“A Headless Chicken” Pandemic Prowling #3

About Pandemic Prowling: In this series, Pandemic Prowling, I share stories about my travels across 4 continents amidst the outbreak of Covid19.


Last Leg of SE Asia

After finishing my little trip in the Philippines, Indonesia was next. The flight was fairly uneventful. The only thing that seemed different was that the Indonesian immigration officials had us fill out this little health declaration slip asking if we had a dry cough or fever as were common symptoms of individuals whom contracted CoVid19.

It was the middle of March by this time but I nor anyone else seemed to think too much about this disease. The Indonesian capital Jakarta did not have much to see from a tourist’s perspective so I decided to move east from there.

I bought a bus ticket online to the city of Bandung in west Java (Java is the main and largest Indonesian island) to see a natural wonder. The ticket provider provided Google maps coordinates to where the bus would pick up.

Easy enough. A primary mode of transportation in Jakarta and much of other parts of Indonesia was by rideshare through motorbikes. As such zipping around the city was fairly convenient as well as cheap (less then a dollar for a 15 minute ride).

Woops I Did It Again

I took a rideshare to the coordinates provided and…

there was no one there.

My driver, who could see I was confused, made some phone calls to the bus company I booked with. With his limited English he said the pickup spot was in a different place on the other side of town. The scheduled departure time was closing in and I was running out of time.

Frantically, I put the new location into my rideshare app & showed the cost to my driver. He agreed and took me there. This was all a deja vu of my time in Cambodia almost a year ago when I also got the wrong location.

By the time we arrived in the general location, there were only a few minutes left before the scheduled departure time. It was a large shopping complex. My driver dropped me off in the front of the building and left, leaving me running around like a headless chicken asking where the bus was with no one seeming to know.

The scheduled departure time was way past now and I gave up.

Wandering around the shopping mall, I stumbled through the back entrance and spotted a bunch of small buildings. Among those small buildings was a sign with the name of the bus company. Upon talking to the attendant and making it quite apparent I was a foreigner, the attendant smiled and pointed at a piece of paper with my name on it.

I nodded,

He pointed at his watch,

I scratched my head,

And he indicated I could take the next shuttle (it wasn’t a bus apparently) leaving in an hour or so

I sighed with relief.

The ride there was uneventful, after spending a night in a hotel in the city of Bandung, west Java, Indonesia, I spent a night in a “capsule hostel” with all this fancy technology from bluetooth stereo in the room to a QR code key for the door.

Fancy little capsule. Felt a bit like a prison cell to me, not my cup of tea.

Just a little misadventure I thought to myself. Little did I know this was a minor speed bump to the rude awakening to things to come.

Tangkuban Parahu in West Java, Indonesia

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