Arrival in Jakarta – via Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur

174I’m happy to report I arrived safe and sound in Indonesia. Not comfortably so, unfortunately – I flew KLM again. And again, the flight from Frankfurt was somewhat delayed. At least I got to talk to a nice American dude on the KLM Cityhopper to Amsterdam.

I did meet up with my buddy Arjan in Amsterdam. That’s always fun, although we had less time this time.

180

177When I went for the flight to Malaysia, KLM again didn’t manage to improve my impression of them. When the passengers wanted to board KL0809 to Kuala Lumpur, they had to delay the boarding for about 40 minutes because the inside of the plane was simply too hot. Shouldn’t they know beforehand that they’ll be using this plane? I figure they might have had a change in aircraft, of course, but still.

183I was a little more lucky with the people around me than [last time](/2006/01/22/arrival-in-malaysia/), with a nice lady with a strange name right next to me. A word of advice though: Don’t eat KLM’s pasta in flight. The chicken was pretty good, however.

The flight to Kuala Lumpur was very rough and when I got out of the plane I was aching all over. There was definitely a storm on the horizon of KUL, but it didn’t delay our flight to Jakarta.

186Overall the flight to Jakarta was uneventful, except that I must mention that this Geek crossed the equator for the first time in his life on Saturday, June 24th 2006 at 11:00 CEST. I didn’t fall off the Earh, and people really don’t walk upside down here.

161We arrived in Jakarta at about 17:00 local, and I had to wait for about half an hour at the “Visa on Arrival” counter. Most of it in darkness, until someone finally invented electricity after a while. While I was waiting, my Indonesian host had already found someone who told her to call him next time she had to arrange a visa for someone. I’m pretty sure he didn’t offer this out of altruism.

The visa guys had considerable problems with my passport. The machine readable part didn’t scan right. Instead of simply typing in the information they tried for at least five minutes (much to the joy of everybody queued up behind me). I already had this problem when I went to [Detroit](/category/travelogue/detroit-2006/); I’ll have to look into it.

The actual immigration counter was another source of joy. They checked my passport and everything and then the girl asked: “Do you have your ticket?”

Well, I am a source of honesty. I could have given her my confirmation printout from KLM, which is in German. But that isn’t an actual ticket. So, truthfully, I replied “Not really, because it’s an electronic ticket.”

She looked at me with a stern face. “Well, it’s okay. But next time, make sure you have all your papers.” I rolled my eyes a little. I guess she doesn’t understand the concept of electronic tickets. She stamped my passport and let me in. I guess not many Germans try to illegally immigrate to Indonesia anyway.

189When we finally got out at about close to 18:00 it was really dark outside – almost like late fall in Europe. At first I was surprised; you associate the tropics with heat and heat with the summer and in the summer it’s bright for a long time in the evening. But I guess it makes sense; we’re about 1h from the Equator and it is summer in the northern part of Earth. With a 12h day under “optimum” conditions, we end up with a 10h day now. I now also understand Sara’s amazement some years ago when she first learned from me that we have daylight until 22:00 in the summer.

It still takes getting used to.

We were picked up at the airport and brought to the hotel; I’ll be speaking about the Hotel Ancol Raddin in a separate post. We didn’t do much more the first night, except order some food – and then fall asleep.

_Update, July 11th 2006:_ I’ve elaborated the posting a little.

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