My second trip to Indonesia started with a ferry across the Clyde! I had been at the National Mod with winning choir (no desire here to be modest – Go Aberfeldy and District Gaelic Choir) held this year in Dunoon. Buoyed by success at the Mod, I hoped that this trip would be a good one – and I would come home this time with beans.
Jakarta’s heat and bustle does not hit you immediately when you arrive at the airport - it is a calm, unhurried pace – until you emerge to the outside world and suddenly everyone wants your attention - luggage handlers, taxi drivers - or indeed brokers; all vying for your trade. My friends had emphasised to me that I should only go with Blue Bird – but all taxi drivers now seem to wear blue shirts and have companies that sound a little like Blue Bird – Flying Bird, Blue Taxi. Momentarily misguided I found myself being lead into a vast parkng lot and realised that the blue shirted, Blue Bird ID tag driver leading me – was not the real thing. Back to the real Blue Bird queue, thankful that I had been here before and my friend’s advice had been so emphatic.
My trip to their house was quite quick – less than an hour. Last Friday evening my husband’s trip took 2.5 hours! The traffic is so notoriously gridlocked that people take their office with them – sitting in the car with 3G internet connections for laptops and mobile phones. There is even a business that plans to use this captive audience for advertising – using those back of the chair TV screens. Few hawkers though – unlike 20 years ago in Lagos, Nigeria, where traffic was as notorious and stuck in your car hawkers would bring you newspapers, food, groceries, this and that and in the early days of mobile phones a mobile telephone service!