Paradise – If You Can Survive the Trip

Today we began our adventure by catching a taxi at 6 a.m. to the airport in Jakarta.  We were catching a flight to Lombok, the less-touristy version of Bali.  While we waited in the boarding area, I amused myself by watching an out-of-control boy of about 5-years-old make greasy hand prints side by side along the entire glass wall of the waiting area.  Gee, how cute!  At least that’s what his parents seemed to think.  I, for one, could have grabbed him by the ear and warmed his little bum.  When he wasn’t doing that, he was dashing around between the seating aisles, chasing his older brother, and running out into the “boarding only” hallway, completely ignoring his parents’ feeble attempts to call him back.  The Indonesian people dislike conflict so the airline employees sat there politely and, I’m sure, were praying that his parents would get the kid under control.
In the meantime, another family arrived with an older boy of about 7 or 8 who decided it would be fun to start meowing like a Siamese cat.  Yeah, cute for about 30 seconds.  Five minutes later it was no longer cute.  Eight minutes into the constant meowing and I was about ready to either unleash my inner dog on him or wish a mighty hairball on the kid.  Can you tell that I didn’t get much sleep last night?  But hooray, just at that point, everyone stood up and started toward the doors to the boarding hallway.  Unfortunately an announcement came on the loudspeaker and there was a loud, collective groan and the herd turned and headed in the opposite direction.

“What’s up?” I asked my family.

“Just follow the crowd,” they replied.  “There’s been a gate change.  Hopefully we don’t have to go through security a second time.”

As we all dutifully traipsed through the airport enmasse, the meowing boy continued his caterwauling until Lina, one of our traveling companions turned around and gave him a good, long stare.  He shut up like a clam.   Go, Lina!

We got to our gate and had to go outside, down some stairs and then walk out to a jet parked on the tarmac.  The bulk of the passengers were bunched around the steps at the front of the plane but one enterprising passenger noticed that the steps at the tail of the plane were down so he led a small group of us to the other entrance into the plane.  It worked out well since we were sitting in the next to last row of the plane.

Yup, it worked out really well until I realized that I was sitting next to the mum of the little terror who had been leaving the handprints on the glass walls.  He was now sitting behind me along with his brother and his dad.  Mom was holding the baby who, it soon became quite evident, had a VERY dirty diaper. 

“Hugh,” she said, waving the baby toward the row behind us and thus enhancing the spread of the ‘aroma,’ “take the baby and this nappy and change him in the toilet.”

The middle brother spoke up.  “Ewwww, gross.  He stinks.  I don’t want to have to see that.   Ewww!   Mum…..I want to sit by the window!”  At the same time, he was punctuating his remarks by kicking the back of my seat.

It finally got sorted out, the baby got changed into a fresh nappy, and the plane took off.  After an initial meltdown, the baby fell asleep and was quiet and sweet-smelling for the rest of the trip.  The little terror of a brother, however, kicked my seat for the entire 2 hours.  Our little Mika, however, even though she was running a fever and feeling bad, was a pretty good little traveler, only fussing a bit at the beginning but sleeping for the majority of the trip.

We arrived at the main airport in Lombok and disembarked, walking from the plane to the terminal.  I looked around at the mountains in the distance, the palm trees and banana trees lining the runway, the little terminal with a distinct South Seas flair and I had a crazy impulse to break out into song…..perhaps something from one of my favorite musicals, “South Pacific.”

We gathered our luggage and then walked to the main road to hail a taxi.  The driver was kind enough to make a quick stop for us at a pharmacy so Laura could pick up a thermometer and some children’s liquid aspirin and then he drove us through the countryside to our resort.  As we climbed the steps up to the large open veranda where the check-in desk was, I happened to glance over and noticed several familiar faces.  You guessed it!   Mom, baby, the two older brothers and Dad….the whole family that was sitting behind me and beside me.  Oh, boy!  It should be a fun week.  Tomorrow I’ll tell you about my first impressions of our home away from home in Lombok.

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • Love the blog sister…keep it up!

  • The perils of travel….other travellers. Again, I’m sorry to laugh at your misery, but you write with such humor!


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