Friday, 26 June 2015

Car Free Sunday

For the last few weeks I have been waking up early on a Sunday to walk about the car free streets of Jakarta. Why? Mainly because it gets me out of the house, also it lets Jeremy have a good walk and see something different and also Yovita can go running, so everyone is happy.

Car free day is the same as it as been in the city for a few years now. Most of Jl.Sudirman or Sudirman street is closed to all traffic except the Transjakarta buses and is open to people only between 6 and 11 every Sunday morning, unless the government deems otherwise. In the busier parts of the long road there are lots of things to see and lots of things going on, elsewhere its just an empty street.
Sudirman is the main road from the south to the center of the city (assuming the Monas is the center) and through the week choked full of cars and buses and motorbikes which now that the MRT is being built under it as well, it has lost a lot of road space to the construction sites making it even more hard work to travel down.

We normally start at the big roundabout outside Grand Indonesia mall and Yovita runs off and I walk about with Jeremy ignoring the stares and weirdos and the nonsense around me and then we end up in McDonalds for Coffee and breakfast before walking all the way down the road to Semanggi, which is about 3km.

Last week we went to the Monas first so that Jeremy could run about on the grass and look at the kites and then from there, breakfast at McDonalds, 2 km away. Jeremy walks or runs a lot of the way as he is very excited to be able to do this. The buses and police vehicles and construction machinery keeps him busy and he seems happy enough.

Jeremy exploring

Because its fasting season, the car free day was not very busy at all with very few people wandering and of course no one selling food or drinks as all the muslims are fasting so the walk was even more peaceful. I hope its like that again this week.

The other good thing about the early start is that by 9 - 9.30am we have finished and are off for the grocery shop before the supermarkets fill up  which is very good. The sun is also not at its hottest and while its not exactly cold, walking in slightly cooler weather is so much nicer.

Having a human alarm clock (Jeremy) that wakes me up and then gets me up by 6am every morning, making some good of my time on a Sunday is quite pro active and energetic for me and may be in a few more weeks I will say I actually like it. 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

New Photo Blog

I have set up a new photo blog which will be updated everytime I either post to Instagram or through my phone.

This way you can see more of my photos as I take them in around Jakarta. They may have some details, they may not. It will depend.

You probably wont be able to save them as the right click button is disabled for now.

So here is the link  which is very imaginative and it is currently called 'my photo blog' which if you search for on Google will eventually show up.

There so please feel free to take a look. Photos will be added very often.


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Bricked Nexus 5

The best phone I have had since the good old Nokia days finally gave up the ghost on Thursday last week and decided to no longer work or load.

My Nexus 5 which I have had for November and complained about at 2 times since decided recently to keep crashing and stopping. Extensive research through the internet led me to believe that the problem behind this was the Update to Android Lollipop 5.1.1 which was behind it and so I let it go.
Then to my horror and displeasure on Thursday it crashed, went to reboot and never started up again.

So more frantic searching led me to this:

Nexus Help Forum

This was very helpful and gave lots of helps and simple instruction but then after following them I had this:

Which would sugges the phone was 'bricked' and therefore rendered useless leading me back to my Tab and my emergency lenovo cheap and cheerful phone until I could fix it.

I tweeted my news and had help from Nexus support but sadly they were really unable to help but it felt reassuiring.

So, on Monday having the day already booked off I took my phone to the LG service centre in Jakarta which happily is not far from my house in the hope it would be sent away and repaired.

To my surprise, the service center staff spoke English. Took my phone and started to fix it in front of me and then told me that it needed a new ROM as the current one had failed and that they had one in stock. It would take them 10 minutes to replace and so I waited and eventually I was called back to the counter where I was given my Nexus 5 back in complete working order and all parts and labour were covered under its warranty. I was and am still more than pleased. It was a good job from LG and probably means that the 5.1.1 upgrade was not too blame. 

3 hours later, all the apps and settings were back on and the phone now is as good as new and whilst I have not upgraded to 5.1.1 yet I will do in the near future so I can upgrade to Android M whenever that is due.


Some links

LG service centre

Forum help and advice

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Singapore Airport

The reason I have not titled this Changi Airport, Singapore is too keep it simple. Thats all. Obviously as well, not every one is familiar with the name Changi so best not use it.

So, the Airport. Having recently been to it and stayed inside it for a good few hours, here are some more observations and maybe some hints and tips to it. However, I only ever visit Terminal 3 because thats where Lion Air are based so what T1 or T2 is like, I have no idea.

But, should you find yourself with plenty of time at the Airport and can't be bothered to go into the city then you can use the monorail and go to those terminals and find out for yourself.

Lion Air arrive at T3 and I  arrived at the furthest gate from Immigration, gate 19 and had the choice of the monorail to the main building or the travelator thing which is always fun to get on but more of a challenge to get off. I walked, I had plenty of time.

The nice thing about Singapore and the airport is the fact that it is a western oasis in the middle of Asia and so everything is organised and tidy and clean and people are helpful or more helpful and they wont try and rip you off because they can.

The details.

If you want a beer after your flight then there is a small convenience store opposite the taxi stand which sells beers and food.
If you want to eat something other than fancy cafe food or Ducks or Chinese food, then there is always the golden arches near to the taxi stand where they do double quarter pounders with cheese and hot fresh fries.
Subway is in departures and so is BK.
I dont do Chinese restaurants or sushi so I don't know.
The taxi queue around 1pm seemed to be going on forever and people were queueing well over 30 minutes for a taxi.
The internet is free. So all you need to do is ask at the information desk for the code and show your passport and then its free for 6 hours.
Lion Air is at stand 1, there are 11 stands as far as I remember.
The Crown Plaza hotel is at the other end.
There is a load of restaurants on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the airport and some expensive general shops. However the area was being renovated so some parts could not be reached.
A bouncy castle and things for the kids can be found near the entrance of the Hotel.

Thats pretty much it for arrivals.

In departures, there is a huge array of duty free shops behind immigration and Smirnoff starts at $17 (singapore dollars) a litre and then the skys the limit. The alcohol is cheap enough and there is plenty of it.
As there is for perfume and make up, sunglasses and handbags. There are some electronic stores with Apple, Sony, Samsung etc selling their wares and a couple of book stores.
A small toy store lies amongst it all and sells a range of toys, lego and books.
The Cocoa Tree chocolate stores are being refurbished so there is only one open at the moment and the starbucks has gone. But there is a Costa coffee, Dunkin Doughnuts and many other places to drink at.
Highlight was the new Carlsberg sports bar selling draught lager but at a price. $19 dollars for a pint or $16 dollars for a 500ml can. But its beer and it was cold and it was worth it.

The restaurants are around the main part of the duty free area and some more upstairs and there is a good choice or range of things to eat.

The gates are a long way though from duty free so make sure you have enough time to walk it.

And thats Singapore Airport T3 in a nutshell. Nothing great but now you know. However, why I spent 5 hours in there will remain for now a mystery. But the fact I did not want to go into the heat and the city are both true.

I never found the butterflies, the cinema, the showers or overnight seating areas but they are there tucked away somewhere and I probably never will.


I borrowed photos from here

and here

and here

If I compare this to Jakarta Airport then I prefer Singapore Airport. The airport in Jakarta has modernised and is a bit more focused on tourists leaving etc and there is even a WHSmith inside the dearture area at Terminal 2 as well as a Starbucks and am Old town Coffee shop but thats about it really. The checkin desks are always messy and never well signed but immigration is clear and simple enough to follow.

Coming back in Visa on Arrival is really badly laid out but that might be done on purpose and its narrow and old. The exit to outside after customs is confusing with all its glass walls.

But the worse thing for me now is the fact that if you want to buy something to drink once you leave the acutal terminal building then you will be charged pretty much double than you would pay for the same drinks in a local Alfamart or Indomaret.

And thats well, Indonesia.