January 2010
on Just Some Things I Rote (Indonesia), 15/Mar/2010 20:23, 34 days ago
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January- An incredibly dull post about Rain, Photos/skype, Rain, mould, harassment by a financial institution, Rain, cruise ships and RainFirstly, this is just general, some months ago Rote’s internet connection (singular) was ungraded and we have evolved past the worlds slowest dialup to the world of what is branded ‘speedy’ internet here in Indonesia. This means that I can now webchat with people on skype and even use a webcam. So if anyone wants to talk to me (that isn’t adesperate plea!), just let me know and we can arrange a time for me to travel down to the internet place for a chat and it’s free for you (although I have to pay for the internet time but it’s pretty cheap). You will also have notice the addition of photos to the blog, unfortunately I still haveproblems actually logging into my blog here but it’s now a fast enough connection for me to send photos and entries to my mum who uploads them for me.So I returned from my holiday to be greeted by mould and rain. I had been away for nearly 3 weeks (a few days in Kupang for police and work then about two weeks kicking back in Bali) and it is a simple fact of life that no matter what you do, if you leave your house untended for so long due to the high level of humidity at this time of year, everything even things like shoes will become mouldy. So the first few days are spent cleaning and washing. Washing clothes was incredibly difficult as I arrived the day before a very long and heavy rainstorm.Essentially, that was most of my January; it was spent hiding in my room from storms. I have to walk along a balcony to get in and out of my room which for most of the year is great however during storms, it means I tend to sit in my room watching DVDs. One of the things that Ba’a really lacks is sheltered areas in which to commune. If you just want to ‘hang out’ there isn’t really anywhere to go aside from places to eat (who can eat all the time?) and peoples’ houses and as most people live with extended family and that can be a bit intense. If you think about most cities in England there are all sorts of places you can go and things you can do when it’s raining, not in Ba’aSO not really much to report in January to be honest, I’m sure you don’t want just a list of stuff I watched and what I thought of it all?One major battle I had in January was with a certain financial institution (I don’t want to mention who as this is the public domain but you can see what a slow month it is that this is just about all I can think of). When I was in Bali I picked up my mail from the office which is my address for official mail (things get ‘lost’ on the way to Rote). I had a number of letters that had arrived the week before from the said company which were postdated some time in October.Now as someone who is overseas I am able to suspend payments and I already had a large argument with them just after I arrived (or rather my mum did as my proxy) because before I left I sent them evidence that I was going to be away which they denied all knowledge of. Now, despite me send them an official letter as evidence (twice, they lost the first one) I was legitimately going to be away for TWO YEARS, they decided they wanted a 12 month‘reassessment of my overseas status’ which is annoying. The really stupid part is that I already told them post takes far far too long to get to Indonesia (if it arrives at all) so to send it to my home address, my e-mail address or indeed to call me and they do have all of this contact information.So as I open my mail that they sent me that took about two months to arrive what do I find? I find one letter demanding my reassessment within a month of them sending me the letter and then a subsequent one informing me I missed their one month deadline and they now want to enforce all sorts of penalties and that I should sign and return the included form with evidence of my status ASAP and if there are any issues I should ring them. A few things:1) Why, after I told them post takes so long, would they still snail mail me forms? Especially as they have all my other information and why ask for my e-mail address if they won’t use it?2) Why set a one month deadline when I’ve told them post often takes two months or so to arrive?3) Why do they not understand that even if I fill in their form and return it ASAP then post takes about the same period of time to get to England as it does from England?4) Why must they reassess when they clearly have evidence that I have a two year job?5) Why can’t I e-mail them? Phoning them and being on hold for 45 minutes (the period of time they put me on hold before I came away, apparently Wednesday 11am was a particularly busy time for them, why?) is annoying when in England but here would most likely cost me two days allowance.I’m sorry, I know this is an incredibly dull post but just it really wound me up! Hopefully I have now sorted out the wretched thing and a pox on them all.January also saw the arrival of two cruise ships within a week of each other full of tourists getting out to have a wander around Ba’a. Now I would encourage anyone to visit Rote, it is a wonderful, beautiful place, however organising a visit for people for several hours, I would probably think some of the beautiful beaches somewhere may be a little more appropriate? Anyway, they came, they wandered, they left and the whole thing was somewhat underwhelming for everyone here and I suspect the tourists. I felt sorry for the people in Ba’a who were organising the welcoming committee, they put so much effort in organising so much only to have heavy rain on the day which made it difficult.I personally was hoping the boats would be full of beautiful young heiresses to fortunes, who were taking a break from their PhDs to go on a cruise. Instead it appeared to be a gaggle of older folks from England. I don’t really know why I expected anything else however despite this is was quite a disappointment to me.Seriously, from the hype it got on the island, I was expecting some great things to write about and instead you have a post so dull I’m not even sure I would read it, a very dull and dreary month...