Today we got our first taste of Indonesian bureaucracy. Thank God we had a guide. A nice lady named Rizma picked us up at our hotel, then we went to her office while she made photocopies. We met an extremely enthusiastic, garrulous Fulbright director. (Guess which one of us thought to use the word “garrulous”.)
Then it was off. First we went to get more passport pictures (we only had six each), and then we bought cell phones. Then, off to the Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (Indonesian Academy of Sciences), where a nice man tried to rip us off of 25 cents after we paid the 100 dollar registration fee. We got a form that we had to deliver to the Mabes Polri (Something-Something Police of the Republic of Indonesia). We delivered that, paid 10 bucks, and got some other form. When we go back tomorrow, we’ll get yet another form, which we have to take back to LIPI, where we can get something that we have to take to the immigration office. We’re running around in circles but the traffic prevents going any faster than a crawl anyway. It’s very fortunate that we have a guide to help us.