Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Safe Cabbie and Gallery Hotel

Flight AK 952 to Jakarta departed on time that morning, very much to our delight. Meaning in two hours time, we’d be in Jakarta and with some luck we’d be on our way shopping sometime before noon. Fuhhh….dalam kepala tak de benda lain ingat, shopping, shopping, shopping!!

Every time we take an Air Asia flight we have never failed to be amused by our fellow traveling mates “styles” rushing to secure the front row seats. The moment the gates were opened, it was like “on your mark get set, GO”. Run Forrest Run….go get ‘em seats. As for the three of us, front or back row seats don’t make much difference as the plane would still land at the same time, regardless of where one is seated. So no need to be kiasu lah kan!!

I managed to close my eyes for a short while once the plane was airborne. Next thing I knew was the crew pushing the food cart. The crew had started to sell breakfast. Not bad of a selection they have actually. The cart was laden with nasi lemak, sandwiches, roti canai and some 3 in 1 drinks. I believe the other passengers on board woke up as early as we did too and would have gotten hungry by then. As a result of this, the nasi lemak was gone in just minutes.

Our luggage which took its own sweet time to emerge

We landed safely at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Jakarta about 8.10am local time. Pretty early I must say but we didn’t mind it at all. Mental calculations had it that by the time we got to our hotel most of the shops would be opened dah. Tengok la tu…pemikiran ke mana? Ke mana lagi if not ke kedai ;-)

Muni & I at the hotel lobby

We cleared customs and immigrations in no time and we then headed out of the airport to get ourselves a cab to go to our hotel. I had made reservation at the Paragon Hotel, somewhere in downtown Jakarta. Tak pernah pun cuba hotel ni. But it looked OK from its website. Our criteria for hotel selection was that it has got to be close to shopping outlets. Paragon Hotel seemed to have fitted in very well with our requirements. It was just minutes to Tanah Abang Mall, the 1st place where we had intended to do “damage”.

Also at the lobby area

Our cabbie was a rather quiet person. He didn’t speak much. He just concentrated on the road until we finally reached our destination. When I asked him about why the road tidak "machet" (jammed). He replied that it was hari libur that day. Libur means holiday in Bahasa Indonesia. Hari libur apa eh??? Oooo laaa.....Israk Mikraj rupanya. Punyer la tak ingat!!!

The cabbie ride was a good half hour and when we arrived at our hotel, wallah…we were impressed by its deco. Its online description boasted about it being a gallery hotel and we found that to be precisely true. All three of us were thrilled by now. Smooth flight, safe cabbie and now a nice and cozy hotel. Alhamdullillah. Well, what more could we ask for.

Word carving at one of the gallery corners

The check in process took a while as the room was still being prepared. We had requested a triple sharing room, macam biasa lah. Mana-mana pergi pun we’d ask for a room that could accommodate the three of us. The hotel was nice enough to allow us to check in early. It was only 9.45 am when we got our room key. Next thing to do was to go up to the room, put our bags, touch up skit and go makan. Have to refuel before we can jalan-jalan.

Jupe ala-ala Vanna White in Wheel of Fortune...

The cute looking guy on duty at the reservation counter told us about the Nasi Padang restaurant which is a few doors away from the hotel. According to him, there is also an Ikan Bakar stall just across the road. Woooo……that made us ravenously hungry!! Let’s go makan and let’s go NOW!!

Next, makan Nasi Padang lerrrrrr….ya ampun sodap eh!!!

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