Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Yea, yea, yea it's been about two months since I have last posted but I really have not traveled anywhere too exciting.  I did go to Shreveport, LA but again, I reiterate that I did not really travel anywhere too exciting.  Although, I met some nice people while in Shreveport and I was able to try Which Wich sandwich shoppe for the first time...

 I am now in Balikpapan, Indonesia for a new assignment.  The reload and restart of this unit is scheduled for 6 weeks at this point but as y'all have gathered from my past assignments, it could be shorter or longer.   However, this type of assignment I believe is pretty on target.  I had to stay in Jakarta, Indonesia for two days while getting my work permit.  I had high hopes to travel around the city one day but there is so much traffic that after it took me an hour each way to get to the Immigration office and back to the hotel - I decided I didn't want to spend half my day sitting in a taxi.  Driving in Indonesia is exactly the same as in China - a two lane road can occupy 4 lanes of cars with motorbikes weaving in and out of traffic. 

I arrived to the hotel I am staying at in Balikpapan which is not bad - the room actually has a small apartment style fridge, microwave and large sink which is more than I can say for some of the rooms I have stayed at in Chicago!  The rooms are quite large which makes long term living more bearable - bed is hard as a rock but I have dealt with that before.  Immediately when I got into the tiny elevator after check-in, the smell was STRONG in cleaner smell, similar to pine-sol but worse!  Exiting the elevator you think you are in the clear but you enter the hallway to your room and your nostrils get stung with the smell of dampness and vicks vapor rub...I think I am going to start taking the stairs up to my room! Super glad my room doesn't smell like what I just described. 

When I was researching this area prior to leaving, I had read that Balikpapan suffers from frequent blackouts which can last up to a few hours.  I was not even in the hotel room for 30 minutes and there was a power blip - probably only for a minute - but it really makes me wonder how accurate that statement is now!

Pictures of the area to be posted soon....stay tuned :-)