Sunday, 24 January 2010

Jakarta Airport and a few other stories

The king is dead long live the king. Now thats a thrilling way to star this weeks review of life out here. Why, well on Friday I finished my contract with EF and I start my new on Monday. What better way to spend the weekend celebrating that going to the airport twice to meet new teachers. Great.

Its been a funny week really. I have had loads to do, held meetings and discussions and have tried to remain positive throughout. The conference was a real morale boost and made me feel that there is more to do and it can be done quickly and fluidly and the teachers will support and enjoy the challenges ahead. Good.

I got the bike services free of charge as its part of the guarantee so that was good. The best thing is that some of the guys on my business class also have Jupiter MX bikes and so at least half of a lesson in the week was purely based on questions about the bike, why it wont start, why it uses too much fuel and all sorts. I was relieved to hear that I was not alone and despite the bike being quick and cool it is thirsty and a little reluctant to start in the mornings. Which is pretty much just like me!!!
My private business class was also interesting, 3 hours in a coffee shop then dinner and lots of talk about carbon trading and the killers. My student was very excited about the fact they were coming to Hong Kong next week. Notice how I said were. They cancelled. He is not a happy bunny. I dont blame him.
Lots of big rain and thunder this week and the floods have been less but the traffic has been terrible, mind I have been getting to work at different times in the day. Next week 9.30 am every day. Boo....
There are lots of weather predictions that there will be huge rains this coming week into February and the floods will really begin. I am ready. Bring it on.
My landlady delivered an AC unit and fan minus remote control (nothing ever is 100%) on Friday and then the fitters said they cant fit it as the electric is on the wrong side. So close yet so far away. Lucky I am used to the heat and the sweat otherwise I would be annoyed!
Friday was my last day of my contract. To celebrate it I did nothing out of the ordinary just teach and prepare for 2 teachers who will start next week and teach.
So Saturday I was free man, this meant that I did not have to anything. So I volunteered to pick the teachers up. No sweat.
Yovita and I went to JCO at Central Park in the morning and ate doughnuts and surfed the internet while we waited for the driver to come and get us. Then once the rain stopped and he arrived we went off to Terminal 3 at the airport to meet the first new teacher.
T3 is a lovely terminal, bright and clean and full of the things you want. JCO! Starbucks and ATMS. Hopefully the teacher too. Having got there a tad early (which is something I always seem to do) we settled down in Starbucks for a coffee and waited.
The flight from Bail arrived 10 mins early. So that was good news and so we went and waited and waited and waited for the new guy. 40 mins later. No. No-one, so I sms my boss to let her know and then we went to the Air Asia office. In Indonesia you can telephone an international airline and they will normally tell you who is on the flight so you have a good idea that the new teacher is coming. Air Asia is normally crap with departure times, information and again in this case refusing to tell me anything. But they could confirm the flight had landed. This interestingly was totally the opposite that Air Asia help desk knew. They told my boss that the flight was still in Bali and was delayed. Fantastic. What a cock up by everyone.
Then I had a phone call from the new teacher who was waiting for me to get him, After a while I asked him where he was and what terminal he was at. 2D. Terminal 2 is internation arrivals. He had switched his flights and gone to Malaysia for a while and did tell someone in EF but they forgot to pass the message on.
Great a new teacher. We drove through Kalideres to Dann Mogot to Puri to show him a little of the city and what to expect before leaving him with other teachers.
Then I took Yovita to Outback at Ratu Plaza for something to eat. The food there is always nice but the price is getting expensive and the cost of the beer is way out of control. 40k for a beer! come one.
About 7.30 we left there and was going to go to Jacksa to play some pool but looking at the traffic I thought better of it and so got the driver to take us to the airport again. Now Saturday night traffic in Jakarta is normally terrible and with rain makes the city slow down and the cars crawl everywhere. But no,  not this night. The traffic was light and so we got to the airport with plenty of time. Then we discovered the flight form Dubai was an hour delayed so that meant it would arrive at 10.40 rather than 9.40. Great not.
Jakarta Airport is boring there is little to do and everything shuts between 9 and 10pm. Luckily the small Starbucks was open and so Yovita was happy and could have coffee to help while away the hours.
We finally met our new teacher at 11pm when I rescued him from a man trying to carry his bags. Some gentle phrases like 'go away'  and 'no get lost'  seemed to do the trick. Oh did I mention the arrival boards were wrong also and we were waiting at the wrong gate!!! Luckily someone eventually realised people were waiting at the wrong gate and told us to go to the other.
The drive back from the airport to the teachers house was great as the tolls were empty and so we got back to Puri in about 40 mins and then drove Yovita back home before getting me back. I tipped the driver and then went gome.
So 13 hours of doing stuff around the city. 5 hours at the airport 4 hours in the car and 4 hours doing other stuff.
Sunday I woke at 11.30am. I was so tired.  All I have done today is clean the apartment, sort the laundry, go shopping, eat and watch tv. Just how I like it.

I am looking forward to next week and seeing what the new teachers have to added to the school and what ideas they have. Still another long week but at the end of the day, no matter how much I will moan about it, it will be worth it.

Note to self: stop moaning..... :)
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