Monday, November 08, 2004

Blogging in Jakarta Day 1

We arrived early at KLIA for our afternoon flight to Jakarta. It was a good call, because security at the Gate was unusually tight. Maybe it was only that particular flight. All passengers were scanned and body-search. Our bags and luggage were open and examined. It took quite a while before we could pass through the Gate and board the plane.

Because of the security, and with only one counter (WTH??), the queue was unusually long. We joined the queue behinds a group of monkeys 14-year-olds with American accent. They were jumping, climbing, screaming, running, whining, as if they were in a zoo. I think the security had a hard time with them. There was a kid who had to pass the metal sensor for 6 times, because the alarm keeps beeping on him. And each time, he dug deeper into his pocket and produced something.

The loooonnnng queue, with the security gate slightly to the right center.

But the best thing was, queuing behind me was Marina Mahathir. Yup, that's right. Right behind me were Marina and her family (her husband and kids). No VIP treatment, no special lane, they queued up like everybody else. :) Being a shy Malaysian, I 'buat tak tahu', but I was screaming inside "MARINA MAHATHIR IS BEHIND ME!!".

The flight was smooth, and arrived on time. The in-flight meal was nice. I had the super spicy, super hot Beef Rendang with Rice. And I am not refering to Mat Salleh's standard. Super hot Malaysian standard. But I kesian the Indonesian who sat next to me, because i was slurping and yuuummmm-ing, and he sat there trying hard to ignore me. He was fasting. But I was hungry. :) Sorry...

So, my first impression of Jakarta? It was chaotic. Maybe it wasn't the right time we arrived. It was rush hour. The trafic jam was so bad that it took us more than 2 hours to reach our hotel from the airport. That's like flying back to KLIA from Jakarta! The Indonesian says "Laluan Tersendat". On the way we saw a few interesting things. A huge bus trying to squeeze thru a bridge meant only for small vehicle. The obviously huge bus tried to pass through a barrier, causing a tremendous jam. Also, there are these street peddlers selling their stuff on the highway: bottled mineral water, sweets, newspapers, cigarettes. In the middle of the highway!! Most are young teens, even small children.

A lady selling souvenirs on the highway.

A kid trying to earn a few extra bucks by selling mineral water.

But the most interesting of all, is the traffic in Jakarta. But that's another entry...