Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wandering Wirelessly in Jakarta

Left for the Kuala Lumpur LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) airport at 4:30am this morning. It had been raining the whole month and it was no surprise that this morning it was raining cats and dogs. I was worried about my wife whom had to send me to the airport and then driving back alone in this crappy weather. I was relieved when she called me 40 minutes later and told me that she was back home safely.

I decided to eat breakfast at the Asian Kitchen restaurant in LCCT before proceeding to the departure area. Lets just say that I will never ever eat there again. Should have just stuck to McDonalds!

Was the AirAsia flight to Jakarta delayed?

After getting through the immigration and then waiting for some 30 minutes, we boarded the plane right on time. BUT the bloody plane was sitting at the airport parking bay under the rain for an hour if not more, before taking off. So do we consider the flight to be delayed? In any case, we arrived in Jakarta 45 minutes after the scheduled time of arrival at 9:45 am (local time). Anyway, I am thankful that we arrived safely... :)

Blue Bird and Only Blue Bird Taxi

After getting my luggage, I passed through custom and headed to the Taxi area. A man asked me if I wanted Blue Bird Taxi, and I replied yes. He guided me through the door and wanted me to cross the road to his "taxi". I told the man, I wanted Blue Bird Taxi, and he replied that he was taking me there. My spider sense was tingling and this chap seemed highly suspicious to me. I told him I was not interested in my broken Bahasa Indonesia/Malaysia and went back inside the airport lobby. I checked with the airport information counter and they pointed me to the right direction and before I knew it, I arrived at Aston Rasuna Residences through the shortest route (according on my GPS software at least... LOL). Three cheers for Blue Bird Taxi. I was a very satisfied customer!!! Yeah!

Not All Starbucks are Created Equal

In front of the Aston Rasuna Residence.

View of the Aston Rasuna Residence apartments from the Bridge Restaurant.

The dissapointing Starbucks at Setiabudi 1 along Jalan Rasuna Said.

After registering at Aston Rasuna apartments, I had to wait until 2:00pm before I get the room. So I had about 4 hours to kill. I decided to look for a Starbucks to get online. I learnt a valuable lesson! Not all Starbucks are created equal! I don't know about the rest of the Starbucks in Jakarta, but this one does not have free WiFi coverage. All the available WiFi requires subscriptions. Crap!

Jalan Rasuna Said, one of the main road of South Jakarta, was almost completely devoid of traffic due to the Hari Raya Haji holiday.

Jalan Rasuna Said from another view, almost devoid of traffic.

After about an hour of time wasted there, I decided to walk back to the apartment. On the back, I came across a cultural market of sorts, called Pasar Festival. There was a giant banner saying, "Free Telkom WiFi at the food court". Cool! I thought. So I went in and wasted time finding the food court. This time, I did not break out my notebook, instead, I used my D810 phone and tried connecting to the WiFi there. Again, I could connect to the WiFi but could not access anywhere at all.

Pasar Festival, where there were supposed to be free WiFi.

Finally, I made my way back to the apartment entrance, and that was when I noticed across the road, another giant banner stating, "Free WiFi at the Bridge Food Center". I decided to give it one last try. I used my D810 again and this time, I hit the jackpot!!! I was connected and I could surf!!! It was about 12:30 pm.

The Bridge Food Center with free WiFi.

Inside the Bridge Food Center.

And now I am eating my Fried Chicken Rice while updating this blog. Heck, now I am running out of battery power... and the electrical sockets are different. I NEED an power ADAPTER!!!

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