Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Random (154)

Backtracking on a trip a quarter year ago

As Kuching is experiencing the usual year-end rainy weather right now, the bright sun and clear sky when it's not raining almost make the terrible haze condition that almost suffocated Southeastern Asia several months back seem unbelievable. ^^;

The haze was so bad at one point I couldn't even see my office building when I was just minutes away from reaching it by car. ^^;

Then again, during that difficult time, I travelled to Jakarta, Indonesia for work-related matters and got to experience the inconvenience caused by the abnormal weather condition first hand. ^^; The earlier posting on my Beijing trip reminded me that I have yet to say anything about that Jakarta trip even though it actually came before my visit to Pontianak in November. A look at the calendar reminded me to get this posting out now before I have to refer it as something I did last year instead of September this year. ^^;

Bundaran Hotel Indonesia traffic circle with the Selamat Datang (welcome) monument in Jalan Jenderal Sudirman in Central Jakarta on 29 September (Tuesday).

Much like the Pontianak and Beijing trips, it was my first visit to Jakarta. Ironically, haze and smog were (unwelcome yet unavoidable) part of all three trips. ^^;

My flight to Kuala Lumpur was neither cancelled nor retimed according to the flight status at Kuching Airport on 28 September (Monday), but it was eventually delayed anyway. ^^;

Many passengers were stranded at the airport as many flights at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) were grounded that morning due to the haze condition. ^^;

The sun couldn't be seen outside the airport at all even at around noon time.
For a while then I thought my flight was going to be cancelled as the situation wasn't getting any better one bit. ^^;

This was how things looked from the air when the plane did eventually take off, many hours after its scheduled departure time.

Deco at the arrival hall of Soekarno–Hatta International Airport.

Fortunately for me, the flight was not cancelled and I eventually reached Jakarta in the evening via a connecting flight from KLIA. The unfortunate part of the story was, due to the initial delay, I was arranged to board a different connecting flight and my checked-in luggage from Kuching was not loaded onto the correct plane. ^^;
Thankfully, the staff at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport were fast and helpful in managing the lost luggage. When my luggage was delivered to my hotel, it was close to four in the morning. ^^;

If it was to arrive four hours later, I would have nothing proper to wear for my business meeting. ^^;

The pleasant mood of retrieving my luggage in time was further boosted by the clear sky in the city on 29 September, which was almost hard to believe given how bad the air condition was back home at that time.

Due to the tight schedule of my work and meetings in Jakarta, I didn't have time to explore the city as much as I would like during my short stay there, but I did manage to walk around a few blocks from my hotel at night.

Strange sculpture by Teguh Ostenrik at Plaza Indonesia (I think).

Busy traffic even at night.

Had dinner at Burger King one evening. ^^

Unlike the Pontianak and Beijing trips, I did get myself Gundam-related items in Jakarta. ^^

Not one, but two Gunplas: First Grade Char's Zaku II and Mass Production Type Zaku II, which are two of the three first releases from the FG line.

I bought and assembled one of the latter long before I started blogging, but the kit in brand new condition is just too valuable to pass up. ^^ I would get Gundam RX-78-2 if it was available too but there was no sight of it.

Made in 1999. ^^

The kits are IDR 69,000 (RM22) each.

I think I spent too little time going around Jakarta during my trip in late September. Hopefully I do get to visit the city again next year, and could spend more time discovering new things of interest, and perhaps other rare Gunplas too. ^^

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