Saturday, 30 May 2009

Jakarta Dawn

View from my window at the Ritz Carlton Kuningan. Note the yellow/brown pollution haze. free wireless in the Jakarta International airport unlike its counterpart in Singapore.

I like to arrive at an airport early, giving me plenty of time and allowing for the vagaries of traffic. Today it took about an hour getting from my hotel in the relatively secure diplomatic enclave of East Jakarta to the international airport. This is quite a commendable amount of time as this same journey can take up to three hours or more.

There is a certain seediness (should that be tiredness?) about the terminal. It matches the laidback lethargy of the small shop owners in the concourse.

The contents of these shops are an eclectic mix of large dried shark fins, mango confectionery and hand dyed fabrics all of which are quoted in $US.

I of course am left with a handful of Indonesian Rupiah – 28,000 to be exact. To the uninitiated this may seem like a princely sum but it in fact only four Singapore dollars. Not that I am planning to pack a large shark’s fin into my carry-on luggage

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