Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jakarta, Indonesia

So I hinted earlier that I had just come back from Jakarta which was actually a pretty interesting place to visit.  Indonesia is surprisingly large and Jakarta is very heavily populated.  There is something like 9.5 million people living in the city.
To get there I went from Hartford to Chicago to Hong Kong to Jakarta, this can be bad enough on it's own but with a tight connection in Hong Kong and mechanical issues in Chicago it is worse.  We missed the connection and did an overnight in HK.  The Hotel is actually connected right to the airport terminal which is very handy.  To put it simply, this place is huge! 

 This is the hotel airport lobby at 3 AM and later in the day.  I had wicked jet lag so I went to the gym which you can see below.  The gym was empty except one other American who was in the same situation.
As you can see it is rated the best airport hotel in the world...  it was pretty handy.... and pretty cool.

So after I got in a serious fight with the airlines the next morning as they tried to delay my flight again, I finally made it to Indonesia.  The airport was pretty crazy and uncoordinated.  It was more of a mob than lines trying to get through security and Customs.
It takes 3.5 seconds to get a Visa in Indonesia, just pay them $25 and they hand you a Visa.  Pretty handy.

We were greeted by a company car because the plan was to head directly to the factory.  A new Toyota van was brought around and I was surprised that it literally didn't have a heater.  It also only has a cassette deck, no CD. 
I guess I just thought all cars had heaters, but, I guess not here.  Maybe because it is always sweltering hot.

This is basically what the skyline looks like.  Overall, it is pretty dirty and nasty and mostly a free-for-all on the roads.

The streets are all lined by these food carts that have anything from soda to fruit and other local foods.   TONS of people on motorcycles.  Now keep in mind, it's like 90+ degrees outside and some of them are wearing winter type coats.  WTF?
Also note that the cars are only inches apart.  That black jeep nearly took off our mirror as he drove past.
Below you can see one of the other modes of transport, the 3-wheeler.  Indonesia has this awesome "lifted" version which I think is pretty awesome.

 Now for my usual shots of the workout facilities.  This is the gym and pool at the hotel.  Overall, not too bad and they agreed to open it early for me.  All workouts as usual resulted in people standing and staring at me.  I'm totally used too this now and try to give them something to do, like get me a towel or water or something.  I'm not very muscular now that I stopped lifting, but anywhere over seas, I'm a giant compared to them.  Good for my ego, bad for privacy. 

So in the end, I won't be going to Jakarta on vacation anytime soon.  But I hear Bali is nice...