Monty’s Expatriation, Ep. 4: Too good to be true?

I, and everyone I know, expected Monty’s expatriation to a colossal headache. So far though, things couldn’t be going better!

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I’ve decided to just pay a guy to go to Jakarta and deal with everything so that I don’t have to. I got the money together, but then he wouldn’t accept it. He said that I should keep the money until everything is processed and Monty is approved to go.

Today, we called Qatar air to see how much additional we would have to pay for him and were told that so long as traveling with Monty doesn’t push me over the weight limit, there will be no additional charge!

I’m getting increasingly more optimistic that Monty will soon be living the American dream!

Too good to be true? Stay tuned.

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Doing the Laundry – I can’t wait!

I got my return ticket all finalized today, which means that July 20, 2013, I will be landing in Detroit almost the exact same time that my family will be flying in from our annual vacation to Myrtle Beach. So bummed to be missing out on that one.

Anyways, that means that I have just over one month left in Indonesia. I have already cried a couple of times, for as frustrated as I get a lot of the time here, I do love it. Fighting back tears now.

That being said, I am out of my mind excited to get back to the USA! Yes, I look forward to seeing my family and my friends and being able to eat gravy with every meal if I want, but I bet you have no idea how excited I am to do laundry when I return.

I could probably sell my laundry machine here in an antique store. It’s old.

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When I wash my clothes, I fill up buckets of water to dump in the basin, set it to wash, and wait. When the timer goes off, I pull out this:

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After untangling the mess, I hand rinse everything, and dry it partially in the spinner, which doesn’t always work. The spinner is where doing laundry is really a pain. Sometimes it will spin with a full load, sometimes with only one T-shirt, and sometimes, not at all. Also, when it’s turned on, it sounds like there is a person trapped inside trying to escape. This whole process takes about 2 hours of agony and I hate it. HATE IT.

Mom, I know you love doing my laundry when I’m home for a visit, but please let me savor every load. Or we can do it together. Just please let me experience modern washing machines again, and warm, nice smelling clothes.

Komodo National Park

Six months ago, Amy and I reserved two spots on a liveaboard diving boat with Wicked Diving in Komodo National Park. I’m struggling to come up with an adjective adequate enough to describe the trip.

This is the Jaya. She was purpose-built 12 years ago for diving and has been to a couple different spots in Southeast Asia. 14 divers, 4 guides, and 7 crew members comfortably cruised around Komodo on this ship.

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As far as diving goes, the spots we visited were a kaleidoscope of color and life. It was like soaring through all the photos and TV programs that drive people to get into diving. Here are some of the memorable critters. Unfortunately, I couldn’t photograph all of them.

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Having never seen manta rays before, I was totally struck by their grace. We went to a spot nick named Manta Point, parked ourselves on the bottom, and the mantas swam all around us. Fun fact: the markings on a manta’s belly are all unique and are used to identify them, similar to our finger prints.

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Is there any creature in the ocean more lovable than a sea turtle? We saw a ton of turtles chowing down on reef treats and playing in the currents.

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This little guy is a mantis shrimp, and believe it or not, is one of the most dangerous animals in the ocean. Their arms shoot out as fast as bullets and can break all kinds of things, like crab shells. And scuba masks, fingers, and aquarium glass. Check out this on The Oatmeal and get ready to fall in love them. Why the mantis shrimp is my new favorite animal.

 

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On a night dive, this squid charged at my buddy and I. It terrified me, but Kara kept snapping photos and then when we got to the surface, asked me why I was screaming underwater over such a small squid.

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We all love Nemo.

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And here’s just a pretty picture of coral.

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We also stopped on Rinca Island to check out the infamous Komodo Dragons. Unfortunately, they weren’t very active, and we didn’t see many, but they were magnificent animals that I, personally, would not want to quarrel with.

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All in all, the trip was a ten. There was a great vibe on the boat, we ate well, dove often. Who could ask for anything more?