Dad is fixing our broken engine now, and it is in a million pieces. Oil is on the floor, my room is inaccessible, and as such, we are staying in a hotel (a special treat for us). We are now in our third hotel, after spending a rather amusing experience at Hotel Yani. My encounters with the hotel staff have been very enlightening on just how tricky communication can be, on both sides.
Our first evening in Hotel Yani, we were up late, and didn’t feel like going to the hotel restaurant for dinner. But I was hungry, and decided to have a bowl of cereal. I poured my cereal into a bowl we had brought from home, but I had no spoon.
“Just go to the front desk and ask for a spoon,” Mom said. “They’re really nice there; they’ll help you out.”
So off I went to the front desk.
I walked up to the desk and said politely to the man behind it, “Excuse me, may I please have a spoon?”
He looked at me, and said, “What?”
“A spoon,” I said. Worried I may be mumbling, I repeated it as clearly as I could, “Spoon.”
“Just one moment, I get my friend,” he said, and ran off. 
Just one moment later, a different man came in. He sat. “Yes?” he asked.
“May I please have a spoon?” I asked.
“Yes please,” Then, in a further effort to communicate, “You know, to eat soup: soto. Spoon.”
“Oh, soto!” he exclaimed, sitting back in his chair.
“Yes, to eat soto,” I said, relieved.
He sat forwards. “Ya, you go to restaurant, they give you soto.”
“No, I don’t want soto, I want a spoon.”
“Oh.” He sat back, stumped. Then, his eyes widened with an idea. “Uh, could you write down?” he asked. He turned a piece of paper towards me and held out a pen.
I obliged, and wrote, in my neatest, clearest, all-caps handwriting,
He looked at it, and typed something into the computer. I peered over and saw GOOGLE TRANSLATE on the top of the screen. I rolled my lips in and said nothing as the ellipses on the right-hand side of the screen morphed into the word spoon. I thought perhaps the translation failed, as the Indonesian word appeared the same as the English, but Rian withdrew from the screen, surprised at the discovery of what I was trying to say.
“Sponn!” he said.
I smiled. “Yes, sponn. Spoon.”
“Yes, what your room number?”
“One-one-seven,” I said.
“Ya, I call restaurant, and get you sponn and soto.” He went for the phone.
“No, only spoon. Hanya sponn,” I said.
“Oh, hanya sponn, hanya sponn,” he said. “Ya, I get for you.” He called the hotel restaurant. For five whole minutes, I sat, listening to him talk in Indonesian to the restaurant. Finally, he put the phone down, looked at me, and said, “I’m sorry, no have.”
“Okay, thank you,” I said, trying not to smile. I left. As soon as I was out of sight, I burst out laughing. It was like something from Fawlty Towers.
When I got back to the room and shared my experience with Mom and Jana, Mom said, “Alright, I’m gonna go straight to the restaurant, and get you a spoon.”
“Thank you,” I said.
I wasn’t there for this part, but Mom told me about it when she returned.
Mom got to the restaurant, and there was a man holding a tray. Displayed on the tray were several sets of silverware.
Mom walked up to the man and said, “Can I get a spoon, please?”
“Room one-one-seven?” he asked.
He held out the tray. “For you.”
In the end, I got my spoon, and had my cereal. I was a very happy person.
But my tale of miscommunications is not yet finished.
Before we were in room 117, we were in room 120. We found that the air-conditioning didn’t work, and it was insufferably hot, so we moved to room 117. During the duration of our stay, I could not find my Kindle (e-reader). I thought that when I packed my bags to leave, I would locate it then. But when the day came to depart, I still had not seen it, so I went to the front desk, bringing my sister’s Kindle as an example.
As I opened Jana’s Kindle, I started to tell Rian, “Three days ago, we used to be in room one-two-zero.”
“Yes, room one-two-zero,” he said.
“Now, I think that when we moved to one-one-seven, I left my Kindle—my e-reader—in the room. It looked just like this one.” I pointed at Jana’s Kindle.
“Just one moment.” He typed something into Google Translate. He looked at me. “You left—” he peered at the screen “—beeheend?”
“Behind, yes, I left it behind.”
“Oh, yes, I know. Okay, I check with my friend, and hotel team.”
“Yes, okay, thank you,” I said.
He got on the radio with what I assume was the ‘hotel team’.
Five minutes later, a man came into the room.
Rian and the stranger exchanged a few words in Indonesian.
The stranger said, “Room one-two-zero, one-two-zero, I no know.”
Rian sat back down. “Which part lost?” he asked. “Item or cover?”
“Both,” I said.
“Both?” he asked.
“Yes. But the cover was blue.” I pointed to a blue folder on the desk.
“Blue. Okay, I check.” He rummaged through some files. “Room one-two-zero, nothing found. Room one-two-zero, sure?”
At this point, no, I’m not sure. “Well, maybe it was the one next door, one-two-one.”
“One-two-one?” he asked and looked at his friend. They chuckled.
He checked some more files. Then he came back over and sat down. “Why you report?” he asked.
“Because I lost it. I lost my Kindle.”
“But why you report…if you have?”
“I don’t have it,” I said. “I lost it.”
“But you have.” He tapped Jana’s Kindle.
“Oh,” I said, understanding. “Oh, no, this is my sister’s.”
“This is not my Kindle. My sister’s. I lost mine. My Kindle is lost.”
“Oh, okay,” he said, nodding. “You left it behind.”
“Yes, I left it behind.”
His eyes widened and his mouth dropped as he sat forwards suddenly. “You left it behind?!” he exclaimed, astonished.
“Yes, I left it behind,” I said.
“Okay, okay, okay.” He checked more on his radio, and then sat again. He leaned forwards with his elbows on the desk, fingers interlocked, and said, quite solemnly and deliberately, “I don’t know…if you leave it in room one-two-zero…room one-one-seven…or in hotel area…I no find.”
“Okay, thank you,” I said, and left, wishing I had had a tape-recorder.
In the end, I found my Kindle in the bottom of my back-pack.
 The hotel is in Sanur. It is called Ari Putri.
 Luckily I did not pour the milk.
 In Indonesia, however, the word ‘friend’ is used loosely to mean something like, ‘someone I know’.
 Over our stay at Yani, I had many interactions with this man, and later learned that his name was Rian.
 Soto is the Indonesian word for soup.
 Hanya means only.