Welcome to Indonesia
After few days spent in Kuala Lumpur, the time has come to continue my journey. At sunrise I boarded on a plane to Jakarta. There was a pleasant surprise awaiting me on board – among available movies was Hobbit, so I’ve spend entire flight in MiddleEarth. After arrival to Jakarta, I had to rush to the train station which was about 60 minutes away from the airport and my trains’ departure was scheduled to leave the station in 90 minutes. I had to get on a train to Klaten, where the next day I was supposed to start volunteering in local school. I told the taxi driver that I have a train in one hour and asked him to hurry and get me there on time. During our drive to the train station I felt like heroes of French movie “Taxi” in which the taxi driver has a race car and drives insanely fast and crazy. The driver was constantly ignoring signs and road codex, few times he was driving in the opposite direction and several times we drove on the sidewalk. Luckily he delivered me to the train station on time and in one piece. It took less than 50 minutes during rush hour!
I’m going to buy a ticket and my heart stops – there’s a queue for 20-30 minutes… I went straight to the window to ask if it’s the right queue and if there are still tickets available and immediately some local growled at me that I should stand in line like everyone else. It was my first unpleasant experience in Indonesia. Fortunately cashier confirmed that there are still some tickets available and I it’s a good line, so I went back to its end. Twenty minutes later I was the lucky owner of a ticket to Klaten. I rushed to the platform where the train should arrive any time, I’ve been waiting and waiting and finally the train appeared – delayed almost 2 hours! While waiting for the train I had a lovely conversation with charming student. As time has shown, Indonesians are eager to have a conversation with foreigners and practice their English this way. During my stay in Indonesia I had many conversations with strangers – in a train, bus, swimming pool or during my walks.
Other passengers on the train were extremely helpful and curious about me. When I told them where I’m going they offered to show me where I should get off. Also conductor of the train promised me to show me the right station, so there was no chance I would miss my stop! I arrived to Klaten around midnight and as soon as I left the train a young man approached me and asked if I’m Marcin. He pointed at his other young companions and said that they’ve been waiting for me for over an hour. It turned out that one of these young men is a teacher. We jumped on a motorcycles and they drove me to the campus. Unfortunately boarding house where I was supposed to stay was closed already, so I had to spend my first night on a couch in principals office. Of course that wasn’t a problem for me, I was so tired that I fell asleep instantly. When I woke up I had an opportunity to meet the principal and owner of the school – Mr Agus. Andrew – the teacher whom I met at the station also joined us and we ate breakfast together. When we finished, Mimi joined us – the teacher who invited me to their school. Everyone was smiling and positive and extremely nice to me. There was the first challenge awaiting me after breakfast – I had to introduce myself to the students and I hate being in the center of attention! Somehow I managed to survive it, hope it didn’t went terrible and it was finally the time to get some well deserved rest. I was taken to the boarding house.