Friday, June 11, 2010

Weekend @ Jakarta

It was a last minute decision of mine to go to Jakarta in Indonesia to attend a wedding of a friend. Last minute because I decided during my lunch break at Passionz - a resto which sells wines but has this sideline of serving lunches, and the wedding was going to happen on weekend. Kay got me a ticket round-trip to Jakarta for around 150SGD via TigerAirways.

I did not have a decent pair of shoes so after the office hours, I went to Anchor Point to buy two pairs at Pedro and also purchased 4 polo shirts are G2000. They were actually factory outlet shops so there you can get some huge discounts up to 70% if I am not mistaken. Shopping in Singapore is crazy if you know where to buy....

When I reached home, I had to stay a bit late to iron my stuff to bring and pack them up. I slept around 2A.M and my flight schedule was at 11AM, 5th of June. I had to set an alarm at 8AM. I actually woke up very early, before my alarm did its job because of the lawn mowers - simply put they were waking up the whole village. Anyway, I went to the sala, and watched some Filipino news and as usual, it was about the Philippine elections dominating the scene. My housemate told me that my alarm was already calling so I jumped off the couch and got my towel. I was in a bit of a hurry because I don't want to be left behind from my flight. I went out from our flat at around 8:45 and was walking to the MRT. Taxis will prove expensive and I thought I still had time to commute through Singapore's very effective public transport. Kay was actually checking on me already and informed her where I was. When I arrived at the airport, it was already 10 and I had to wait for the bus. Kay was calling me through my mobile but I was not able to answer it so I called her up. She was asking where I was and told her that I was on a free shuttle going to the budget terminal. When I arrived at the airport, the TigerAirways' counter was closed so it was like she closed it when I arrived. When she tried to get my ticket and opened the booking system, she said it was already closed so I was advised to transfer to another counter. I went there and I explained to the lady that I was told to transfer in this counter. I was talking a bit shaky because I might just miss my flight. The girl who seemed to be irritated took my printed e-ticket and told me that next time I should come early. Well, it was my fault actually so I did not say anything. I was just so thankful she let me in. When I was done, we then went inside the checking for immigration and boarding. My friends actually checked some stuff at Duty Free and Miri who will be playing host was eating breakfast. After everyone got ready, we went to our boarding area and there was a long queue. The flight was a short 1 hour and 30 minutes - no need to worry or anything. We boarded and since I was late, I was on the front area and my friends were at the back near the tail end. I don't exactly know the terms of the plane's passenger seating sections so forgive me about that :)) .... Anyway, the crew distributed some peanuts as a snack. Then some immigration card. The crew asked me if I was Singaporean and told him not. So he gave me a card which was in Bahasa Indonesia. When he came back as he was finished distributing the cards up to the passengers located at the tail-end of the plane, I called him up and asked him something that's English. He asked me where I come from and I showed him my passport. He then said sorry and gave me the English translation of the immigration card. Since I did not have the pen in me, I went at the back to borrow a pen from Ronny. I went to my seat and forgot to wear my seatbelt. I then filled up the info which was asked of me from the form and then the co-pilot announced of the turbulence ahead. So I fastened my seatbelt quickly and there the plane just had a slight free fall. Imagine that you are on a ferris wheel and on descend. It did not happen ones, but twice and the kids behind me screamed and most of the passengers just said "wooooooooohhh" word. Well as for me, my skin shivered including my gut, and my heart was pounding. I felt my stomach separated from my body and my thoughts were shooting off as well, calling for Jesus and saying shit. I was also thinking of my way back to Singapore if it's going to be the same. I just imagined that the angels of God were flying with us thought he plane's wings. Anyway, after some turbulence, everything normalized but I was still shaking a bit from the inside. Was very thankful when we landed safe and sound. Indonesian airport looked so big and simple and has a unique Indonesian design. It was an airport with a taste.

When we had our passports checked, the immigration guy was curious about my doing business in their country so he asked me questions. I just explained to him what we will be doing and good thing he believed me. When we got out of the airport, we had to change some SGD to the local curry which is the Indonesian Rupiah. Miri's dad was actually waiting for us. After some few minutes his dad was there and we greeted each other and then shook hands. Miri's family car was big enough to suit our luggages and bags and ofcourse including us. We were a bit hungry and tired so, we went to thing Indonesian resto to fill our stomach. I had fun with the food which was totally different with what we ate back to my home country. I have tried authentic Indonesian food in Bali and the one in Jakarta was different as well.

After the lunch we had, we decided to go to the mall and shop. I think Jakarta is a nice city, not that crowded as Manila and much cleaner than Bangkok. Also, we Filipinos looked a bit Indonesian so we blended in a bit. I got two game cds and one nice jacket with a fur. Bud did not have much to buy as well as Kay. Patty bought an Indonesian dress which she planned to wear on Sunday's affair. After roaming around the mall, we met Yudi, Ron's friend from the university as well as Miri's at BIT. After the mini shopping, we went to starbucks to have some coffee, but I had a green latte. All our drinks was on upsize because, Yudi paid it with his credit card - no, the drinks were not free hundred percent coz we paid Yudi :D. By the way, Miri was not with us during the shopping thing coz they had to somewhere else with her parents. After having some break, we went to Miri's house. It was an hour long drive. When we reached home, it was a nice place to stay and the people were very accommodating especially Miri's parents. They invited us for a mini break actually. I had to change clothes because later we will be going out for dinner. After some few minutes of putting our stuff, we prepared for dinner. We went to the city proper and had dinner by the seaside. It was a huge place to dine. There was music and lots of people enjoying their food and the little rascals were everywhere. Miri's dad ordered a lot of food and since we had to wait, we went to a boat ride. It was a fun experience I supposed because I haven't had a boat ride before a dinner to be prepared. After the short, 20 minute ride I guess, we went back to our table and the food were ready. We tasted some nice Indonesian style of preparing seafood. It was really fattening and we enjoyed it. After dinner, we went out for a walk and some exploring of the area. After some cam whoring, we went back to Miri's home. Everyone was a bit tired and bloated I think ....

We woke up and prepared for Fitri's wedding. The girls went to the salon and the boys just worked their turf. I had breakfast together with Miri's dad and Ronny we had a small talk but their are times that they talk in Indonesian so I just pretended I was not listening. But they would translate it into English so that was very considerate of them. When the girls were finished with their salon, and had their breakfast, everyone was ready especially the boys. All the girls were in a western style dress except for patty who wore an Indonesian native dress and a hairstyle of a Javanese. We went to Fitris wedding once once everyone was ready and we arrived their at around 12 or early 1PM. Muslim wedding is totally different and it was fun appreciating cultures. Fitri and her beloved half wore clothes which were in gold and adorned with gold. There were plentiful of food to try. I had fun with the desserts as usual, I loved the mini sweets and some tarts. After the wedding reception, we went to this chic mall. It was a mall with a theme and it housed some of the very famous designer brands. We had coffee with some newly met Indonesian friends and had some bit of chit-chats. After that, we decided to go back to Miri's place. When we arrived, and as for me, I went to bed without changing .... I think Kay told me that they had some cam whoring. When I woke up, it was again eating time and some fun talk of cultures. It was about food, language but yeah mostly food.... All I can say is that Miri's family was amazing, my impression on them was they were really nice and wonderful people. I was so thankful of the experience I had in Jakarta together with my friends who are also my officemates at Gemalto. After that simple dinner, we prepared a bit for our flight back to Singapore. It was another long ride and good thing there was a smooth traffic. We came to the airport just on time and as usual we were like children just laughing and seemingly carefree of the world.

Well thanks to Miri and her family for being so wonderful and made our stay in Jakarta truly amazing :D

To the next adventures, bring it on!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

iPhone 4, can I have one ?

Another run for the money tech gadget....



Can I have one?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Smoking, Smokin', or smoKING ?

Yeah whatever you call it, it still is a health hazard -smoking. What's outrageous about is that, a young boy in Indonesia was condoned to doing it. Young boy would mean at the age of 18 months and since, has gotten an addiction. Watch this:



What do you think?

Aside from the parents who has the sole responsibility, it should also include the government. This does not include just in Indonesia, but to the rest of the countries who care for their loved ones and their people.

In the Philippines, smoking is really cheap and even if there is a law banning youngsters to not engage in this activity and a law banning smoking in public places, people would just shrug off and care less. For me I would not mind if they don't blow the smoke to somebody else if smokers inhaling everything, but it's not just the case. Maybe a deterrent is to tax these vices higher (200 - 500%).

Anyway, goodluck to everyone smokers and non-smokers alike - whose going to stand long ....