When I first found out that my guests were staying at FM 7 Resort & Hotel, I kind of underestimated the traffic to get there. I knew that the hotel was near from Jakarta International Airport, and I knew going to the airport probably only took an hour from my place, and I knew the traffic would possibly be a bit crowded, but I didn’t know that the way out of the tollway to the hotel was going to be gridlock.
I miscalculated the whole journey. Amoud & Dipti asked to be picked up at 10 am at the hotel cause we were going to have a Jakarta Half Day Tour that they booked from toursbylocals. At 10.30, I was close to their hotel but the road was congested, my car didn’t move at all. I panicked. The hotel staff, who was asked by Dipti, called to confirm about my arrival and the tour. With regret, I told her that I was going to be late and it would take 15 mins to reach there from where I was.
True. I was late 45 minutes from our schedule. I begged for forgiveness and was ready to receive complaints from them, even if Amoud & Dipti wanted to scold me, I was prepared and would not try to defend myself. But…
I WAS WRONG.
They were more confused than angry. The thing was, they said, the hotel staffs didn’t understand English properly so when Dipti tried to contact me, it took half an hour and she was devastated about it. But, it wasn’t long until things got better and we had a good conversation.
When we reached out first destination, doubt started to occur. Doubt whether we could finish the tour on time because Amoud & Dipti needed to catch a flight to Yogyakarta at 6 pm, which meant they had to be at the airport at 5 the latest to check in. They insisted to go to the observation deck at the top of the Monument even though there was a school trip so the queue was long by school students.
Then we came up with a plan to go to Istiqlal Mosque first, then return. This tour started to feel like an Amazing Race already. Every minute counts. No. every second counts. What I liked about them was, even though we were worried about the time, we managed to laugh, talk about stuffs casually. I kinda adore them for this. For enjoying moments, whatever the circumstances.
We had a good tour in Mosque Istiqlal, but when we arrived at the National Monument, the queue, though was not as long as before, was still quite long. But they still wanted to go up. So we prepared some plans and calculated time.
While waiting for the elevator, I got to know them better. My “curious” question was, “How did you two meet?”. I always tried to ask this question to my guests. Of course when I felt like we were really close and tried not to be annoying or nosy. They answered casually, but their answer was quite surprising for me.
“Through matrimonial website”.
“Ah, I see”.
“Our parents put our profile though, they tried to match-make us”.
I was speechless. But it turned out to be a very common thing in India for your parents to prepare a partner for yourself.
“Of course they had to ask us and we had a chance to disagree with them about the candidate. But that’s how it works and it’s been going on for ages”.
I was still surprised but when i did a little research (read: google), this was what I found : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/03/indian-parents-look-to-we_n_171363.html
The more surprising fact was that…it works! They told me about the divorce rate and stuffs and convinced me that it’s been working so, there must’ve been something right happening. True that.
After an hour waiting for the elevator we managed to go up and I was in huge relieve when Dipti said… “Wow! This is gorgeous. Totally worth the wait”. Pfiuh.
Even though my tour included going to the old town, we didn’t take the risk and went straight to the airport because it was a quarter to 4 already, but I promised to take them to the old town when they returned from their trip in Bali to have a sightseeing of the old town in the evening.
And we did. We visited the old port of Sunda Kelapa and the old town square at around 11 pm some days later after their visit to Bali and before they flew to India to spend the rest of the holiday.