by: Eric M. Kussin

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11 August 2018

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When Shit Hits The Fan

Yes that was my actual room this first “night” in Jakarta. You’ll see why night is in quotes in a second.

 

So after 24hrs of flying, I go to check in to my hotel. Fortunately booked it for one night only, wanting to test the amenities. “Ayaka Suites” sounded nice enough…boasted a gym, AC & WiFi on site. Affordable price. Figure I’d be set after a night of feeling it out.

 

Checked in at 2:30pm…noticed a beautiful lobby…but when I went into the elevators & then up to my room, noticed that there was literally no AC on – anywhere. Not good for 90+ degrees Jakarta which makes the humidity on the east coast of the US feel like drylands. Nonetheless, I put the room key in the thingy in the wall, turned on my personal AC unit in my room (or so I thought), & left…looking to find any place in Jakarta that’d serve me eggs at 3 in the afternoon :). I figured by the time I got back, the AC would fill the room.

 

Was like Magellan finding 2 scrambled w cheese…found a grocery store to buy some room snacks…came back to a room that still felt like a sauna. Figured I’d go to the gym, come back & shower anyway, & by then, the air might be working.

 

Went to the gym – which itself had no AC, came back to my room…it was so hot, taking a shower wasn’t an option bc I’d just come out & sweat more in the room.

 

Called the front desk, & they sent these guys in the pic up to “fix” the unit. Two guys (huge smile), couldn’t speak a lick of English. It was like a 3 stooges skit as they tried to show w their hands & ladder what they were trying to fix, & I tried to show w mine that only hot air came out of this FAN, not AC unit, & only 2 feet in front, not circulating to the rest of the room.

Called the concierge of the hotel – he spoke a little English. Told me we could try other rooms. 7 rooms later – yes 7…we deduced the AC units were all the same – unable to cool down a room to even breathe in the dense air (I realized w so many vacancies, this was likely the reason).

 

W/o having eaten dinner, still in my sweaty gym clothes, I went down to the front desk, spoke to the manager, who helped me find another hotel in the area, similar price, that had central air. Great, only problem, that same manager who helped me book the new hotel room, refused to refund me for the one at his hotel, bc he said I “used it” to store my bags earlier.

 

Frustrated, I saw two guys come down the elevator, same issue – “sauna room.” They asked for & GOT their money back, bc according to the manager, they hadn’t checked in earlier & put their bags down as I had. This was 12:30am by now. Figured I’d cut my losses, head to the new hotel, & argue it out w booking.com tomorrow.

 

Asked the same nice concierge for a cab. He said he called one. 20 min later, still no cab. I asked again if he called one – he admitted they didn’t have a way to call cabs, so he was trying to hail one on his own. The two guys who had gotten their refund came outside & needed a cab to their new hotel as well. Finally as one came, I offered them to come in w mine, we’d drop them off first, & then headed to mine. Nice enough guys, small banter in the car. They give me some cash for their portion & I head to my new hotel.

 

Get there – driver speaks no English. Puts on his calculator what I owe. I take the money the other guys gave me, combine w mine, & give him enough for a tip. He starts yelling & throws back the money the other guys had given me, back at me. Not knowing what to do, I go in the hotel, find someone who speaks English to come to the cabbie w me.

 

Turns out – the Indonesian money the nice guys had given me was “expired money.” I didn’t even know expired money existed. Never held an expired dollar bill. This was what the cabbie was upset about! I put my own money together, pay the guy, & head up to my room, excited to finally get in an air conditioned room, take a shower, fall asleep.

 

Beautiful room, cold as could be, figure I’m set. Turn on the shower – the drain is clogged & before I know it, I’m up to my ankles in recycled shower water. Finish the shower, wash off my feet in the sink, and here I am, in bed, 2:45am on what is supposed to be a “break” to learn qigong meditation & clear my mind – haven’t slept in a day & a half, early wake up call for day 1 of class tomorrow, haven’t eaten dinner, no resolution from booking.com.

 

But you know what – after a frustrating run of shit hitting in the fan & getting pissed in the moment – I’m looking back & now laughing. Nothing “BAD” happened. It was a set of missteps that felt like the world was against me – but in the grand scheme – so what – I sweated a little extra, maybe got scammed out of a night in a hotel, got taken by guys I thought I was being nice to, took a less than enjoyable shower, & am going to bed eating a granola bar. BUT – nothing major…tomorrow is a new day where I might discover the key to feeling blissful calm. Sometimes you just gotta laugh when shit hits the fan.

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