Cint and I went back to Jakarta over the last weekend, and it must be the most task-oriented homecoming, yet. We arrived on Friday and I immediately went to Kota to make a new pair of glasses, as mine was broken a couple of months ago, for a mere $30 (which could last for 2 years, not bad right). On Sunday we celebrated the 80th birthday of Grandma at the new Central restaurant in Seasons City. On Monday I went to the municipal office to make my new e-KTP. The timing couldn’t be any better.
My father was worried because we haven’t received the notice from the government yet when I arrived. He was worried that I needed to come back again just to settle this matter next time. Thankfully the notice did come on Saturday and we can immediately process it on Monday. We came to the municipal office at 630am and there were already stacks of notification letters on the receptionist table. We put ours and I counted roughly that we were around number 30. By 7am, the number had swollen into more than a hundred. We were not given any queueing number at all, so all of us were paying attention to the stack of letters, making sure that no one disturbed their order. I was reminded of systemic chaos and inefficiency of our nation. Thankfully, again, the process started on time at 8am, and we were duly called at 830am. My fingerprints and my iris were scanned, and customary passport photograph was taken as well. And we returned to Singapore on Monday evening, using AirAsia with the pretty impresive Terminal 3 at Soekarno-Hatta airport (I love the boarding area).
Finally, on Saturday my family came over to Cint’s house to propose her (the exact word is to “meminta”, but I just couldn’t find any English word which could express the full nuance of this word). I was reminded of how deeply Chinese my family is. I learnt that the Hokkians and Kheks/Hakkas are actually two different ethnic groups. I always thought that they are simply different dialects. Anyway, we are getting married next year, hopefully before the End of the World, and now it is time to apply the austerity measures, as it is clear that we are facing deep budget deficits like the Greek. Fortunately, unlike the European Central Bank who refused to become the lender of last resort, I think we still have our parents backup for this plan in case we need a bailout fund.