Running errands in Batam


These are four of the “Goodies Girls,” or the Double Gs, as I call them. They take care of me at all my meals and teach me Indonesian, usually accommpanied by much giggling and kidding of Mr. Ken. From left: Tina, Lilis, Yuli and Dayati.

Friday was a day to finally catch up on a few errands, as well as attending a local golf tournament to shoot some photos for the newsletter. The charity golf event was put on by McDermott, which has a huge metal fabrication yard that sprawls at the base of Smiling Hill. We have a lot of customers from McDermott, so my presence to take a few pictures was needed.

For the trip to the Southlinks course, I would need Hidayat as my driver. Once we arrived, the tournament people provided us with two golf carts, complete with female drivers. Wendi was mine. We drove around the front nine, stopping to let me take pictures of different groups.

It was a very hot day.

Before and after the golf, Hidayat took me to run some errands. First, I needed something from the drug store (apotek) and luckily Hidayat was along as they did not speak any English, although they did know what I wanted because I had written it down. Determining the dosage and the price was the language challenge. Then, we went to the post office, and again I needed a translator, although I probably could have made my message known in time. I was the only customer. I have been holding on to a check, in an envelop and already addressed,  for three months now, and finally got it mailed. It still had my return address in Catania. Postage was 20,000 rupiah or just over $2. It will probably take two weeks to be delivered.

Finally, we went to a local liquor store, so I could stock up on bourbon. This store’s prices were lower than the one I’ve been going to in the Hypermart.

Driving around town was somewhat of a pain, as the traffic was very heavy on a Friday afternoon. You have to experience what it’s like here with the motorbikes running around you on both sides of the car, cutting in on you, going in the wrong lanes, basically ignoring any rules and daring someone to hit them, which I understand happens frequently.

Friday night, the girls called me a taxi and I was off to the Nagoya Hills bar district for some pool. When I arrived at Dirty Dick’s, I was the only bule there, so I got plenty of attention from all the girls. Took on a couple of very attractive ladies at one bar, and both could play. But they both lost interest when they realized I wasn’t in the market. Ended up going to Steps again to play some more, this time against some eager local men. Finally, I decided to take an ojek (motorbike taxi) home.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. I'm also using this time to write, having now authored nine e-books, including photo-essays of my experiences in Costa Rica, Croatia, Sicily, Indonesia, Bali and Malaysia.
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One Response to Running errands in Batam

  1. askewebb says:

    The name of the bar doesn’t sound like a place to pick up men or women, for that matter anyway.. LOL OTF!!

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