I was awake. Yes, at what folk throughout the world, apart from here in the world's most populous Muslim country and a few others similarly inclined, would call an ungodly hour, I was awaiting my ride. No, not a taxi this time, but a Suzuki Carry with driver.
I was ready and apparently so was he. Except that the major roads into town from East and South, and from east and south of, were totally snarled up. I needed to go against the flow out of town, but he had to come with it to fetch me.
I wondered if this was a result of the ill-thought out change of school hours, with parents motoring in to drop their offspring off at school gates before 6.30.
I also wonder if the just ended visit by the British Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell was affected. He might have viewed his visit as an opportunity to build further the strong relationship between the UK and Indonesia, but maybe he and his entourage actually caused a traffic jam or two. Nonentities like yours truly are regularly held up whilst roads are blocked so that the higher ups get an uninterrupted ride.
Not that Bill was here to have a natter about infrastructure. Nope, he had more important things on his agenda such as counter terrorism, co-operation, climate change and regional issues such as Burma.He also delivered a keynote speech on the UK's Foreign Policy in the Middle East at the Centre for Dialogue and Co-operation amongst Civilisations (CDCC) in Jakarta, an organisation I'd never heard of. (Just what is a civilisation, eh?)
As well as meeting members of the Indonesian government, including Foreign Minister Dr Hassan Wirajuda, he met representatives from civil society, opinion formers and political commentators to discuss a wide range of issues.
Jakartass wasn't invited.
Neither do I expect to be invited to meet the wife of another Bill when she drops by next week.
Yep, the new US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, is arriving on Sunday, when the traffic is lightest.
According to Hassan Wirajuda, "the United States mention the importance of Indonesia as the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, one that upholds the values of democracy, human rights and pluralism."
I must say that it's good that Indonesia can project such a positive image given the widespread cynicism that seemingly pervades the populace.
Of course, their number excludes me.
However, Jakartans may be interested in a rather shallow interview in the newly launched English-language daily, the Jakarta Globe,.of ex-Jakarta Governor Sooty who served two unelected terms, latterly with current Governor Fuzzy Bodoh as his deputy.
What issues do you feel were not taken care of during that time?
The two main issues are transportation and flooding. Many people are not aware that there are problems in the capital that the city can’t solve on its own, because so many parties involved in the debate are dependent on each other. Take transportation, for example. Why do we still have problems with gridlock? Apart from the fact that there are far too many cars in Jakarta, 650,000 people commute into the capital every day from other cities. We need to build a large-scale public transportation system that can help people get into the city from outlying areas.
He also says, alluding to his campaign to be Indonesia's next president, "If you want to learn to lead the country, you have to learn to lead the capital."
So, that's one candidate who's ruled himself out.
Thomas Belfield has written an update of last year's post in Thoughts Outside The Indonesian Box about what he'd do if he were Jakarta Governor. I'm going to send copies to Sooty and Fuzzy.And vote for TB.
However, what I'd really like to know is, will Hilary meet old friend James Riady whilst she's here?
And what oleh-oleh (souvenirs) should she take home for Barack Obama?