For those of you who know me well, you will know that I can be a tad forgetful. Well, Ive been going through a spate of this recently. A few days ago I left my purse at home but needed it for my lunch. I nipped out of the office to bike home for it quickly only to get to my house and realise I left my house keys at my desk - a double whammy! Luckily my neighbour has a spare key since she is also my landlord so I didn’t have to have the embarrassment of going back to the office unsuccessful.
So, when i packed the next day to go to Maumere, I spent some time looking at my rucksack and figuring out what needed to go in there. Sleeping clothes, toothbrush, always need a toothbrush, I will put the toothpaste on top of the bag so that in the morning I wont forget that it has to go in the bag, same for the malaria tablets....what else, oh yeah, blanket to protect me from the mosquitos Theresa warned me about. Haha, if Ive remembered something so luxury and smart as that then I am laughing. So, I felt good when Arie arrived to take me to the travel stand.
It wasn’t until one hour into the four hour journey when we stopped at the market to buy snacks and I opened my bag for my purse I realised noooooooo! What did I forget, what was the other thing I brought with me to the internet cafe the day before to book flights....only my passport!!!!! The very thing I had to deliver to the immigration office, and take the trip for was the thing I ended up forgetting!
So in a panic, I told the driver, who found it all very amusing. He stopped a bus heading back to ende and after taking full payment, sent me back home. So, take two and l got back on the road a few hours later, and made my way along the now familiar road. I had the front seat this time, in the people carrier but it wasn’t much of a benefit since the driver had mirrors and cuddly toys stuck to the windscreen blocking the view and the seat was so far forward I was sitting leaning forwards not back. I didn’t dare to adjust it though, since behind me was a women with a baby, next to a young girl and a tiny grandmother. Behind them were another three people. A while into the journey we stopped to pick up someone else and this meant that the drivers helper (I think he put peoples bags on the roof), had to come and share the front seat with me! So there we were, a can of sardines travelling far too fast through the Flores mountains on the windy road from South to North. I have to say I was relieved to arrive in Maumere!
Theresa, a fellow volunteer, met me at the stop, and we went to her house so I could dump my bag and have a cup of tea and relax after the journey. She knew the man from the immigration office so she called him round and I was able to give him my passport. Theresa was able to help me ask about how and when I will get it back which was a relief because a passport is not something you want to give out without certainty of its return!
I had a lovely time exploring Maumere with friends who know it well, meeting some new people and seeing others I hadn’t seen for a long time. It is a nice feeling to come to a new place and have lots of people to visit! The two days flew in before I had to make the journey home, in which i met more friends one of who owns a warung which I visted last night and met the rest of Elizabeth’s family and enjoyed a very tasty cap cay (vegetables in a stock with fried egg, which I gave to my friend!)