Well, I've arrived once again at that unpleasant time of year when everything comes due at once. I must reapply for yearly permission to reside as a foreigner in Indonesia, must negotiate with the landlord regarding whether he wants to continue to rent the house, and at what price, must renew the registration for my motorbike, and must renew my driver's permits for the car and the bike. It is a frustrating, tiring time of year -- frustrating because all these tasks are more simply said than done here in this land of bureaucratic confusion, and tiring because ... well, because of the same reason. To add an extra pinch of difficulty, it turns out that I must procure a new sponsor on the resident permission issue, as the one I had used for the last six years has now fashioned for himself a somewhat shady reputation -- a matter of no small effort in an already generally shady complex of red tape. This involves leaving the country, if only for a day, turning over a ream of papers and proofs to the new sponsor, then returning with said ream to the immigration office in Bali. To this end, we have planned a short trip to Kuala Lumpur. Upon returning, I will appear, once again, at the immigration office, have my photo taken (again), my fingerprints taken (again), and pay the fees (again).
In the matter of our rental house, our landlord decided, as with every year, that he would need to raise the rent. When he called again regarding the matter, my wife explained that we would be moving. Oh? Why? he said. Because you're raising the rent. Oh ... uh ... I changed my mind, he decided.
So much for that. I really did not want to face moving house on top of everything else.
The driver's licence renewal is just a matter of showing up at the motor vehicles office, somewhere out in kingdom come, along with a few thousand other folks, and rubbing shoulders for a couple hours in a space about the size of a closet, getting your picture taken, and paying the man hired to expedite the whole experience (such that it doesn't take more than one day).
I hope to be a retired man of leisure again by April.