Yesterday I started putting my things together to pack for my trip home. I had organized things a little every day, so there wasn’t much to do. I wanted all my souvenirs in one small carry-on, and the things I would need on the plane in my backpack. I had decided to check my small carry-on suitcase this time because I wanted travel ‘to be easy for me.’
I swam in the morning, and then went to have lunch. Since my flight left at 7 PM, I had arranged for my taxi to pick me up at the hotel at 3:30 which would allow 1.5 hours for the drive to the airport. I had everything perfectly planned, or so I thought.
The ride to the airport was uneventful, and I was anxious to get there. I must be yearning to get home, I thought to myself. When I arrived at the airport, I removed my small suitcase from the trunk of the car and I flung my backpack on my back. In two hours I would be on my way. Denpasar has a new airport that is modern and easy to navigate in. I found my way through security and to the Asian Air counter. My husband John was with me.
After waiting a short time in line, I handled the ticket agent my passport and itinerary. I watched the ticket agent, he typed some information into his computer and looked at his screen and then he looked at the passport. Then he looked at the itinerary. Then he opened Johns passport and itinerary and did the same thing, his eyes going back and forth, from the papers to the screen. I got an uneasy feeling that something was wrong. Maybe, the routing isn’t correct I thought to myself. This could be a possibility since my plane coming here was grounded and I left a day later?
After a few minutes of these ‘glances’ the ticket agent stopped, and looked up and said to my husband, “Sir, I have bad news for you, your flight is for tomorrow.” I had come to the airport a day early!!! Ha ha, I couldn’t believe it!
Now you have to understand that in Bali, there is no time. You just float through the day and do whatever you feel like doing, and after being here for five weeks I think I really GOT IT (the floating part). I must have adapted to the Bali way of life because apparently I didn’t even know what day it was … and no one else noticed either. The hotel didn’t notice I was checking out a day early. The security at the airport didn’t notice the date was wrong when they checked my itinerary at the airport, and even my husband didn’t realize that we were trying to go home on a the wrong day!! I mean this is really funny … I can’t stop laughing at myself.
In this situation I had to think quick. “Well”, I smiled at my husband. “You said you wanted to spend a day in Denpasar, didn’t you? Now we have our chance!”
I went down the elevator, heading for the taxi station … and in good Bali fashion I was immediately approached by a driver. “Taxi?”, he said. “Yes” I replied. “I would like a taxi to the closest hotel, how much?” I questioned. “$10000 rupiah.” He stated. “$10000 rupiah!” I exclaimed. “That is too much!” Then he went on about the cost of petrol, and that he would stop at a few hotels so I could pick the right one. I knew that I needed him, and I think he knew it … So I said, “okay.”
Since I really did plan on leaving the country I had already exchanged my rupiahs for American dollars, which meant a quick stop at the ATM. There are many of them at the airport, and within seconds I ‘had money’ and was ready to go again.
The evening in Denpasar has been a wonderful experience. I found a lovely hotel, better than where I was staying for the same price. I was five blocks from the ocean and so I walked with my husband to the beach where I photographed the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. We ate a delicious dinner at a charming place by the ocean, and are ready to tuck ourselves into bed for the evening.
And tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 I will go to the airport again, this time for real.