October 20, 1961 – Java

Savoy Hotel, Bandung, Java – Clear

     I got up early so I could enjoy the cool weather, eat breakfast and write Ramona but at breakfast John and Curt told all of us that they had decided we needed to go back to Djakarta by train instead of by bus.  That meant we had to leave the hotel before our scheduled time to make it to the train on time.  Edith and I were pleased not to have to make that long drive back to Djakarta by bus but we would have liked to enjoy the cool air here a little longer.

      The train was cute and certainly went faster than the bus we had traveled on the day before.  Our joy at taking the train was short lived though when we realized the train was powered by coal so the air on our whole trip was filled with smoke all around us from the train engine.  There were times when the smoke was so thick it reminded me of the thick pea soup fog Ventura had some days.  By the time we arrived in Djakarta again we all looked like miners due to the soot from the coal smoke.  We all felt miserable being so dirty but we were told we wouldn’t have time to get cleaned up before we had to rush off for dinner or before we had to leave for our flight to Bali after eating.

     We had dinner once again at the Ambassador Hotel with their traditional Indonesian meal of twelve courses.  This time though they only gave us one plate to pile the food onto from all the dishes they brought.  They brought each course so fast it made it hard to enjoy what we were given because the food from one dish got mixed up with that of the next one.  (I found out later that John had asked the waiters to speed up our meal so we could make it to the airport on time.)  All in all the dinner was okay but because we were dirty, hot and surrounded by flies wherever we went once again Edith and I didn’t fully enjoy the experience. 

      Once we finished our meal we had to return to the Duta Indonesia Hotel to pick up our bags and head to the airport.  We boarded an Electra 11 to make the flight to Denpasar on the island of Bali, a flight that took several hours.  Our plane didn’t arrive until 1am and it took another hour to get our luggage and climb aboard the bus for our five mile drive to the Beach Sagara Hotel. 

      I was totally exhausted by the time we walked into the hotel, checked in and were given our rooms.  However, before going to bed Edith and I were determined to wash out at least some of the soot from our clothes and take a bath.  As we unpacked a few of our things to get comfortable we found our room to be simple but nice. 

      When Edith went to the bathroom to start washing out her clothes I heard a loud howl.  Edith informed me that they hadn’t given us any soap so we had to rinse off things as best we could without it.

      So Edith and I rinsed our clothes off, took a sponge bath to get off as much of the soot as we could and then went to bed.  I hadn’t realized what a luxury soap was till our stay in this hotel.  I was miserable and despite the sponge bath still felt grubby when I went to bed.  As I tried to go to sleep I realized that the whole day had been spent in traveling more or less and I hadn’t had a chance to see the much of the country.


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