31.10.2011 - 01.11.2011 26 °C
Tired, exhausted, mentally drained, the journey has been long, from Manchester to Doha and Doha to Jakarta (with a considerable wait in between). On the first plane, from Manchester to Doha, my attempts to sleep were crushed by a fat, drunk Englishman sat directly behind me who insisted beyond all reason on bellowing Oasis lyrics at the top of his voice. This ordeal lasted for several hours. All attempts to calm the man down were in vain as he insisted on ignoring the pleas and lamentations of both the crowd and the staff. It was an awful experience, worsened by the mediocre food, only improved by the consumption of several whiskies over ice. The second journey was the better experience. Upon offering my boarding pass to the staff in Doha, they told me I had received an involuntary upgrade to business class. This consisted of a chair which literally transformed into a bed at the push of a button, a constant supply of freshly squeezed juices (I passed on the champagne), and a widescreen TV boot with films, TV series, documentaries, games, and so on. I was even offered a pair of pyjamas and a blanket for the nights sleep. For breakfast I was served croissants instead of toast, dragonfruit and kiwi instead of apple and banana, and Singapore style noodles with King Prawns instead of cereal. Now, I am no bourgeoise but when a weak man, weary with travel, is offered food and bed he accepts the offer. And so I accepted...
Upon arriving in Jakarta the city was beginning to descend into night. I was picked up at the airport and driven to my hotel by a private car hired by the school I'm working for. Upon arrival, I immediately dumped my belongings into my room and set upon the streets of Jakarta in search of some food. Fortunately, it was not long before I found a seafood restaurant, rife with fresh produce.
In the end, however, I settled for a mixed seafood nasi goreng and kangking cah terasi. It was a wise choice:
Unfortunately, dear friends and dear family, for now I have little else to say. The city was dark when we drove through it so I couldn't see much. The traffic was terrible, there are lots (and I mean lots) of young people driving motorcycles. According to my colleague who picked me up, this is because motorcycles cost around £12 a month to hire. Anyway, I am tired and so I must sleep. I will report back tomorrow when I have experienced more of the place. Goodnight.