Well I’ve had just about the worst 2 days I’ve had in a very long time.
If you’re not one for whinging, perhaps skip this post.
I left Sentani at 8am yesterday. 12.5 hours and 4 flights later I was in Singapore. I am a very anxious flyer and I get travel sick, so by the time I arrived I was not in the best of moods. I had the world’s worst headache and I was sweaty and tired. I was grumpy. All I wanted to do was go to my accommodation, have a shower and go to bed. This did not go so well. My taxi driver took me the wrong way and it took a while to get there. I finally arrived at The Salvation Army Praisehaven guest house and wanted to cry. It was nothing like I expected. I had a room down in the basement level that was the smallest, crappiest thing I have ever seen. I’m not exaggerating. I can’t describe how small and awful it was without sounding like I’m lying. There was the world’s smallest bathroom attached, but no soap or towel. I sat on the single bed feeling tired and miserable and discovered the bed was rock hard, which made me cry. I like a firm mattress, but this was literally like a rock. There were ants in my room and some in/on the bed. I woke up with a sore back and neck and I hardly slept. Also, the curtains did absolutely nothing to keep any light out. The website was less than useless in describing the place, so I felt incredibly misled. Also, they charged me $50 for the night. Unbelievable.
I couldn’t handle a second longer there, so I left this morning. I looked up last minute cheap accommodation and moved myself to a small hotel in Chinatown. The hotel is on the 3rd floor of a restaurant and it’s not bad. The room is tiny, but it’s nice. I’m much, much happier here, and there is lots of delicious food and markets outside my front door. Oh, and the taxi who took me here (because I didn’t know where it was and couldn’t look it up to catch a bus) didn’t know where he was going and I had to direct him using a map. So frustrating.
I’ve skipped a bit in the middle of my day about the Indonesian Embassy; one of the most unhelpful places I’ve come across. The customer service was appalling and I felt like I wasn’t really sure what to do most of the time.
I decided to go straight there from checking out of the Salvo place (before going to my new hotel) so that I didn’t miss applying for my new visa, which you can only apply for in the mornings (if you don’t know what I’m talking about in terms of my visa, you missed my email update earlier tonight). My tourist visa has run out, and my work visa hasn’t been approved, so I’m here in Singapore getting a 6 month permit to be in the country, but it still means I can’t work.
I had spent almost all the Singapore money I had on taxis and accommodation, and for some ludicrous reason, the embassy would only take cash to pay for my new visa, so they sent me off to get some money. There was no ATM in sight so I had to catch a bus and go find one. By the time I got back they had closed for lunch. Apparently they close each day for 2.5 hours and reopen again at 3pm. I finally got in to pay, and now I have to go back in 2 days to pick up my visa. If it’s not approved I think I might cry. This whole experience has been ridiculous.
I got back to my new hotel at 4pm and finally had a shower. It felt amazing! I then wandered around Chinatown, looked at the markets and had some yum cha. This evening has been much nicer and I’m finally feeling like I don’t want to curl up in the foetal position and cry. I pretty much did that last night.
I meant to do some exploring today, but I never got the time. Tomorrow is Ikea!