Mind your 'pees' and 'effs'
Getting to Singapore was an adventure, if new experiences can be described as such.
$35 is a remarkably low fare for a flight lasting about an hour and a half, so I really mustn't grumble. The check-in guy gave me my favourite seat, the one with a window and extra legroom because it's by the emergency exit. I settled in, looked for an in-flight magazine, but Jatayu
only bother with a catalogue of tat with their logo on.
But then an officious stewardess insisted that I move. Why? Because I wear glasses and wouldn't, therefore, be able to open the emergency exit door, a complicated matter of moving one catch up and another one down. Well, I wasn't going to make a fuss, so I swapped places and watched as my replacement sat in my place and put on a pair of glasses to read the obligatory guide to opening doors. He then proceeded to pray as we taxied and took off. I don't think he had flown much before.
I read the stewardess' name tag: TRAINEE.
I jumped into a taxi as soon as we'd disembarked. A short distance down the road, the middle-aged driver decided to practice his English.
"Mister has big penis?"
"I like ... ", pointing to my groin and making slurping noises.
"Shut up and get me to the port, pronto," I said in my best bahasa.
As we approached the entrance, he turned to me and said quickly, "Onefousandfarkin".
"Eh? Do what?"
He said it again, slower.
Oh, Rp.1,000 for parking.
My Singapore itinerary was somewhat pre-determined by the need to spend time with some friends. She has just had massive surgery and they both have to come to terms with an uncertain future. P., on 'exceptional leave' needed a few pints and a chance to talk whilst caring for Rachel aged eighteen months.
is the place for a toddler, pedestrianised, lots of fascinating shops with goodies to touch and the occasional Thomas the Tank Engine
ride. And for Dads at play, there is Brewerkz
, a pub with real
beer. I wholeheartedly recommend a pint or two of their IPA. Rachel also enjoyed my Caesar Salad, but I ended up with her helium-filled balloon.
And so my visa was collected without complications and I made my way to Changi Airport
where the only flight with available seats was Singapore Airlines
SQ261. Pricey, but absolutely no hassle, just like Singapore in fact.
Jakartans visiting there can only marvel at the way motorists give way to pedestrians and pedestrians will marvel at the wide sidewalks/pavements. And I can only wish for the ease of Internet access, especially at each departure gate of the airport. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to post this; I'd spent my last remaining minutes and Singapore dollars in the Duty Free.
Still, it was nice to get home, to distribute the oleh-oleh
to 'er indoors and our kid. It wasn't nice to download the 100 odd spam e-mails stockpiled by Indosat or to read the following comment: As you are against inequalities of wealth, would you be prepared to receive the average Indonesian salary as opposed to your fat expat salary?
Posted by Anonymous to Jakartass at 9/14/2004 03:36:21 PM
You know who you are 'Anonymous', but you obviously don't know me. I have never received a 'fat' salary, a house, 'hardship' allowances (including car, driver and sundry servants), membership of executive clubs etc. etc. Read my archives for the fuller picture of where I stand. And do me and the Jakartass readers the courtesy of making it possible to respond openly.
There, that feels better.