Thursday, June 19, 2008
Singapore To Jakarta
Leaving Singapore Changi Airport on Friday was not an opportune a timing for us Muslims.
We had to skip the afternoon Friday mass prayers since the Qatar QR638 flight was at 2:35PM on a weekday.
The normal big group of family members who finds any reason to gather together for a big send-off was non-existent this time. Only my youngest brother and his family came to drive our parents from their home to the airport.
That short flight to Jakarta was not an ideal one if given a choice.
Being a transit flight from Dubai, each of our seats were scattered around. Fortunately our parents got their seats together.
The flight was a 200-odd Indonesian maids-strong who were heading home after finishing their stints in Riyadh and Dubai.
The first day of the trip was nothing memorable at all. I could sense the rush for our meals to be served and for the passengers to eat before it was time for the plane to start descending.
Oh yes, I will always remember this one. I was aghast to witness for the first time in my traveler-life, a passenger seated beside me spitting on the carpeted floor of the plane while seated!
Sonny was not so lucky either. Seated behind me, he was very trying to swallow his meal while both ladies seated on both sides of him puking for the most of the flight into the air-sick bags.
It was a relief to get our of the plane. Jakarta, however greeted us with a massive traffic jam. A daily, twice-a-day peak-hour workweek event. As the tour guide mentioned, a 20 minutes journey would take about a hour during peak hours.
We took 3 hours to reach our hotel, but before that, dinner... Padang style was waiting for us. Notice the numerous dishes served stacked-up on the table. Tea was normally served at meal times.
After dinner, we get to "renew" our wedding vows and posed on the Minangkabau Wedding Dias specially for the Salero Jumbo Padang Restaurant customers.
We got to sleep the night at a beautiful and modern Hotel Cempaka... excited but also bracing for the long journeys ahead.
The mini-coach was to be our home for the whole of the Java Overland Tour, while each of the hotels became just a nightly affair to rest our tired bones in.
To be continued...