We had a few more crew members arrive this weekend, two from Russia and Matt's trainee from India. Matt's trainee is originally from Vadodara, so this is a dream come true for him, but I think the Russians might have a harder time adjusting. We went to dinner together Sunday night outside of the hotel, and got harassed pretty heavily by some beggar children... I don't think they got my memo. Anyway, by the time we got back to the hotel, both the Russians were a little shaken and had to stand outside and smoke to calm down. Ahh, young travelers. I'm so much more experienced than that now... I never freak out about anything, and I love everything about everywhere. The epitome of the calm and compassionate traveler. Speaking of, I just came back from the store (and Papa John's), and the tuk-tuk driver tried to charge me Rps 30 for the ride: a ride that only ever costs me Rps 20! I got so angry at him, and I just kept shoving the 20 at him and he kept saying, no, no, 30, so finally I just stuck it in his hand and walked off. That is ridiculous! Granted, 10 extra rupees is probably the equivalent of 10 cents, but still. It's the principle of the thing. I need that extra 10 for the next guy who tries to rip me off. Oh, but I'm always a target for that kind of thing. I'm actually a lot fiercer about my money here than I usually am... I think it's because everyone speaks English and I know they can understand me when I explain. Not that they care, but they can understand. Saw my first Indian rat the other day and did not scream even though it was the size of a raccoon and looked like a hedgehog. I was perfectly calm at the time, although now when I walk outside I watch very carefully where I step... especially in the trashy areas (ie the whole city).
These kids wanted me to take their picture. For real.
Anyway, we might be leaving here a lot sooner than expected... like 3 to 5 months sooner. Apparently they weren't really ready for Matt to come yet, and he has only checked out maybe half the vessels in the plant. They told him yesterday that after today, they have nothing else for him to do so they want to release him. For several months, if I understand correctly. So yay for me! Of course we have to wait a week or several for the lawyers to make up a contract, but if all goes smoothly (it won't) we'll probably be gone in 2 to 3 weeks. Surely we'll be back. I'm not sure where UOP will go with this news... sometimes they save specific people for specific jobs (we're both kind of hoping that's not the case) and sometimes they just stick them wherever there's an opening. We'll see. I'll keep you updated as I need to blog to stave off the murderous boredom. Matt said another Dumai, Indonesia job is starting at the beginning of April, and there's a chance he'll have to go there again. He told me I'm not allowed to go... apparently I didn't hide my misery well the last time, what with all the crying and depression. Who knew?