Feb. 19 – 7:30 a.m.
Dear David – We are on Garuda flight from Djakarta to Bangkok and it left pretty well on schedule. After the flight to Bali on the small planes this jet seems rather smooth. We were supposed to leave here yesterday but due to circumstances beyond our control we were delayed. We arrived here on schedule and had Nitour agent meet us and thru customs OK. Our flight to Bali the next day was scheduled for 8:30 so we were at airport at 7:30 – told we must be there an hour early – we waited until nearly 10 o’clock before we could board. We were just half an hour out on way to Bali when suddenly plane turned around. Stewardess said one engine wasn’t doing right and that we had to return to Djakarta – so when we arrived back at airport were told to wait. After a while we were served some lemonade, then we sat again. Finally we were told no flight – we began to complain about flight being cancelled – they said not cancelled just postponed until tomorrow. We had to return to hotel and get a room. Couldn’t seem to get much information about anything. We were told to be at airport by 5 or 5:30 next a.m. We got up at about 4:30 and were at airport with the other tourists who had shared same fate. We saw our bags being loaded then taken off and we were told plane had to be used for military, and supplies. We went back to Garuda office and began to give them a bad time. We were given hotel accommodations by airline for our second night. We with the other tourists were at airport next a.m. and finally and at last were allowed to board a plane. It made two stops before going to Denpasar, John was waiting for us and his friend from Bali. The airline office had said they would send a message to John. We told them he would be waiting for us at airport. He didn’t get any message and had waited all day Tues. & Wed. to meet us. That cut our visit short but we got to see a lot in the four full days we were there. You can believe me we are glad to be on our way to Bangkok. We will tell you all about our Bali tour when we get home. John will be home at the end of June. He isn’t going to sign another contract. He doesn’t know yet what he is going to do but if he doesn’t work for a year he says he will have time to get caught up with things. He feels he can take a leave on his own. We really enjoyed our visit with him and I hated to leave him but since he plans to be home in a few months I can look forward to that. We were thinking about the suit we sent you. You will probably have to pay duty on it so if you do write us if you get it in time so we can pick up your letter in Paris. We will need that information when we go thru customs in Chicago, so be sure to let us know how much duty you have to pay. I haven’t written any letters since we left Hong Kong. I mailed one at airport in Bangkok so I mailed a letter there. I hope we have some letters when we get to hotel in Bangkok. Where we stayed in Bali was really out of touch with the outside world. I think they had a telephone or two but none where we were staying. No electricity. Our cottage had a wonderful view but not much in the way of accommodations. However, we were out sightseeing so much while we were there it didn’t make too much difference. We were glad to get back to hot shower in Djakarta. Hotel Indonesia is very modern. We used to think traffic around home and in Chicago area is bad but you haven’t lived dangerously until you have traveled around in taxis in this part of the world. I think a car is a challenge to any driver and he is not about to miss a challenge to frighten a passenger. We have met a number of fellow Americans going our way or crossing paths with us and it is easy to spot Americans. Most of them are friendly. It is like a large fraternal order. We never hesitate to speak to another American and have found most of them ready to converse. We were at airport this a.m. by 5 and there was an American couple and a woman from Switzerland – who lives in Kyoto Japan and is studying art and flower arranging – who we had seen on flight from Bali yesterday, so we stayed together until our plan took off. We were assigned seats at the front so they are back of us. I am trying to catch up on my letter writing so haven’t tried to talk to them since we boarded plane. We are cruising at 32,000 at 600 per hr. We are due to arrive in Bangkok at 10:15 – so our free day won’t be entirely lost by having to change flight plans one day. We lost our free day or part of it.
[page 2] I don’t know how long it will take us to go thru customs. We have a number of films we want to mail back to States when we get to Bangkok. We thought we could get processing done in Australia Hong Kong, but everything for our Kodak has [to] be sent to Australia. The film we bought in H.K. can be sent directly to N.Y. in a little sack, so that is what we are going to do with what we have taken since leaving there. We sent a box of several roles back to Art from H.K. I hope we can remember all the places we have taken pictures of. We left so early this a.m. we haven’t had any food – they did serve some pieces of candy when flight started. I think I could use a little breakfast about now. I thought I could smell food and hear silverware rattling, but since we are at front end we will be last to be served. We have traveled an hour since I started to write this – have a little less than 2 hours yet to Bangkok. So far flight has been smooth. It was very hot in Djakarta – warm even when we left the hotel at 5 a.m. but now I am wearing my silk raincoat and I am not too warm but at 32,000 ft. it does get a little chilly. Just a little incident that happened yesterday – on way to airport John had to scold his driver. He kept telling us he is going to get rid of him. Dad said he didn’t blame him. When driving thru country roads in Bali there are cars, bicycles, dogs, people, ducks, geese and it really looks like one land but two cars can pass. Driver wouldn’t regulate his driving according to conditions so finally John gave him a lecture – not a world we could understand because it was in Indonesian. After that, I asked John what he had said and he translated for me. You know John speaks Indonesian, Japanese, and Balinese. He could converse with anyone we met and as easily as a native. One day driver didn’t slow car when we were in a congested area and he killed a goose. John was very unhappy with him that day. Oh yes, I forgot to mention pigs on roads – the pigs and cows are all over the place. I can’t say much for sanitary conditions there. People are always washing and bathing but also use same stream for other purposes. You would have to see it to believe it.
©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/12/bali/
“That cut our visit short but we got to see a lot in the four full days we were there.” Well, what an ordeal it was to get there.
“We really enjoyed our visit with him and I hated to leave him but since he plans to be home in a few months I can look forward to that.” 🙂
“you haven’t lived dangerously until you have traveled around in taxis in this part of the world.” 🙂
“it really looks like one land” should read “lane”
” not a world we could understand” should read “word”
” He could converse with anyone we met and as easily as a native. ” John once told me that he had become so fluent in Indonesian that when the answered the phone, people thought he was the houseboy.
Such a great letter, so much detail!