Friday, November 19, 2010

Travel log - Jakarta

Gentle readers....

It is with great smugness that I report that not only am I safe and well in Jakarta, my conference hotel is located smack bang in one of the largest theme parks in South East Asia! The smugness fades slightly when I realise that a) I am not much of a person for rides and roller coasters and b) I'm stuck in the conference all day anyway!

So got to Jakarta nice and early and the first thing that happened was me zooming into Dunkin' Donuts and gorging on a sinful portion of double-chocolate-peanut butter delight. Um.

The second thing was that I nearly got suckered by an airport tout. The dude slithered oilily up to me and offered to show me around. Despite my polite "no thank you"s he continued to ooze along next to me and then offered to push my trolley. After another "no thanks" he grabbed the trolley from me, saying smarmily that he was an "airport worker". I was equally determined not to let go, and I'm sure we provided much comic relief as we both pushed a single (not very big) trolley towards the Garuda airline office (where my booking needed some adjustment). Half way there I got his whole (very boring) family history and an offer to take me to my hotel "very cheap".

Happily the Garuda thing was taking so long that I turned to him and said "go away". At which point he opens his palm, smiled oilily again and says "my tip!!". I kept shaking my head stubbornly and he kept saying "tip, tip" until I finally lost it, waved my arms around and reminded him I said "no thanks". He slithered away in a huff, as people, including the Garuda ladies started to stare. But hey, I'm a foreigner. I'm allowed to be eccentric.

I felt mildly guilty afterwards and compensated by tipping both the driver who took me to my hotel and the porter who brought up my bags about 5000 IDR each. My satisfaction evaporated somewhat when I realised (much later) that the tip was not enough even to buy a dunkin' donut (7000IDR).

Ah well.

And for those who requested pics...

I didn't want to take many food pics in the middle of the conference... would seem so godey as if no food in Sri Lanka. Couldn't resist the fruits though!! Notice the 6 different kinds of fruit... and the single lonesome lurid pink pudding... which tasted of pink gelatin, and nothing else. Almost everyone opted for the fruit, in stark contrast to SL where there will be 6 different kinds of pudding and a fruit salad. No wonder we have so many diabetics...

The Rector's office at Universitas Indonesia. The campus is HUGE sprawled over 700 acres with one entrance being in Jakarta and the other one in Western Java! There are 45,000 students enrolled at the moment... wow!

Faculty of Public Health. Each faculty has been built to reflect the architechture of a designated province of Indonesia. A walk or drive around the campus means that you will see different types of buildings from quiant to ultra modern. Notice also the manicured lawn. The university theme is "green campus" and it was adopted in 1987, long before "green" became a fashionable catchphrase.

Corridor in airport... notice all the woodcarvings!

OK peeps, me off to bed. Wish me luck for my presentations!!


Anonymous said...

Good luck on your presentation and congratulations:)
What field is the conference on?

Chavie said...

OMG, that university looks awesome! :D Would be wonderful to study in a place like that.

LOL about the airport dude and the inflation. I'm sure pretty soon we'll be paying 7k for donuts too. ;) And as for the theme park... I can't believe you didn't ride the ROLLER COASTER! :(

Knatolee said...

Hooray, you got there after all! Too bad you couldn't get to Yogyakarta (sp) though. We loved that spot on our honeymoon. I wonder how much things have changed in Indonesia since our honeymoon in '93?

The food looks FABULOUS! Have a great time.

Beautiful university!

Hoot-a-Toot said...

Good Luck!!! By now I am sure you would have presented it! Remember me? ;)...So sorry I haven't dropped in on you or my blog for that matter. Did managed to update it today though and hopefully will blog more often. Missed you! Glad to see you are having fun!

santhoshi said...

Nice angel! good to hear from you. Have fun!

santhoshi said...

How was the presentatino angel?

Dee said...

anee how come i didnt see this!! GOOD LUCK ANGEY! ummma!

Me-shak said...

WOW! I agree with Chavie. The Uni looks great. Would have been super to have been there. Lovely pictures. Keep em coming :)