Monty’s Expatriation, Ep. 3: Hand over money and take a deep breath

As a bule (foreigner) the only thing that I can be absolutely sure of is that I’m not getting all the information that I need. And so here we are with Monty’s expatriation.

I have been sent here and there and been told this and that, and we’re at the point where I hand over some money, take a deep breath, and hope for the best.

The guy dealing with all this nonsense claims that he has to go to Jakarta in order to process the final paper work. Some say that this isn’t true, but I’m not in a position to argue, and no one is really, because this is Indonesia. In Indonesia, whether a trip to Jakarta is part of the protocol or not, if the guy you need on your side wants to go to Jakarta for whatever reason, you send him, or else you will see the roadblocks arise, because HE (personally) is the one who is really deciding what has to happen, and he’s making these decisions on the spot.

If all goes well, then, in the next week or so, Monty will be approved to exit Indonesia. That being said, no matter what papers are signed and how many rupiah have been passed around, it’s not over until we get on the plane.

As if knowing that he's the world's luckiest former street cat, he's cranked up the cuteness level

As if knowing that he’s the world’s luckiest former street cat, he’s cranked up the cuteness level

How to Relax in Bandar Lampung in Five Simple Steps

As work, traffic, power outages, and the umpteen steps and forms required to do anything in Indonesia continue to inconvenience me, I have a top-notch escape. I’m not going to give up the name of my go-to hide away, and in all honesty, I surprise myself every time I am able to find it again. There are many naysayers who like to say that the beaches in Bandar Lampung are dirty and crowded, but I am here to tell you that that paradise isn’t as far away from the traffic in Tanjung Karang as you think it is. I keep going back here because I know it’s a sure thing, but I’m sure that in doing some exploring, there are places just as good.

So here is how to truly relax in Bandar Lampung in five simple steps:

1. Fill a cooler with beer, water, and sandwiches. The Indomarets in town are more likely to have cold beer than the ones just outside of town, so keep that in mind.

2. Hire a boat

3. Go some where that looks like this

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4. Snorkel, sun bathe, and swim (in any order)

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5. Repeat as necessary

Monty’s Expatriation, Ep. 2: The Wheels are in Motion

Well, after three days of persistent phone calls, the guy in charge of exporting pets came to EF today to collect Monty’s vaccination book and start processing the papers. The wheels are in motion and while I didn’t deal with him directly, my boss said that he seemed like he really knows what he’s doing.

My level of optimism is rising.

Monty’s Expatriation, Ep1: “You need to call …”

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Welcome to the first of entry of my latest series, Monty’s Expatriation! Monty has been there for me through thick and thin during this weird year in Indonesia, so naturally, I am going to try my best to get the Indonesian government on our side and bring him home with me. This is undoubtedly going to be a very Indonesian experience, or in other words, way more complicated than need be.

Monday, I took him to the vet to get the ball rolling. I met a politician at the Sheraton who told me to call him from the vet’s office and that he would be helpful. He really wasn’t. I was told to call the quarantine vet that works down at the port. Then someone else gave me a different contact, who might have a little more pull. I passed all the phone numbers and Monty’s medical records over to my boss and asked for her help. She called the higher up contact, but she was in a meeting, and then didn’t answer when she called again. Then she said that the vet who my vet told me to call was “very friendly and seemed like he wanted to help us, but we needed paper work from the person who handles exporting pets”. We’re supposed to call back today to get the number for whoever that is.

Simply getting a hold of the person who has the answers is ¾ of the battle when trying to accomplish anything in Indonesia. I am, in all seriousness, expecting this mystery person who has the power to grant Monty an export permit to tell me that in order for the forms to valid, I must fill them out while standing on my head in the middle of the road. We’ll see..

Monkey See Monkey DON’T

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I’ve hinted at the fact that monkeys excel at the art of mischief, and I’m amazed that I haven’t a had negative experience with one for over a month now. Considering that I see monkeys nearly every day, this is really amazing, and if you’ve ever lived somewhere with monkeys, you know exactly what I mean.

The thing about monkeys that is so conflicting is that they have got to be one of the, if not THE, most fascinating animals to observe. Their social groups, behaviors, and acrobatics are incredible and they’re easy to want to love because they look like little tailed humans, especially their hands.

such tender love

such tender love

I too like back rubs. We have so much in common.

I too like back rubs. We have so much in common.

Then they pull these kinds of shenanigans and it makes you hate them.

That cheeky guy in the background started rummaging through my purse right after this picture was taken.

That cheeky guy in the background started rummaging through my purse right after this picture was taken.

I bought this banana bunch to feed the monkeys in the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubub, Bali. FIVE METERS into the park, this guy climbed up my body and ripped the bananas out of my hands.

I bought this banana bunch to feed the monkeys in the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali. FIVE METERS into the park, this guy climbed up my body and ripped the bananas out of my hands.

This guy jumped onto Amy's head and bit her until she gave him her sunglasses in the Sacred Monkey Forest of Bali.

This jerk jumped onto Amy’s head and bit her until she gave him her sunglasses in the Sacred Monkey Forest of Bali.

This fearless guy at Mount Popa in Myanmar ripped that corn literally right out of my mouth.

This world champion a** hole at Mount Popa in Myanmar ripped that corn literally right out of my mouth.

This was Susan's first meeting with a monkey.

This was Susan’s first meeting with a monkey.

oh no you don't.

oh no you don’t.

My friends are crazy about keeping the doors shut and their security guards have pellet guns, not to keep burglars out of the house, but monkeys. More than once, I’ve woken up and found monkeys with their faces pressed against the window and banging on the glass. Do not let them our furry cousins in. Just don’t.