They may look silly, but the hoards of Asian travelers I saw in every airport wearing surgical masks may be on to something. After 36 hours of thrashing my circadian rhythm in planes and far-flung airports…I’m sniffling. An annoyance, but not a big deal. What else can I share (besides my germs)? Beijing’s international terminal is a cavernous, beautiful…mall. Bangkok’s international terminal is a well-appointed…mall. However, as I was dealing with an eight hour layover in the middle of the night, I was very grateful for the availability of sleeping quarters within the terminal. The overpriced bed and shower were worth every penny after nearly 24 hours of travel!
Because I’m catching a 5am flight tomorrow morning and traffic in Jakarta is legendary, I’ve chosen to spend my first couple of nights in Indonesia at the Jakarta Airport Hotel, directly above the terminal in order to keep my wake-up call to a reasonable 3:30am. The room is quite nice, but the internet is horrendous. Therefore…no pictures yet.
To get through the jetlag and to keep from being tempted by my bed, the hotel hooked me up with a 6 hour private city tour of Jakarta which consisted mostly of sitting in traffic while being chauffeured around town by a driver/guide with an English vocabulary of around 30 words. Despite the linguistic challenges that I failed to alleviate with a handy translation app for my phone, it was an enjoyable time. I kept offering bounties on scooters, but our car just wasn’t quick enough. Got in some history (the Dutch tried to make this the Amsterdam of the Indies by building the city on a swamp…predictably most died of malaria), shopping, sightseeing and scam-dodging…fun times.
Note to self…don’t forget deodorant again! Its hard beating back the hordes of hijab-wearing ladies at the airport because the only replacement product I could find was Axe bodyspray. I never suspected the commercials would be accurate…I just wish it would have happened when I was visiting a more scantily-clad culture