Welcome to Makassar!

October 27th 2014

Any traveler can appreciate the first breaths of fresh air when leaving the airport for the first time after hours of flying: breathe. Its magical. I mean stagnant germy air that is breathed in and out by thousands of people isnt exactly refreshing… not to mention the same air that is breathed over again on a 13 hour flight. if i contemplate this too long I get slightly grossed out. bleck. The first breaths outside the Makassar airport brought back memories. It took me a few moments until I could place what it smelled like. Nairobi. The damp humidity and palm trees. Of equatorial tropical weather and smoke.

I have yet to see an Indonesian man who doesn’t smoke… I’m sure there are some, I just haven’t seen them yet.
Some guys ringtone just went off. Green day. American Idiot. *giggle*

Having someone there to meet me at the airport was relieving. My director is the nicest man and drive me to the house. (He is Catholic and invited me to church- he also has a tattoo of a cross going down his neck- it’s really cool) We realized my AC wasn’t working so he took me to a hotel for the night. The next day him and his wife and daughter picked me and the other teacher up and took us to a traditional Indonesian lunch and to a supermarket to pick up some things.

I just got off the plane and didn’t really know what I needed so I bought a broom and dust pan, a couple plates, a pan, knives and cutting board, a bedside table, and post it notes. I forgot about a half dozen other things, but he offered to take me again once I figured everything out.

After 48 hours of travel, being in a crowded shopping center was quite overwhelming.

They drive on the left but sometimes it feels the direction and organization don’t really matter. Scooters, makeshift bike things that I’ve been told what they are, but can’t pronounce it drive among the cars.

Ayam means chicken and mangaa is mango.

Back at the house while their daughter naps. There are goats. Right Outside the Door. Like dozens. Apparently they arrive in the morning and leave right before dark. The sun starts to set about 6:00. The door to the house is a bright orange. There are cool rod iron spokes coming up from the main gate. The windows are also barred. The house is closed. No other windows except for a large room upstairs (and a small hallway one.) And it’s being converted into a bedroom as another teacher arrives next week. Bummer. Need to explore more. My room is very small. Ill show it to you soon. So I will probably be outside most of the time. I plan on getting a lamp and hanging up pictures to make it cozy. The outlet and room light is actually invite hallway so my director is going to rig something up for me. The downstairs bathroom has hot water, the upstairs one does not.

Director took us to Chinese food for dinner. I’ve had rice 3 times today- all different kinds. It was good. My stomach is still adjusting and I’ve been constipated for 3 days now. My body is like Megan- why do you yank me from place to place so much?? Really wish I could give you a direct answer body but lets just deal.

Back at the hotel again tonight. AC will hopefully be fixed today.

Monday morning. Last night I passed out about 8:00. Still so jet lagged. Woke up a few times in the night. I’m on major sensory overload. I walk around in a daze trying to process everything. I decided to go for a walk this morning. Tried to ask about a cafe and somewhat managed through a lot of hand gestures and pointing at maps.

I was the only foreigner on the flight. The announcements were not translated and the only word I understood was Makassar. “Yay for getting on the right flight,” I think now on my second day.

So my walk. I turned right out of the hotel and made another right at the stop light. I dodged countless scooters and cars as sidewalks do not exist here… At least none I have seen… I did walk on dirt patches and bricks trying to avoid being in the middle of the street. I managed to find the corner. I turned and voila- a KFC and Pizza Hut. Did you know KFC has coffee? Don’t worry I did not succumb- looked across the street like the hotel room director told me- there’s a hole in the wall cafe. Called “Cafe.” With real coffee from Indonesia. Not Nescafe. I just. Cannot.

The room director kinda speaks English. I told him I majored in Hospitality management. We had a chat about that. And his learning English.

It’s about 90 degrees. Perfect. Gotta love it. I’m not even being sarcastic. I love hot weather. And my hair loves the humidity. So does my skin. No dryness and cracking. It’s pretty much like a natural lotion. I’m soaking it up because one day I will pry live somewhere cold and dry…Hmm

I really feel like doing a headstand Andi backbend. Need to find a yoga studio. It might mean taking transportation everyday, but it’s pretty cheap. People don’t really walk a lot here… The guys at the front desk were like take a taxi soo far (to the cafe). I’m like its not even a ten minute walk! “Very not safe.”

Again, I’m that weird foreigner who likes to walk outside and drink real coffee and go to markets.

My purse broke and I need a new one. I asked to go to this market I read about online and when I told someone about it they didn’t understand why I wanted to go to a market.

I know I’m rambling, but I really haven’t had a chance to fully process what just happened in the past 3 days. If you have questions about the sequence or other details leave a comment in the section below.

In the Abu Dhabi airport… I was there for 7 hours- from 7:30ishPM til 2:40ishAM. I definitely sat down on the dirty hallway floor leading to my gate because no one was there. Quiet. In the process of getting situated I spilled my scorching hot tea on my arm- then when I was changing the other night I noticed red marks. The tea burned me through my shirt. I also met this girl from Germany who was going to Bali by herself for two weeks. I’m so jealous. I want to see the ocean. Flying in I could see how clear and icy real the water is. The Jakarta airport is crazy. Be sure to have 40,000rp for an airport tax.

You know how you never realize where you are on the globe until you look at a map and google search how far is it from x-x? Yeah I’m far. Only a 4 hour flight from Perth. Australia. Apparently I’m supposed to go there or Darwin. And Bali. One of the first things my director told me was that I should go to Bali for Christmas. I am however, in the same time zone as Taiwan. Cool.

Also note that Etihad Airways is a great airline, but it smells like curry. And spicy food. (I will never know why this type of food is served to hundreds of people on a plane… the bathroom situation and smells are…. you know it.) Everything is in accordance with Halal. (Even the pan I just bought)… I really need to research what this means. Everything is translated from Arabic. Always interesting hearin the different translations for different airlines. I watched “The Fault in our Stars” on the flight from Chicago to Abu Dhabi… I was bawling for like an hour and the stewardess was like are you ok?

Ooo a breeze. And it’s nice. It smells like the ocean. And traffic. This coffee is so good. And I wish I knew what the security guys were laughing and talking about behind me. They are definitely staring at me.

What else… Oh I can carry wifi with me. I mean not that it matters but if you really wanted a walking tour of where I live I could carry my wifi hotspot with me – its this little box thing- while skyping or FaceTime. Which means you can meet my goats and see the palm trees and scooters and how insanely wonderfully crazy this place is. No words. Yet. Except for what I’ve just told you of course; this is only the beginning of my seven months in Makassar.

I decided to observe classes today. They said I could have a couple days…but honestly I wanted to be around people. Everyone is so nice!!!! The lady who interviewed me gave me a huge hug when I met her! The other Indonesian teachers were very welcoming as well. Yay! The kids.Are.Adorable.And.Energetic. Kid quotes of the day: “Miss Megan, I like your eyeballs, I like your hair, I like your clothes, I like everything, why are you so beautiful?” “Miss Megan I love you, will you teach me?” (Like for real? I can’t make it up! Heart.Melt.) It’s going to be challenging though, this curriculum is intense!

Chicago sunset

last sunset in USA for awhile

Sunrise over Atlantic

Somewhere over the Atlantic at 3 am Central Time

Desert Sunset #1

Desert Sunset #2

flying into Abu Dhabi

Jakarta Airport
Each gate is connected to a red roof pod

dozens of goats outside the house

first sunset in Makassar

one mode of transportation…

sidewalk?!!?

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One thought on “Welcome to Makassar!

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  1. Megan! It sounds like this stop is going to be a challenge and big adventure! What a blessing that the people are so kind to help you through it though. I'm thinking about you! Be safe and have some fun!

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