Well we’re back in hot, stinky, crowded Jakarta, quite a change after rice paddies and fresh breezes. But before we get back to business, we have one more travel adventure to relate. This being Indonesia, nothing goes as expected. So our trip home was kind of interesting.
We arrived at the airport nice and early with Tom’s folks, and were assured that the Denpasar-Jakarta flight would depart from the International terminal. This was a bit strange because it’s a domestic flight, but we were happy for the extra visiting time. The flight was listed on the departure board (although it was rescheduled for 20 minutes later than our tickets said), so while Tom’s parents waited to check in, we reported to our check in counter. And were told that we had to go to the domestic departure terminal down the road. Ok, so we examined the airport map, which made it seem like all the gates were connected upstairs. We left Tom’s folks with only a quick goodbye to go do our own check in, figuring we would meet again upstairs. Well, the map that we were looking at left out some gates, namely the ones we ended up at. So sadly we weren’t able to hang out with the Pepinskys while we all waited.
When the time came for our flight, they herded us onto shuttle buses, drove us about 30 seconds down the road and then told us to get on the plane. The only plane was a 747-400 so we were a little confused. This flight is 1:20 and about 500 miles. But on we got, and then the flight attendant told us to go upstairs. I don’t know if they overbooked or what, but we got to sit upstairs in the business class of a 747 for our $90 one way flight. The amazing thing was that the plane was packed, and this airline alone runs eight to ten flights on this route each day, each way. So that was fun, as was the video screen hooked up to a camera in the cockpit which gave us the pilot’s view. That was really cool when we were landing.
Also, our flight was listed as "mixed", both international and domestic, so we came out at the dreaded immigration again. We were about to lose it when we noticed a section on the side for domestic travellers where people were streaming out without anyone checking their tickets. So home we went (where we were happy to discover that our prepaid electricity hadn’t run out while we were gone so that we could turn on the lights and air condioners).