Today it was time to move on from Jakarta to Bandung for emJay’s conference.
For the last several days before I have got out of bed I’ve made mental note of how nice it is to stretch out COMPLETELY! Having spent 22 hours sitting upright in a plane or in a semi-prone position (three open seats = about 60 inches) + (one six foot, two inch person = about 74 inches) = Uncomfortable scrunched sleeping. Don’t take things for granted, enjoy the little pleasures of life!!!
Time to take inventory. A money count showed we didn’t need to hit the ATM machine. We are of course dealing in the Indonesia currency, the Rupiah. About 11, 000 to 12,000 = $1.00USD. As they say on the literature, when you buy something over $100.00USD you will become a millionaire as you need just over the equivalent of $1,000,000RP for the transaction!
This wad from my pocket was worth about $100USD!!!
Like Cuba last month, we are not drinking the water on this trip. The plumbing can evidently be iffy and there is a problem with heavy metals in some of the water supplies . . . so got to make sure we have enough to brush teeth and drink along the way.
As previously noted, The Nature Conservancy office was right around the corner and we headed over about 9:30am for our bus ride to Bandung.
A tour of the office looked very similar to the offices of WDNR and other state offices back home, cube land . . .
. . . and what self respecting office wouldn’t have a nice break room for their employees. Although I didn’t see any donuts around. At several meals, when it came time at the buffet for dessert, I saw Indonesian’s reach for fruit instead of cake. That’s a habit I should pick up from this trip!!!
emJay and Rizal, the TNC country director for Indonesia, and Charles, the country director from Kenya, Africa. Although from three different continents, they all spoke English and ‘TNC speak’!
Our wheels that will haul 60 of us to the 3 day TNC, country wide, staff meeting held every 2 years. The meeting would also included about 10 folks from the Australian and United State’s programs.
We had read about the traffic issues in Jakarta and it is best to avoid renting a car and trying to drive yourself. One needs to leave PLENTY of time to get where you are going within the city. Our 20 mile ride from the airport had only taken 25 minutes, but that of course was at 3:00AM Sunday morning.
When Charles, the country director from Kenya, arrived Sunday night at 7:00pm, the same ride on the highway took 3 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!
Getting out of Jakarta was a chore! The city is in the process of finishing a subway system that should be completed in 2020, which will not be a minute too soon. The traffic in this city of 12 million UNBELIEVABLE!! At every stoplight the motorbikes work their way up the sides of the lanes, and between the cars, forming a large contingent at the front. When the light changes it’s like the Indy 500.
See the video above!
But that’s not where the funs stops! On the way out of town the road had two lanes running out of town and one lane coming into town. See white line separating the lanes above. This appeared to only be honored by car drivers because the motorcycles snaked on the left side and WAY into the opposing lane as you can see above. If there was no traffic coming they swelled into it, taking over the whole lane. Must be common practice though because everything moves along and there were no accidents, although I did see a few close calls!!!!
It was about a 3 hour bus and soon it was time for a boxed lunch that had been brought along.
Yummy! Rice, fried spicy chicken, tofu, veggies and a few other goodies I didn’t recognize. It all hit the spot though!
We rode on one of the freeways most of the way to Bandung and although all three lanes were bumper to bumper, going both directions, the traffic moved right along. Until we got to Bandung. Bandung and it’s suburb’s are ONLY about 3-4 million in population so not quite the traffic issues as Jakarta, but still stop and go and it was only 3:00pm!
Plenty to keep you amused though as vendors passed among the lanes of traffic selling most goodies to eat. This guy was selling funny glasses that when you blew into an attached tube, the yellow retractable extensions would blow out the sides. Wandering musicians would, when traffic was stopped, walk over to small Suzuki buses that held about 6 passengers and sit in the door playing their guitars hoping for a tip. All on about 5 minute intervals!!!
Soon we were at our home for the next three nights, The Padma Hotel in Bandung. Everything is glass or open to the out of doors. The resort sits at a higher elevation so a light wrap may even be required during the evening. Here is the lobby. Let’s look around a little . . .
The resort is multi level and built into one side of a valley. The other side is forested. In this photo, the pools sit between these two levels. The room emJay and I have is in the lower right corner with the drapes opened.
About half of the resort complex. Even the 8 floor elevator is glass. One of the restaurants located on the top floor of the building on the right is open air. No windows.
The elevated infinity pool . . .
The outdoor top level restaurant. As you can see, the Indonesian’s are ready for Christmas! In the 2010 Indonesian census, 87.18% of Indonesians identified themselves as Muslim, 6.96% Protestant, 2.91% Catholic, 1.69% Hindu, 0.72% Buddhist, 0.05% Confucianism, 0.13% other.
Our room was still being cleaned when we arrived and soon it was available . . . lot’s of light!
. . . a huge bed . . .
. . . and a jungle view. Will need to get a bottle of wine and wait for the howler monkeys to make their rounds at 5:00pm!
First room I’ve ever had that came with a pillow menu. Since I am on vacation now, emJay is working, I went with the StressFreeSleep option!
Biiiiiiiiig bathroom with walk in shower . . . and
. . . a hop-in free standing tub.
The bathroom backs up to the bed and the wall is made of glass. There is a full length blind to pull for privacy. During the day, with the blind open, it really gives an illusion of open space. Nice idea!
Looking down towards the pool area . . .
. . . which has a separate pool for playing basketball . . .
. . . and a large separate hot tub.
Interesting little pods you can curl up in and enjoy a drink.
Outdoor eating area where tonight’s welcome banquet will be held.
The grounds are expansive, very manicured and very lush.
with lot’s of lowers in bloom . . .
Here is a children play area . . . complete with bunnies and geese. You can see one of the bunnies under the bird feeder in the foreground . . .
. . . which was unlike any bunny I had ever seen. It’s fur was almost like feathers!!!!
The honkers let me know they were there, too.
The welcome dinner was yummy with a buffet of traditional and western foods. The presentations were in both English and Bahasa. No liquor served but emJay and I enjoyed some vino afterwards. Wine is expensive here in Indonesia, ranging from $15-$20USD a glass!!! Since we both woke up this morning, wide awake at 3:00am, sleep came early tonight. Hope we are finally adjusted to our new sleep patterns!