Rabu, 26 Maret 2014

Into The Wild (HK-MCA-SZ part 3)

we were in Ngurah Rai Int'l Airport, Bali. see how crowded it was
After I saw off Suharto in the entry gate to the terminal since he couldn't get into, I came to counter check-in to ask whether my friends already checked in or not. And none of my friends checked in already. I was relief and tried to call fachry to monitor their position. Suddenly they arrived approaching me, and i just knew 3/7 of them (fachry, elsa, and enggar). Fachry kinda yelled at me and got mad since i was unable to contact, but it was fine. They all already knew each others but me. So, only one girl amongst us, mega, then her brother (sorry i forgot his name), then mas barlin, and catur. Fachry, Elsa, Catur and Enggar were class mate in University. Fachry was my friend from the same hometown. Mega was friend of Enggar, She was studying in another university. Her brother was unidentified by me hehehe, and mas barlin was a entrepreneur from Jogjakarta, actually he was friend of enggar and mega. Everybody had graduated already but me. There would be one more joining us next day since he was taking another flight, the lil brother of enggar.

We all had our boarding pass already. However, we would had our dinner instead of proceeding to immigration. We had our take away dinner in the corner of the terminal when none could see (actually everybody could). We had grilled chicken with spicy sambal. We had no cutlery and we just use our hand to eat them (it’s common in indonesia to use hand for eating without using cutlery). It looked very bad i think when in international airport, we 8 people sat circling and ate our meals with hands in styrofoam pack. We didn’t care about but very hungry. We finished our meals, cleaned up our hands in the washroom inside the toilet just next to our fancy eating place.

We proceeded to the immigration, we paid for airport tax (because it was excluded from the flight ticket) for 150,000 IDR each. I had a little conversation to the officer there

bli (a balinese version of bro), the airport is really good, it’s new terminal. Anyway, why the airport tax is so expensive, as expensive as in jakarta airport?”

suksma (balinese for thank you), yes we just finished our extension. And for your information, we probably will charge more for the airport tax next year.”

“WHATTTT?? Really? WHYYYY?? Entire Indonesia?” I asked him with high tone.

“because it is new terminal and it’s getting better, so we charge more for the convenience. And it’s only for Bali airport so far the plan. It probably arises to 250,000 IDR. Anyway, have a nice and safe flight.

“okay, suksma bli!” I Replied with lower pitch.

Everybody passed the immigration and we were waiting for the plane to fly. Actually it was the inaugural flight from Bali-Hongkong by Tiger Mandala air, so we had promotional price. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people with us, most of them were from surabaya and jakarta (not from bali). And enggar, he’s member of IndoBackpacker, knew some of them.Fachry decided to buy a bottle (600 mL) of water for 15,000 in case he would get thirsty and i didn’t do since i planned to sleep along the flight. Eventually we found out that the price in-flight was cheaper, just 10,000 IDR.

The calling to board of our flight finnaly came out. Everybody hurriedly get up and got to the airport bus taking us from the boarding room to the aircraft. It was about 3-5 minutes journey from the room to the aircraft. Everybody got their seat already and i sat next to elsa and stranger since i was in the middle seat (not convenient at all).

The flight took off from the land smoothly and yes it flew higher and higher. I brought my neck pillow with me so i could sleep better. Since i was very tired running to catch the time and the short sleep a night before made me fall more deeply to sleep. I couldn’t see any distraction to me. The flight finally arrived in Hongkong International Airport On time. The 5++ hours journey was very pleasant since i was sleeping all the time.

It was early morning (about 1 am local time). The airport was VERY GOOD, and it was warm enough for us. We connected our device to wifi there. And our devices connected to the wifi and the wifi was very good. We browsed about the temperature, and it was falling to 8 C outside but inside the airport was warmer. We all already prepared with our ‘coat’ and some against the cold. 

We decided to stay up in airport until the sun came since we had to save money and no bus running at that time. We wouldn’t spend money for accomodation that time. It was not only us staying inside the airport, some groups also decided to do the same. We occupied the seat which was convenient enough to sleep. And there were a lot of power socket to charge our device there. We wouldnt’t miss this chance, everybody had their devices charged.

enjoy the (not) show
It was so cool to stay up there. The carpet was smooth and clean enough. Even i lied on the floor instead of being in seated couch since it was good enough. Although inside the airport was warmer than outside, the temperature was still cold for us. We covered ourselves with tight jacket and gloves. We were still tropical person.

Everybody was sleeping but me because i had it before in-flight and they didn’t. I watched their belongings and did surfing to internet in the same time. It was really really good rest for us in teh airport. The airport was very clean, organized, and fancy. None disturbed us sleeping. Anyway, drinking water fountain was available just next to us. it was abundant in each corner of the airport, especially near the toilet. I was unsure about tap water there whether safe or or. But the drinking water fountain helped already to wet my throat. So, bottle ready when we are in Hong Kong International Airport! 

Elsa and Fachry chilling out

the charging plots, mind the sleepy head! hehe

Feel like home, catur?

Enggar and the cold?

Selasa, 25 Maret 2014

Before Sunset (HK-MCA-SZ part 2)

above the cloud

In my entire flight of JT960, I was all sleeping. I didn’t pay attention or even cared about what it would happen in-flight. Fachry sat just next to me and i was next to the window, yeaa i got a window seat

I was unsure whether the flight was good or not. The short sleep before bandung bound made me sleep so peacefully. I therefore woke up from my deep sleep (i was thinking that i had been voodooed to sleep all day). What made me wake up? Yeah the seat was uncomfortable enough, i meant that i already reached the uncomfortable state from the seat after about 45 mins sleeping. Just several minutes after waken up, i heard that the flight attendant announced that the flight would be shortly arriving. I stared to the window and saw the island, and i was pretty sure it was some part of Bali. It was wonderful above the cloud. Bali is paradise on earth.

Finally, we arrived in Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali. The IATA code is DPS (I assumed that it was diminutive of DENPASAR, the capital city of Bali) but it is not located in Denpasar, it is outside the city closed to Kuta. This was my first time to arrive in bali by air. I thought I would arrive in fancy airport since bali is tourist destination. Damn, all my expectations were all wrong. The domestic Terminal was terrible, or because it was under construction of extension of the airport. The floor was so dirty, no tunnel, like a low cost airport, and it didn’t look fancy at all.

I texted my old best friend, his name is SUHARTO (no pseudo-name here). I told him that i would arrive at 1200 in Bali. I switched off my phone during flight as what a good passenger. I completely forgot that i had a appointment to meet him. I was walking to go out from the airport to grab some foods. Suddenly i switched on my phone. I didn’t get any sms but whatsapp messages. I ignored my phone since fachry and I were so hungry. 

Along the way to exit the airport, many people offering us taxi ride, talking to us in javanese. We just ignored them and started deciding the restaurant we would have to eat. I immediately remember about my appointment and i checked my phone, and BINGOOOOO 5 SMS’s from Suharto. Oh Danggg, he waited for me and tried to call me, then he assumed that i canceled my flight to bali. My bad was i didn’t inform him about my flight number and when i was in Bandung. I decided to eat in Burger King and I started calling him to come to Airport. It was about 2pm local time. We had our lunch (a late lunch). And Suharto arrived at 3.15pm local time.

Considering about our flight HK at 2035 local time and i had to check in 2 hours prior the flight, at 1835, i only had very short time to roam the area of bali as I planned before. I talked a bit and introduced him to fachry. I was wasting time there by keeping thinking what i should do. Then i decided to leave the airport to see the sunset in Kuta, about 20 minutes drive (if not jamming). Then fachry wouldn’t join us, and he couldn’t join us as well since it was punishable if three people on motorbike ride. Suharto and I kept talking along the way to go to parking lot to unpark his motorbike. It was the first time after about 2 years we didn’t see each other. Suharto is the best friend i ever have in my life, he has very unique life that i cant even understand. He’s very humorous, bully-able (is it a word?), and so friendly.

It took about 10 minutes to unleash the bike from the lot, yeah it was a jam. I suddenly hopped into the bike and hit him to start the engine. Wrrrrrrrr we kept talking about what we did recently. I was surprised a lot with all his recent stories.  But i didn’t surprise him since i am a facebook active user, he could track so he basically knew my recent status. In the same time, i was quite worried about my flight. It was traffic Jam and suharto drove very carefully. I shouted at him to speed up, but we couldnt since the traffic was stuffed. I could dig it anyway.

beautiful kuta before sunset
Suharto told me about his unheard-by-me experiences when he was in Kalimantan, i will not write here anyhow, too long and i forgot already. The worry was still on. It was 4.20pm already and the sunset would appear at 6 instead. I was done. Okay i arrived in Kuta beach at 4.35pm and we looked for the lot to park our motor bike, and yes we found that. It was cloudy day, and the chance to see beautiful sunset was low. So i took several pictures and felt the sand of the beach for a while
failed to catch the sunset
We were in the beach for about 15 minutes and i decided to leave. I urged suharto to speed the walk and grab our motorbike. No idea where to go but airport, until suharto gave the best option, to see the bali’s first and only highway long the coast and mangrove area. That was brilliant. We drove, he actually, to the highway. It was built for APEC Conference 2013 to overcome the traffic along the bypass road. 

It was about to sunset and the scenery was breathtaking. For motorbike, we had to pay for 4000 Rupiah and for 4-and-more-wheeler was 10000 Rupiah. The journey to circle the highway was only 20 minutes and it started drizzling. For a minute i was speechless then i kinda celebrated the free me. I was shouting out loud for this awestruck moment. The most beautiful highway i ever see in whole my life. The gate was so bali, with barong and balinese art sculpture. I recommend to come to this highway and try a ride during the sunset. The sunset was almost as good as in kuta beach, but almost is never enough.

It was drizzling and we had to come to the airport as soon as possible. From the exit gate of highway it took about 10 minutes to the parking lot. And from the parking lot to the international terminal made me run for about 10 minutes. And to find the vacant lot for bike was so long, or seemed so long probably because i was in hurry. Then i was in so bad condition couldn't think clearly. I asked where the international terminal hurriedly and i left suharto behind. I felt bad then i waited for him and had him run after me.

I arrived in international terminal at 6.25pm and i read my phone there were several messages from friends of mine that already waited for me. And yeah i could make it on time.

the highway

entry gate of the highway

motor bike way

yes i am here

Catching Fire (HK-MCA-SZ part 1)

The trip was actually not planned before. It suddenly happened about a week before on-the-go. There was inaugural flight from Bali to hongkong from low cost carrier, Tiger Air Mandala for 0 Rupiah return (we just needeed to pay for fuel surcharge and terminal tax in HKIA, total for return ticket i paid for 300,000 IDR). So I thanked to my friend, Fachry for telling me about this. 

So this would not be going to be solo traveling as I did initially. We would go with 7 people. I just knew 2 of them, that would be a problem to me. The preparation to go there for the D-Day for me was really complicated, i was still busy with my stuffs and others were too. No exact plan and budgeting to do made this traveling just on-the-go. Hongkong was cold, reported about 9 C, which was very cold for tropical person like me.

Since the flight was from Bali to Hong Kong, I had to book flight ticket from Jakarta to Bali, after we, Fachry and I, sought for the cheapest flight, the choice was Lion Air, flight from Bandung (not Jakarta). We purchased online costing us 335,000 IDR (which was more expensive than my flight to HK return). The flight was scheduled to fly at 12.00 and it would take 1h45mins.

We, the 7 people, agreed to meet up in Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, so we basically had different flights to go to bali.  I went to bali with Fachry from Bandung. We took Van from depok to go bandung. It was early morning to take van to bandung. It would take us about 3 hours. Thanks to Aya Travel for takis us to bandung early morning at 5.30 am for 70,000 IDR.

I personally slept along the way to bandung since I was sleeping at 1 am and had to wake up at 5am. When I woke up, we already arrived in Bandung with a little baby traffic at 8 am, 30 mins faster. We were all empty, so we had to be all set before flying since the foods in-flight would cost us more. We had our heavy breakfast in Bandung for 9000 IDR each. We were done everything there, toook public transportation to the airport. It cost us 4000 IDR and took for 30 mins. We arrived in airport at 9.45 am.

WELCOME! Selamat Datang
I was so surprised with the airport, it is airforce airport equipped with all the dorms for the military. We had to walk a bit to get to the terminal. And finally I was there. The airport was suprisingly SMALL, the SMALLES International Airport I had ever seen, even smaller than Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Angeles City, The philippines.

The airport has only 1 terminal for both international and domestic flights. The check-in counters were all stuffed and looked very compact and congested with many passengers trying to check in. We were done all for this. FYI, it was my very first DOMESTIC FLIGHT, I was so happy and proud of myself to make this happen. Actually name on ticket was wrong and it as miss-typed, i was worried to not be able to check in or i needed to pay extra. However, Indonesia will always Indonesia, they didn’t pay attention about the name on ticket as long as i could provide them the correct ID card and the booking code written on ticket.

We were waiting in the airport lounge till the gate to board opened. There was one water gallon for hot and warm water for free, so I filled up my bottle with water there to prevent the in-flight dehydration. The announcement for passenger LION AIR JT960 to board was released through the loudspeaker. Frankly, the speaker worked terribly, we all passengers couldn’t hear properly  whether our flight or another  to board.
There was no tunnel from terminal to the aircraft, we had to walk across the land to the aircraft. For me, it was a bit far from the gate to the aircraft, and that was not ergonomics for elderly to walk to. I took several pictures along the way. We were seated based on the seat number we obtained when we checked in. The aircraft was full that time, and everybody was seated to their seat already.
Husein Sastranegara International Airport Main Building

Wuhuuuu, we were ready to fly!! Or we were supposed to fly at 1200 noon. However, the silly mistake was occurring. So actually there were two passengers who were not supposed to in-flight (that was i got from the announcement from the cabin crew). There was an argue in the aircraft from the official of LION AIR and those passengers. And surprisingly it took almost 1 Hour to solve this problem before it was actually flying. So it reminded me of MH370 MAS Airlines about two fake passengers, and it could be possible. Everything was done, everybody was murmuring complaining a lot about this. Yah, as long as i could catch up the flight to Hongkong i wouldn’t mind.

People had to walk more than 75 meters to reach the aircraft

Rabu, 12 Maret 2014

I am Home:The Phlippines (March 2013)

So i posted this quite late, but i would like to share about my first days in the Philippines.

I arrived in Clark's Diosdado Macapagal International airport, in Pampangan, about 2 hours drive north of Manila.And I was welcomed by my very warm-hearted and super nicely friendly local, Darby.

I know him from couchsurfing. I sent a request to stay in his house for a night and he was ok with my request. He detailed all the explanation about how to reach him and when and where to meet. I met him in the Mall in Pampanga.

We introduced ourselves and before we headed to his house he asked me to join him shopping for foods. I was so excited to join with local to shop. Actually I was hungry since i didn't get any meals (meals mean rice for me :p ) just grabbed bread while waiting for him. Actually he was 23 and i was about too turn 22 that time. i am struggling to pursue my bachelor degree but he is already working in very nice place in government for SME program (CMIIW). The first thing that awed me.

What we purchased in the super market? (i didn't buy any from there anyway. only he did). He bought some seasonings to cook and vegetables. Then in the midst of shopping he showed me the 'java rice' derived from java island in Indonesia (when i live) and rice. They call that one because they think it's originally from there. I'll tell you what the java rice is later in Javanese's view.

We were all done shopping, time to go back home! (his home). Before we went to small money changer stall in the local market, so surprised that they even had money changer in this place, then i was thinking about the abundant of balikbayan. We rode a tricycle (pronounced traih-seeh-kohl) to reach his home. it was motor tricycle, and it took about 8 minutes to reach his house. a bit near but he told me that he thought i might be tired so he didn't want to ask me to walk. And to be hones, i was so tired but i pretended to be ok. 

Oh finally, home in local filipino. I met Mrs. Bognot who opened the door for us. She was very nice mom and friendly. She's definitely mommy. Darby handed over the stuffs he bought to his Mom. We talked a bit about where i was from, my activity, bl bl blaaaa. Then he asked me to wait a moment while she will cook for our dinner. I was so happy to have that one, dinner with local family. But i know it wouldn't take 5 minutes to prepare and cook the all. So I chilled out in living room, put off all my bags to the floor. I was still unsure where i would sleep that night.

Darby was going upstairs to change his working attire then he went downstairs. He asked me to join him seeing around the city. He has hobby for jogging and running (which is those are not me, i am not that physical fit hehehe). Okay we went out the door started roaming the road in the dusk. A few minutes later we passed intersection with under reconstruction food eateries mall. He told me about how the young people spent their night in weekend. We continued jogging (actually walking) to see his University. His uni looked small compared to mine, but it was the best uni in that province (i guessed) and nice church he and his family belong to.

We were quite tired then we stopped for young coconut. He bought me a plastic of sweetened young coconut water, for 10 Pesos. We walked after several minutes we met a child beggar, she begged to us (and i was saying inside that she was begging to the wrong person). Suprisingly, Darby gave his unfinished drink and i gave nothing. I was thinking it was rude to give that, then  it turned out that it was normal in the philippines. You cant do that in Indonesia,, here the beggars dont want anything but money only. enough with that surprised, we stopped again to fish ball stall to buy that street snacks, i was loving that snack, cheap and delicious.

We ventured back to home, and actually i was getting hungrier than before and hoped for the dinner soon. We arrived home and surprised, the dinner was not yet ready hahahaha. Then okay I stopped thinking about dinner, i thought about where to sleep. Then darby invited me to go upstairs and asked me to bring all my belongings but shoes down. Yeah, that the place i slept, darby's private room. I'll say that his room was very cool. not that big but enough for everything. very well-packed, sophisticated but simple. I still remember that room. He gave me additional mattress  for me to sleep. we talked a bit and just to-knot-each-other time. His mom then called out to go to dinning room to have dinner. Anyway, his father was home too. Mr. Bognot was so friendly as well, less talkative, looked firm but nice.

The foods were ready! Mrs. Bognot served us the steamed rice, chicken (with curry and it was not spicy), stirred fried eggplant, and java rice! She asked me about Java rice. So Java rice in the philippines is Rice cooked with special seasoning that makes it yellowish look and it tastes like 'nasi goreng jawa' in Indonesia. So basically we call it Fried Rice here in Indonesia.

Mrs. Bognot was TV series lover. She has very good knowledge and very nice to talk to. We were done with all the dinning, it was late time to go to bedroom. 

So it was time to sleep!! No I mean. Darby was very smart guy. He knew almost everything I knew but i knew few what he knew. There was no dull in our conversation. We decided to watch a movie from my laptop, so we watched Hindi movie called ENGLISH VINGLISH, and I think he must have loved that movie. We talked about random things so there was no dull of use till the time clicked to 1 am, he had to work in the morning so time to officially sleep.