Friday, September 5, 2008

Selamat Datang!

Hello! This is Adam and Natalia's blog. We plan to post pictures of our trip to Indonesia, and everything else that comes afterwards. I guess this means we'll have to start taking more pictures!

For starters, here are some pics from our flight to Indonesia. We started off in Indy, flew to Chicago, then to San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, and finally Jakarta which is where we are now.

We started off in Indianapolis, of course. Mom dropped us off on the 3rd of September. Thanks Mom!

We took some pictures in front of the airport before we checked in.

I've got some more pictures of us in the Indy airport, then in San Francisco, and in Singapore, but I'm not sure where they went. I'll have to re-upload them when I get a chance....stay tuned. To paraphrase Senator Ted Stevens, "The Internet is a series of tubes" and the tube to Indonesia is apparently pretty small.

OK, so there was San Fran, "The City," then we stopped in Singapore, and then made it over to Hong Kong. I had to get a picture of this silver object in the Hong Kong airport because it looked like the missing part from the bean in Chicago's Millenium Park. Maybe you could call this one, "The Donut Hole." Also, it kind of looks like a mini version of the spacecraft from Flight of the Navigator. Compliance!!!

Sweet Natalia looking out at Hong Kong. We were right by the ocean, and were surrounded by mountains that had giant high rise buildings all over the place. It looked pretty crowded.

The Singapore Airport was pretty cool, with lots of places to shop, but we couldn't stay long because we had to catch our flight. Natalia took a little nap on the way from Singapore to Indonesia.

Singapore Airlines was great--phenomenal service--and they had these cool screens for each person, which you could watch shows, or monitor the flight path, altitude, location, etc.

Here's Adam and Natalia reflected off of one of the screens.

Here's the screen again. It's hard to see, but this shows us passing over the Equator. Cross that one off the old Bucket List!

Here's Adam and Natalia right before they landed in Jakarta on Sept 5th at around 1:30 Indonesia time.

After we landed, Aldo picked us up, and we headed home. There were beggars at the airport trying to help us with our luggage, and they wanted us to pay them. Funny how that works. Apparently they thought it would be helpful to us if they touched the luggage. So they would sort of nudge it, then look at you like you were supposed to pay them. Also, they thought it might be helpful to pick up the luggage and try to walk off with it. We didn't find that helpful either. It was kind of like playing this crazy game of tag, where we had to have somebody by the luggage rack and somebody by the trunk to protect the luggage, and still somehow move the luggage, and then also stop them from trying to pick up the luggage. It was pretty funny. Fortunately, we made it through without too much trouble.

After this, we got in the car, and things got exciting. Remember when they used to have race tracks that were shaped like a figure eight? I don't know, maybe I imagined it. Anyway, I felt like I got to experience this in real life. Basically, take equal numbers of bikes and cars, mix in more pedestrians than you have ever seen before in your life, and say, "OK, everybody make up your own rules. Go!" and there you have Jakarta traffic.

I'll try to get more pictures of traffic so you can get an idea, but just imagine drivers forming their own lanes, on a whim--this really helped the traffic situation, bikers just driving wherever the heck they felt like it, between cars, in front of cars, etc., giant groups of 20 or so jaywalkers, walking through traffic, then stopping about 2 inches away from oncoming traffic. Other people standing at areas where people did U-turns asking for money in exchange for helping drivers guide their cars through the turn. It was an interesting ride home.

Here we are at an intersection. It doesn't look too bad, but believe me, it was constant nuttiness.

I saw this little three wheeled car that I thought was kind of funny. It's a taxi that is made out of a modified motorcycle called a Bajaj.

Anyway, we made it home and Natalia's house is very cool. It's in the middle of a very busy area, but it's surrounded by walls that sort of isolate the house. It's a beautiful two story house that has a very unique layout which is unlike any house I have ever seen. It has a garden with a Koi pond, stepping stones, and very exotic looking plants in the back, and has many different fruit bearing trees, which Grace described to me. Berthus' business is also part of the property, which he fabricates metal for buildings, and then transports it on-site for construction.

I plan to have pictures of the house by tomorrow. We're also taking a trip to get my wedding ring resized, and some other shopping, so I will hopefully get some pictures of that as well.

Everything is good here, and I am very interested in checking out Jakarta further! I'll keep you posted!

Terima Kasih!


Joe E said...

Mom and I are enjoying your account and can't wait to join you! We've decided that you may have missed your calling - you should have become a journalist or writer! Your writing is very interesting and colorful.


Amy said...

Hey Adam and Natalia-
Christopher and I just woke up--it's Saturday--and I read your email and post aloud to him while he worked. Gosh, it was almost like mom and dad, but Christopher didn't get annoyed in the middle and tell me he could read it better himself. We really enjoyed reading and look forward to more posts throughout your trip. I loved the "doughnut hole," and we are both enjoying all the detail you are writing about Indonesia. It makes it very real to hear about. I can't wait to see pictures of the house. Maybe you could sketch a layout to put with the pictures. Minnie and the fish are doing well. I love the crab. We will take extended family pictures to send to you soon. Christopher wondered if you would pick him up some Indonesian comics if you ever happen to see any while you are there. Don't go out of your way, but he would be interested in any kind--not necessarily superhero comic books--to see what they look like (layouts, colors, etc.). He also told me he would not be offended if you went out of your way :) Be safe, and we love you!
-Amy and Christopher

Ali said...

What up Bro and Sis!?! I'm so excited about your bogspot...didn't know you were going to do this!!! Seriously Adam, I agree with Mom and Dad, you should have been a writer! Keep this great story going please! I'm intrigued!!! It makes me less sad that I could not come! I miss you both and hope you have a fabulous time! I got some great pics during the wedding weekend that I will send to you soon! XOXO


gb--db said...

Adam and Natalia We are in the midst of the remnants of hurricane Hanna and have nothing better to do, so let's see if we can nudge this conversation a little further and maybe even get paid for it! Jakarta's traffic patterns sound a little bit like New York City or better yet Times Square. Small tube or not...keep it coming...very interesting. Looking forward to the pictures. The journalism ain't bad either. We are debating whether Natalia is really asleep in the picture or just faking it. Perhaps if she would have had her mouth gapping open and a small drool coming from her mouth it would have been a little more believable. But at this stage in your marital bliss you probably don't believe things like that really happen. We especially loved the words in a foreign language that we could not understand at all! Don't give up you may really have a career here. Stay inspired!

Erin & The Boys said...

My computer is finally up and running and I have been able to view your famous blog I have been hearing so much about. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! Can't wait to join you guys in Indonesia... your stories are pumping me up for the trip! Love you and keep the fun and descriptive stories coming (you talented writer, you).


popedave40 said...

Hey Sparky,
Just so ya know, I'm still here and i'm still reading. very entertaining!!! Miss you, bud!
I got a new cat, a Siamese named Gatsby. Cubs clinched the division, just waiting on the Sox now.