Returning to the Chaos That Is Jakarta
My family returned to our beloved home in Kedoya on Saturday (05/19) night, at around 10.30 pm (UTC+7). The journey was protracted and to be frank, quite exhausting. I can’t count how many times I wished that I’d had been at home during the journey.
The long trip home started at 04.30 am (UTC+9) in our apartment. My parents got up first, then we took turns getting a bath. After that, we lugged our huge baggages – four would be checked and four will be carried into the cabin – downstairs and waited in the aparment’s lobby for the cab Arifin ordered nearly a week ago.
The cab arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule, at 5.10 am. The cabdriver was a bit suprised by the size of our baggages – who wouldn’t – but luckily they fitted inside the trunk anyway. From there, we went to Tokyo Mandarin Oriental Hotel to catch the Airport Limousine bus. The driver was unsure of the address of the hotel, but with the help of his in-dash GPS, we got there in about 17 minutes.
The bus hadn’t arrived yet, so we waited in the luxury hotel’s lobby. It was very elegant and posh. Perhaps the six stars awarded to it provides enough explanation. We promptly bought our bus tickets and waited in the cozy lobby. The bell boy provided us with bottled water and newspaper. A fact that didn’t ease me well when my father told me not to tip the guy. Aaargh, I just feel bad for the guy. At least until I read that tipping is not customary in Japan. The bus arrived not long after, and we rolled off the hotel exactly on schedule, 6.15 am. Talk about punctuality! After three other bus stops to pick up other passengers, we finally went to Narita Airport.
We arrived at Narita Airport Terminal 2 after about 70 minutes of busride. We found out that the check-in counters for Garuda Indonesia hadn’t been opened yet and that there’s quite a queue building up in front of the gate for its check-in counters. We waited while eating the cakes and bread my mother brought. At around 8.40 am the gates were opened. After a few runs back and forth between the counters and my parents who were waiting outside the check-in zone, – the attendant insisted that my whole family show up in front of her, I don’t know why – we finally got our hands on our boarding passes. After a round at the duty free shop, we proceeded to the the main terminal, to do just the same thing: other few rounds at the duty free shops in the inside of the terminal. *grin*
The clock showed 10.40 am when the boarding gate 97 finally opened. We quickly found our seats, comfortably located on the emergency doors row but next to the lavatories, thank you. It aroused the senses, in my opinion, in the way that it gave me personal video screen but also some queer aroma coming from the lavatories. *grin* Anyway, the taxiing took quite some time, causing our take off time to be pushed way back to 11.25 am.
We landed in Denpasar at 5.50 pm (UTC+8) for plane transfer to flight GA417. The scheduled departure was at 08.00 pm, so we have to wait for quite some time. Miss D called me during the wait, after receiving the delivery report for the text message she sent me. At 07.40 pm, we boarded the plane bound for Jakarta.
We landed at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport at around 8.30 pm (UTC+7). After quite a long queue at the immigration counter, we finally met with my uncle and his family. They greeted us and helped us with the baggages, bringing them to our car. Our car? Yes, my uncle had came by at our house to get our car and drove it to the airport while his wife – my aunt – drove theirs.
We went homeward bound with me behind the wheel around 9.15 pm and arrived at our home an hour later. Hey, don’t accuse me of being a slow driver. It was just that my father asked me to drive slowly, bumps in the road made his wound hurt a little. I obeyed, and hence the hour-long drive home when usually it takes around about 35 minutes for a trip made at that hour.
Alhamdulillah, we arrived at our beloved home safe and sound. With that, my family’s adventure in land of the rising sun drawed to an end. I hope all this huge effort to save my father will make him stay with us a while longer, at least until all his children has stand firmly on their own feeble feet. Amiin.