That iconic movie phrase certainly sums up the wonder and bewilderment of our new life in Indonesia thus far. Things are different. Very, very different. And while David and I tried to begin this adventure with no (or at least very open) expectations, I must admit we were both a little surprised at how affected we have been when our supposedly “non-existent” expectations aren’t met.
Take internet access for example.
Thankfully our school has wireless internet, and our house is a short five minute walk from the school. We are grateful for all of the above. However, we have been spoiled with wireless internet in our homes since college, and that was an unrealized expectation we had.
We want wireless internet … in … our … home.
Here’s a little background information for you. We live in Indonesia, very close to Jakarta, but not in Jakarta proper, rather in Bekasi, or more specifically Lippo Cikarang. There are pros and cons to this living arrangement. We don’t have quite the traffic issue that plagues Jakarta; in fact, we live in a neighborhood where one may ride a bike or walk down the street with ease. However, you can’t really get a lot of the things you might want in Cikarang. It’s a little like when I was in college and living in Shawnee, America that boasted only a regular Wal-Mart (the “Super” version came the year after I graduated) built into the local mall. All the “good stuff” (like Ted’s Cafe Escondido) was in OKC. Shawnee = Cikarang. OKC = Jakarta.
One of the drawbacks of Lippo living is also internet access. We have been here now for nine days* and still haven’t received a clear answer regarding internet. On the first day we were here, we asked about it. “Oh, well the school has internet. Why don’t you just come to school whenever you want to use it?” Now granted, that was only one person’s response, but it is indicative of a totally different mentality than we’re used to.
So we asked someone else. “Oh yeah, well you’ll want to contact Speedy, but it’s probably going to take awhile.” (Irony, anyone?) “How long do you think?” we asked. “Probably around a month or so.”
Then we asked another person and received a number to call. But then our home phone was too static-y to communicate clearly with the internet company. We borrowed a neighbor’s phone. We finally got in contact with “Speedy,” and it looked like things were progressing somewhat smoothly. We were signed up! All we had to do was go buy a wireless router, and then by the next afternoon we would be up and running.
We’re not up and running. Now if we were in the States, a serviceman would have already come out to our house, provided the router, and set everything up for us. I get that things take longer here. I realize that we haven’t even been waiting that long. I don’t love waiting, but I can do it. The most frustrating part, however, is the confusion amidst the waiting. Straight answers are hard to come by.
Well, we got the router. And we set it up. Still no internet. Turns out you need a password. You would think that would be something they would give you when you sign up for internet, right? Evidently you have to go to the Speedy offices to get said password for some reason.
Bless my husband’s heart, he has spent a ridiculous amount of on the phone asking questions and getting all kinds of different answers (not to mention the amount of time he’s spent researching what kind of router we need and how to set it up once we had it). The latest is that supposedly a serviceman is coming to our house in 24 hours (or maybe longer because he’s very busy). We’ll see.
Now I realize the tone of this post is maybe a little whiny and certainly a little frustrated. I’m much more exited to post pictures and share the more positive aspects of our stay in Indonesia, and I plan to do so hopefully soon. But this is also the reality of where we are. This is Indonesia … where things just take longer and “later” can mean in 15 minutes, the next day, the next month, or never. For sanity’s sake, let’s hope with regard to internet, it’s closer to the former …
*We are currently 11 days in, and still no internet. No visit from the Speedy man, and no ability to visit the offices until the conclusion of the Muslim holiday season of Lebaran. We are very grateful for our weekend visits to Sharon and Dave (David’s sister and brother-in-law) and their lovely high speed wireless, by which this post is made available. 🙂