The last leg of our trip was to Jakarta Indonesia. I have to admit, by this time I was pretty much done and ready to come home. It had been a long day, and after the two hour plan ride, it was after midnight when we arrived. Almost immediately, I was in a bad mood as we had to deal with the nonsense that comes with Indonesia. Everything is a scram. From the US$35 they want when you arrive, to the "porters" trying to "help" with your bags at the baggage claim. Really annoying.
We were staying at a JW Marriott hotel, which are usually very nice hotels, and I was glad to see that they had people at the airport to deal with taxi service to the hotel. Saved us having to deal with trying to sort out a real taxi from a scam.
My good will evaporated when we got to the hotel an hour later, only to be treated like terrorists just to get into the hotel. For some background, this was the hotel that got bombed a few years back, so in response, they've set up a security perimeter, and there are people with guns that search every car, and you have to go through an airport style security checkpoint just to enter the building. While I understand their concern, it will be the last time I ever stay at that hotel. I don't like being treated like a criminal at the hotels I stay at.
Thursday, we had a full day meeting with our local partner. Jakarta has the worst traffic in the world, and we got to experience it in full force. We were half an hour late, even haven given ourselves twice as much time as it was expected to take. The meetings were ok - not great, and it looks like we have a lot of work to do with partners in this region.
The ride back to the hotel after our meetings was as brutal as the ride there, and it took an hour to cover the 15 km. Given the nonsense with the hotel, we decided to stay in. I went for a run, then we met for dinner. After dinner it was work time, then off to bed.
I had to pack and checkout the next morning, prior to heading to the meeting with LAPAN, the Indonesian Space Agency. These meeting were quite promising. There's a lot of education work to do, but also some opportunity. We wrapped our meetings mid-day, then headed back to the hotel to meet with our partner again, to wrap up our time in Jakarta.
My flight was scheduled to leave at midnight Friday night, getting me into Hong Kong early Saturday morning. I was spending the day with my friend Selwyn, prior to heading home to Vancouver. I haven't been happier to see the end of a trip ever.