Thursday, April 27, 2017


Well, that's done! Got my SIM (driver's license), car and motorbike, five years each. Definitely NOT going to miss going to the central Denpasar police station for the next five years. I couldn't really remember how to get there, so I used Waze, which worked out quite well on the trip there. It wasn't the route I would have chosen, but Waze has a better mind than mine, so it chose the shortest route time-wise, doing its best to avoid traffic jams (the impossible dream, in Bali). Took about 25 minutes from home to the station (although I have to add 10 more spent in trying to find the parking lot. You can't go in the front entrance. The dudes there have machineguns. Anyway, once the trip and the parking was done, the actual task proceeded lickity-split. In and out.

Driving back home was another matter. For some reason, Waze decided that the best route home was a journey through pretty much most of Denpasar, featuring visits to the greatest traffic jams. Go figure.

But anyway, whew! And as an extra plus, I was actually stopped by the police on the way home. What a treat it was to employ my new ID cards. It filled me with a strange sort of joy, which the officer, one of the more cranky members of the force, seemed to think a bit odd.

Hey, Pak! Baru dapat pagi ini! Lihat! Hebat ya!

Now, here's the way things work in Indonesia, especially where foreign residents are concerned. The government and its various agencies invent a perfect knot of red tape and then employ people to try to figure out how to undo the knot, which gives rise to the entrepreneurial spirit of private parties who will then contract with the individual foreigner, collect X-amount of money, and then give Y of X to officer Z, such that the knot of red tape is dispensed with altogether. In other words, money talks.

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