My host family and I are planning on taking a vacation to Thailand soon, but seeing as I'm here on a single-entry visa, we have to find a way to allow me to legally exit and re-enter Indonesia. That basically means having to wrangle up documents, photocopies, letters, copies of IDs, and best of all, $100 US (how much of that is official and how much is a bribe I have no idea) in order to get me an exit permit.
If Indonesian bureacracy isn't world famous for it's incredible complexity, then it really should be. It's been a huge headache trying to figure out what they want, who from, original or not, by what day, and etc. Especially since I don't understand all of what people say to me in Indonesian - I usually understand a little over half, enough to get the gist, but not enough for me to feel completely confident when I'm trusted to relay information and remember what to get and where to bring it and to whom it should go. I'm happy that I'm being given responsibility and kept somewhat in the loop though. Yay independence, right?
I'm extremely excited to go to Thailand (I'll be visiting Bangkok and Pattaya) but I think after this I'll be fine not leaving the country again. Bureacracy is just toooooo much work! I've also decided that I just cannot become a diplomat or ambassador like I wanted to before I came here. Being on the opposite side of the counter when it comes to mountains of paperwork just doesn't appeal to me, and neither does the idea of sitting in long meetings for hours every day.
I'll find another way to travel! Lately everyone's been telling me to become an English teacher here, to go to Jakarta and become a model, or to get married to an Indonesian so I can stay. I'll just say that I'm considering all my options equally...
After, this a post about my Christmas in Indonesia! Stay tuned, dear ones.