Red Tape and Learning Patience

Things move slowly in Jakarta. We were told that but apparently it is something you must experience for true understanding. Scott started Monday with a laptop but no internet and a phone. By Tuesday he had a number to the phone and email but no password to get in. Not much work can be done without a password. Since Wednesday was a holiday he was hoping to hit the ground running on Thursday. He had an appointment with Immigration to get his KITAS. (This is a document that will allow him to move around the country freely. For now he must be accompanied by a company employee or a security guard.) Before leaving for Immigration the secretary gave him the number of the agent he was to meet at Immigration. She told him to have the driver call this man when they arrived.

It took about an hour to get to the building where he needed to be. Upon arriving he asked the driver to call the man he was to meet. The driver said he had no phone. He and Scott entered the building and were told the office they needed was upstairs. They climbed three flights of stairs only to be told that the office was downstairs. Once they got back downstairs they were told that the office was indeed upstairs. After climbing the stairs again the driver pulled a cellphone from his pocket and called the agent Scott was to meet!

While this should be a happy ending Scott was informed by the agent that the Immigration computers were down and he would have to return the following day. Not happy about having been somewhere without a cellphone he asked the secretary to get him a security escort to go to the mall to get his own cellphone. She asked him if he wanted to go after work. He said…”No, I can’t do anything here until I have a password. I am ready as soon as you can get someone here.” Oh, I almost forgot, the reason he doesn’t have a password? His secretary forgot her password and has to get a new one before she can give him his!

The mall experience went smoothly but took a while. Luckily his security guard was a non-Muslim so they sat and had a fruit/veggie drink while they waited. (During the month of Ramadan Muslims do not eat or drink from sunup to sundown.) He now has a cellphone so he feels much better about going off with the drivers. His security guard was great and acted as a partial interpreter in getting him set up.

Part II –

Scott left the office at 10:00 am Jakarta time Friday to head once more to Immigration for an 11:00 appointment. After the hour drive he met with his agent who determined that the long lines meant long wait and suggested that he return at 2:00 – 2:30. He returned to the office and then returned to Immigration at 2:00, an hour each way. At the end of the day he was able to get his KITAS but only barely. (He still has to wait until next Wednesday to receive it.) By the time they left traffic was much worse and the trip back to the hotel took two hours. All in all an interesting first week. Looking forward to house hunting this weekend.

355 thoughts on “Red Tape and Learning Patience

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