Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Selamat Siang Indonesia - Jakarta!

We awoke at 5am and got a pre-booked cab to the airport. Amanda and Bailey's flight was at 9am so we'd have about an hour together before they left, then I was just gonna hang around the airport (and blog) until it was time for my flight. After they'd checked in we went to get something to eat and then way too soon it was time to say goodbye! :-( I cried a little lol.

Once it was time for me to check in (around 10.30am) I got to the check-in desk and the lady turned round and asked me if I had return flights booked...I didn't. When asked if this would be a problem she replied...yes. Immigration at Jakarta might ask for proof before I was allowed a visa...shit!!!

So they said they would check me in, but I'd need to go to the airport internet cafe, book a return flight (as apparently my round the world ticket showing I needed to be in Singapore on the 31st for my flight to Australia, wasn't enough), and then show the return flight booking at the boarding gate before I boarded my flight.

So off I ran to the internet cafe, had to pay 200 baht for the privilege, the internet was slow, but I thought I'd managed to book a flight easy-peasy...when it cancelled on me!! So I tried again, but it said I already had a pending booking with them. So I checked my email account but nothing had come through. So I rang the company, ebookers, to see if my payment had gone through...but I ran out of credit! So I checked my bank account and it hadn't gone through, so hopefully it didn't charge me twice. But now I ran the risk that I couldn't book a return flight!! Oh, did I mention the internet credit ran out halfway through all of this too?! I tried several other websites but by this time I had discovered that the issue was with Air Asia, their website was down. Also it was now 11.30am and I was due to start boarding in 10 minutes. So I couldn't muck around anymore and pegged it through customs, passport control and down to my discover the plane was an hour delayed...argggghhhh!!

Luckily there was free internet stands at the gate so I tried several more times to book a flight back to Singapore but to no avail. So when the flight attendants came down I cornered one of them and told her the situation and she said it should be ok, just find a ground assistant when in Jakarta and I could book one when there! Phew! So I waited around until the flight was ready, boarded, and off we set!

It was 3hrs to Jakarta, I had a nice plane Indonesian meal, flew over some pretty Thai Islands and Malaysia and arrived in Jakarta around 4.30pm. Then it was immigration time...would I be allowed into Indonesia?? Stood in line, was then told I needed to go buy my visa-upon-arrival before I could go through, so I did, joined the back of the line again, handed my passport over to the official...two stamps and a new visa glued in later...I was free to enter Indonesia!! So all that fuss and stress for NOTHING!

Exiting the airport I had decided to try and do things as cheap as possible - as I had hardly any cash left until Australia, and needed some to get by on when out in Australia - which involved using public transport. Public transport it was indeed! I waited at the bus stop for the Damri airport to city shuttle for over an hour before it came, I was the only westerner at this particular airport terminal, the only westerner at the bus station and the only one on the bus, which caused much staring and whispering! However I love this about travelling, being a minority in a strange country makes it more of a challenge and more of an experience! But I managed it, after a long wait at the airport, some friendly locals who were willing to help me and a 2 hr traffic-ridden ride into the city later, (it rivaled the M25) I arrived at...the train station! From here I then needed to get a Bajaj (tuktuk) to my hostel which was about 1km away. So I haggled myself a tuktuk and in the drizzle made my way to 6 Degrees Backpackers hostel, which was a welcome sight!

I checked in, had the grand tour and was then left to my own devices which was shower, food and bed! So...7/11 and Pizza Hut it was!! Sometimes, you just need some home comforts and after today, a whole day of travelling (I didn't get to my hostel until past 9pm), I needed it! Then I went to bed, knackered after a loooong day!


The next day I awoke late, had breakfast which was leftover pizza hut from last night and went to book my train tickets to Yogyakarta for tomorrow. Turns out all the trains were booked apart from the 6am one, so early morning it was to be! I only had a week in Java before Bali when I'd be meeting Devyn and Chandler again so I had to be pretty fast-packer here and only spend around 2 days in each place (including travelling to it). I met some Dutch girls there who were going on the same train so we made plans along with a mexican guy to meet at the station (I'd share a Taxi with mexican dude) and ride the train together. Then I decided to try and see some of the city, but the weather made this very difficult. My plan was to go to the Monas to go up and view the city, then head over to the old city, Kota, go to cafe Bavaria which was known to be very good, then over to the harbour. But this didn't happen!

Instead, I caught a Bajaj to the Monas, it pelted it down with rain, the top was closed so I could only go halfway, where there was massive ques to go up it, so I just went in, looked around the museum and took a few photos then left. I then wanted to get a bus into Kota, but couldn't find the bus station, by the time I got to the train station in the hopes I could catch a train there, I was soaked through and had had enough, so I bought a SIM Card, got some snacks (there's even Cadbury's Chocolate here!) and got a tuk tuk back to the hostel.

I then got myself some street Mie Ayam (Noodles, Chicken; which was chicken noodles, with some chili sauce, crispy wontons and generally very tasty!) Then set myself up for the rest of the day in the hostel, catching up with the blog, chilling, eating and catching up with people. Luckily the hostel was awesome, it had comfy sofas, free wifi, lounge bar, rooftop bar, movie room, games room - so I had all I needed for the afternoon! Then went to bed early for the train tomorrow, however it's hard when you're in a dorm room and others are coming in late! Hey ho, here's to tomorrow; Yogyakarta here I come!

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