Weekend escape to PR

We escaped to Pelabuhan Ratu Saturday evening via a three hour car ride with sleeping children. We arrived around 10:00pm and checked into the Sunset Plaza hotel, which was more like a hostel with tiny $20 rooms and shared bathrooms. But the free breakfast, pool, beach front access, and outdoor restaurant terrace were perfect for our lazy Sunday of swimming and card playing.

We did some exploring and found the point where the green lady (Queen of the southern Java Seas) supposedly jumped to her death. It was incredible to see Indonesians leave her offerings from the cliffs overlooking the ocean. We had to leave quickly though because it started to rain. So we hiked back down the cliff and ducked into a warung for a coconut.

Once we realized the rain wasn’t going to let up anytime soon, we got some help from a few locals to wave down an angkot for a ride back to the hotel. It was in the angkot that we let the experience sink in. Indonesia can be so incredibly beautiful sometimes.

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You know You’ve Lived in Indonesia for 18 months When…

-You forget America has four seasons, that is until you open Pinterest…

-Your weekend uniform consists of cut-off shorts and flip flops on Saturday, bathing suit on Sunday… And it’s November.

-You’ve finally mastered a complete dinner in a rice cooker. Last week consisted of red rice with steamed fish and asparagus (a delicacy found in Jakarta last weekend).

-Amusement parks are no longer thought of as expensive and with long lines. They are cheap, quick, but hellishly hot.

-You’re finally starting to get a hang of Bahasa, yet only have a month left living in the country.

-Your English is starting to sound like your Bahasa. Short. To the point. And with a bit more surprise. Whaa?! Weeeh!

-Walking around a mall with a grocery cart is totally normal.

-Sweating from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm is totally normal.

-Bug Bites. Every day. Normal.

-You reach some sort of milestone when you can call the grocery down the road and in Bahasa, ask them to deliver Bintang to your house as you host a party.

-You realize you hate Bintang at this point and decide to nurse the bottle of rum you bought at Duty-Free 6 months ago.

-A quick 20 km drive to a restaurant or park takes over 2 hours because of traffic and you come prepared with bottles of water and snacks… Because duh… It’s Indonesia.

-You no longer stress over wearing suntan lotion.

-You realize you haven’t had 100% hearing in your left ear for over 3 weeks and you still refuse to see a local doctor about it.

-You begin to realize what makes you truly homesick: certain rights, comforts, and expectations that mean nothing here.

-You begin to mark an X on each completed day on the calendar. One month left.

-You look at Air Asia prices daily. $100 for a weekend trip to Bali. Worth it?

-You try to remember what you packed away before you moved to Indonesia and can’t remember a single item.

-You go to bed at 8:00 pm because staying up any later than that on a week day is too painfully lonely.

You know you’ve lived in Indonesia for 8 months when…

• You have to eat a serving of rice with a meal in order to feel full, regardless of how much other food you have already eaten.
• You learn to read Bahasa text speak such as “Ia bu ga apa2” meaning “yeah miss, it’s not anything.”
• The call to prayer at 4:00 am no longer wakes you up. Rather it becomes a nice reminder throughout the day to eat, break or quit work.
• You begin to start thinking in Bahasa, and certain terms like “sudah” meaning “already” come naturally.
• Your rescued street cat gets knocked up.
• You instinctively know when you need to get more pulsa.
• You can estimate how long, in hours, it will take to go 5 km in Jakarta traffic.
• You can tell how much rain you will be flooded with by the wind speed.
• You can accurately gauge the reliability of an ojek and his machine in less than one second.
• You order a quarter of your groceries (at a quarter of the price) from the market down the street, who will deliver them in less than 5 minutes.
• Having a maid (pembantu) in the house no longer feels strange, but comfortable.
• You know how to evaluate pembantus on a 4 dimensional scale: reliability, level of care, skills and salary and can adequately do so in 15 minutes.
• You have paid over $100 for good Mexican food and would do it again.
• You finally get used to paying bills in person or at the ATM.
• You are no longer surprised someone wants to take your picture. And sometimes, if you’re in a good mood, you’ll pose to make them laugh.
• You wear long sleeves in 80-90 degree heat.
• Your 4 year old makes her barbies speak with a heavy Indonesian accent and sing in Bahasa.
• If there’s not a price tag, you assume the price is negotiable.
• You have a chance to return home to visit and question if you’re ready to do so.
• You miss your friends to a degree you never could have imagined and stare at pictures of their babies, daydreaming of when you’ll get to meet them.
• You begin to love Islamic holidays because there are not only always fireworks, but no work, and thus an adventure always ensues.
• Ants are everywhere and you no longer care.