Cautionary tale: Know when to leave your shorts at home

The main reason for stopping at Puteri Marina was to visit the Indonesian Embassy to apply for our social/cultural visas. This type of visa allows you to stay in Indonesia for an initial 60 days and then can be renewed for further thirty day periods for up to six months. 

Puteri Marina

Applying for a visa is always a little nerve wracking – have we submitted all the right forms and papers? Are the photos acceptable? Will we get our passports back in time? 

We had some delicious meals there

On this occasion we were confident that we had every detail taken care off – passports in date, tick; application forms filled out correctly and in the correct colour pen, tick; photos the right size and reasonably current, tick; sponsor letter obtained and printed out with supporting information, tick; smartly dressed, washed behind our ears and teeth cleaned, tick. 

Puteri Marina has some interesting sculptures by local artists all made from natural materials

Our Uber driver arrived quickly and we had a pleasant drive to the Indonesian consulate, arriving soon after opening time. We strolled up to the gatekeepers office where we had to give in our ID to receive a plastic visitor card to wear round our neck. Fortunately we both had our drivers licence with us. However, disaster! When we stepped up to the window we were told “No”!

Another example of the sculptures dotted around the marina precinct

Where had we gone wrong? Well despite the Skipper wearing very smart dress shorts and a long sleeved, buttoned up shirt, we were refused entry! The rules are long trousers/pants only. 

The local shopping centre had some curious baked goods (chicken toast and egg bun)

Remembering that we had seen a shopping centre nearby on the other side of the road during our drive in, we set off at at a quick smart pace (the skipper being on a mission). Taking our lives in our hands we made a dash over two or three stretches of highway, jumping over barriers (well in my case clambering) and squeezing through narrow spaces between walls. 

Frankfurter in pastry

Arriving at the shopping centre slightly frazzled, we found that the whole centre was closed! Fortunately there a taxi came along quickly which took us to another shopping centre closer into the centre of Johor Bahru. 

These look better

After several false starts in stores that sold designer clothing we were directed to a warehouse- style out let where a pair of pants and a collared dress shirt were quickly selected. 

There is still a lot of building going on in the marina precinct

When we took them to the counter the cashier insisted that we had to choose another pair of long pants and another shirt as there was a “two for one offer”. We didn’t really want the first outfit, let alone a second one! However, it was quicker to grab the second set of clothes than try and explain we didn’t want them. 

Into another taxi and we drove back to the consulate and this time we were allowed in. All went smoothly after that and we were able to return the next day to pick up our passports newly stamped with our visas. 

At last we were ready to set sail for Indonesia!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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