City of rain fails to deliver (no complaints here)

Trip Start Oct 31, 2009
1
42
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Trip End Feb 25, 2010


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Where I stayed
Wisma Bukuan

Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Out plane dives down through the thunderstorm and pulls up in Jakarta airport about 10.30pm.  First stop is to purchase an on arrival visa.  I am given mine no questions asked - Mark obviously looks suss and is given the 3rd degree because he has no return air ticket to prove he will not outstay his welcome (E- ticket as yet unprinted being it is not needed for another 4 weeks).  Grudgingly the appropriate paper is pasted into his passport.

At immigration he is stopped again for the same reason and this guy is not so easily persuaded that we are not intending to set up home here.  He sends us to the information desk to prove we have an outbound plane booked.  Sadly the info desk has no internet facilities so the simple option of logging onto our email is denied.  One of the staff members obligingly wanders off to the Air Asia offices with our reference number to confirm we are not terrorists/ migrants.  20 minutes later he comes back with our printed confirmation - result!

At least this means no more queues seeing as everyone else was passed through a while ago.  Nor do we have to wait for our luggage - which is piled up on the unmoving belt with a couple of security guys eying it warily as though it had been abandoned.

Sleep is still one and a half hours away - we get a taxi to Bogor directly from the airport rather than spend the night in busy, smelly (reputedly anyway!) Jakarta.   Sri Lankan mattresses were one step up from the inch thick boards of India, and Indonesian ones are an improvement yet again.  We fall asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow (literally) - 41 hours since the last time we met a bed.

Bogor has the dubious claim to fame of having over 300 thunder storms a year and is dubbed the 'city of rain' by Indonesians and the guidebooks.  When we head out to explore the next morning we take umbrellas, macs etc in case it lives up to its reputation.

Bogor's draw (apart from not being Jakarta) are the fantastic botanical gardens at the city centre.  We spend most of the afternoon wandering around these - eating and hiding in the lovely cafe when the black clouds loom.  The cafe is exciting because it has something called a 'menu' with more than 3 dishes advertised (and rice and curry is not one of them).  This confuses us greatly and it takes quite a while for decisions on what to order to be made...

Somehow the weather manages to stay dry and we get the chance to wander around the city.  It is exciting to see all the new types of transport which await us - bemo (mini buses), bechak (cycle rickshaws with the passanger bit in front of the 'driver') and pony and cart among others.  The 3 wheeled food stalls looks and smell enticing - sate and soup seem to be specialities as well as rice and noodles ofcourse.  There is a busyness and bustle we were missing in Sri Lanka which bodes well for the rest of the cities we will visit.

 
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Comments

Sylvia Williment on

Mark obviously looks very suspicious. Enjoy Indonesia and the satay!

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