto and into the radiator.

Emily called her bother-in-law and got the name of the toll towing service. Then we waited. Then we waited, and waited some more. The truck finally came. Anxious moments passed while they checked, and talked, and smoked.  I started snapping pictures. The consensus was not good. We'd need to be towed off the toll, and then from there to a bengkel (car repair shop/garage).

The Panther was linked to the truck and pulled along the road. We arrived at the Izusu shop and the waiting resumed. Poor Wyatt was bored out of his five-year old mind. We started exploring. We found a collection of nuts, bolts and screws on the floor, making a game of seeing how many we could find. We topped out at eight altogether.

After about two hours, that seemed like six due to the heat and inactivity, we headed back home. At home it was my turn to be bored, impatient, and immature - generally a pain in the butt. I really wanted this vacation. In fact, I needed this vacation. In moments that I'm sure reached Shatneresque-peaks of drama I proclaimed my need to get out of the city.

Emily finally sorted it out and we flew to Bali. As we sat in the lounge waiting to board Emily realized that I did not have my trusty backpack. I went racing through the airport and finally to the original entrance where I found my bag sitting on top of the scanner. I had evidently left it there.

"Can you prove this is yours?" the security worker said (or close enough to that for government work).

"Yeah, I'm an English teacher and I still have a few books in here."

The security looked skeptical. Then I remembered the toll. "My camera is in here and I have pictures of us on the toll."

Sure enough, there the shots were. "Carry on, Sir." (Or something like that)

We made it to Bali.

Our thanks to Wayne Duplessis for his series of short narratives on his years living in Indonesia - working as a teacher, raising a family, traveling and generally enjoying life - from 1996 to the present.


Housing and schooling information for expats in Indonesia expatriate website for Indonesia Indonesian language translation of article

Practical Information for foreigners, expats and expatriates moving to Indonesia - find out about housing, schooling, transport, shopping and more to prepare you for your stay in Indonesia

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