Hello Indonesia - Getting to Bali

Trip Start Apr 10, 2006
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Getting to Bali...

Today i've learned not to travel Asia with a bag weighing more than 15kg. I've already learned not to travel with a bag that doesn't fit in the luggage racks above your head on busses, as (if you are even lucky enough to get a seat) you will inevitably end up sitting with it on your lap for hours on end. 15kg is the weight allowance on most of the small internal Asian airlines, anything above this and you'll be charged for excess baggage. My bag doesn't fit in the racks and it weighs 20kg, which i was already well aware was too heavy, but now i'm paying for it financially as well as physically...

...Of course the extra cash isn't a huge amount, and wouldn't have been so much of a problem if i hadn't been stupid enough to turn up at Jackarta penny less. There was a perfect opportunity to change up some travellers cheques during the stop over in Singapore, but i'd been more interested in spending my last Sri Lankan Rupees trying out the local larger. It seemed like money well spent at the time, but standing at the desk of my connecting flight to Bali, without enough money to check in my bag, it actually turned out to be a bit of a pain in the arse...

...Apparently the airline is only supposed to accept local currency, but i eventually solved the problem by paying double out of my emergency fund of UD$, which i must remember to re-stock, incase of future incidences of a similar nature, or even a different nature, it's just a good idea to have some hard currency tucked away somewhere...

...The flight has been delayed for an hour due to bad weather, which was a bit of luck because we probably would have missed it otherwise. I saw some dramatic lightning on the horizon from the plane window on the way in. I've never seen a lightning storm from the air before, it's much more dramatic than from the ground, you can see the whole of the sky, and the land below, light up...

...Now we're waiting in the small domestic terminal in Jakarta which has more of a railway station feel than an airport, a far cry from the plush air-con'd, luxury shopping palace of Singapore airport, where we were just a couple of hours ago...

...On the plane now. It's exactly like getting a Ryan Air or EasyJet flight in Europe, except where there would be an orange flash emblasoned on the wall saying 'EasyJet', there is a red flash saying 'AirAsia'. I sit in the emergency exit row, as i always try to do, for the single reason that they have slightly more - sometimes yards more - leg room, than all the other seats. However, this luxury also comes with the responsibility of opening the doors in case of an emergency...

...The stuardess - who is wearing the shortest skirt i have seen in months - comes over and starts the usual shpeel confirming we are happy to open the doors etc... The only part that actually registered above what i have heard many times before was about standing by the door, indicating the exit and helping other passengers out of the aircraft. Bollocks to that i thought. If there was a fire on board and we had cash landed, i would be first out the door...

...Then the safety cards came out, the ones with the little pictures on, of people calmly opening the exits and putting on their oxygen masks. They don't have these on the big long haul planes anymore - they've been replaced by videos on the t.v's - but on the cheap internal flights around Asia they still use them. They always remind me of the scene in Fight Club where Project Mayhem has gone around switching all the cards to ones where the little pictures are of people running around and panicing as their plane crashes and burns.
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