Saturday August 19, 2017
My flight from Yogyakarta to Bali was delayed; we just sat on the runway for two hours. Luckily my assigned seat was next to an American woman. She was the first and only American I had met during my ten days in Indonesia. Our conversation helped pass the time.
After arriving and collecting my luggage, I went outside with my AirBnB address pulled up on my phone, hoping to find a good taxi. I had rejected my host’s offer to send airport pick-up for 300,000 rupiah because I thought it was too expensive. I regretted that decision when every taxi driver refused to go below 500,000 rupiah. They set outrageous prices because they know you have to leave, and that you’re anxious to leave as soon as possible.
I texted my host that I changed my mind and wanted to be picked up. But he wouldn’t respond. I happened to overhear a family nearby talking about how their driver still hadn’t showed up. I asked if they were also going to Ubud; they were. I mentioned my situation and the woman casually said they’d gladly give me a lift if they had room in their van.
After waiting for what felt like forever, the family said their van was here. Before following them to the van, they warned me to not get my hopes up because there might not be enough room.
When the driver said the number of seats and everybody looked around at the number of passengers, it looked like I was out of luck. But I managed to squeeze in.
I couldn’t have picked a better family. They were so friendly and funny. I enjoyed the entire hour drive with them. The kids are so smart and talented. We learned about each other. We shared travel stories.
The driver dropped them off at their hotel first. Much to my surprise, they let me check out the place before I continued on to my AirBnB.
I don’t remember the name of their hotel, but I believe it was Ritz something. Anyway… It was probably the fanciest hotel I’ve ever seen.
Before parting ways, the family wanted to take a picture together.
After that I was going to pay my half of the fare, but the dad insisted on covering the whole thing. Just when I thought they couldn’t be nicer…
I ended up paying the driver 200,000 rupiah–less than half of the taxi’s asking price.