Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Officially official

Google translate app is a godsend when trying to deal with the officials!

We are all officially checked into Indonesia (for 60 days at least). Indonesia is definitely up there with having some pretty serious bureaucracy. There are lots of officials that want to come onto the boat and lots of paperwork. They really love stamps here (think ink stamps, not postage) and no document is official until you give it a stamp with your boat name on it. Fortunately, our friends on Field Trip did a lot of the heavy lifting for us when they got here a day earlier. So we knew where to go and what we needed to do. Even still, it took a full day starting at 7:30 and going straight through until 5:00 before we were all checked in.
One nice thing about the whole process was that there doesn't seem to be any corruption. We had heard a lot of reports of requests for extra 'fees' and such but we didn't encounter any.

Being official meant that the kids were off the boat for the first time in a long time and we 'celebrated' by having a lunch at KFC. It was just like the KFC at home except that the meals mostly come with balls of rice, there is a spicy chilli sauce in addition to ketchup, and your choice of soft drink is Pepsi or Pepsi. While it was okay, we're looking forward to trying some of the local food soon.

Although Indonesia is a majority Muslim country (we heard the call to prayer for the first time on the boat), the two most obvious religious structures we have seen so far are a giant statue of Jesus (think Rio) and a church on a hill with a huge cross.

One interesting sight from our trip over was dolphins acting like whales. There was a small pod of dolphins with their flukes sticking straight up in the air. One of them even seemed to be spyhopping.

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