I really want to write something meaningful, deep about this past year.
How it made us all better, learned from our mistakes, become wiser and more tolerant. Or how in the middle of chaos we stood still and accepted all with tolerance, respect and love. How when we’ve got hit we turned the other cheek for yet another slap.
Instead, I choose to live in the now – for real, because it’s 2017 already in the future and I am here. Aim for the future friends!
Happy new year! wishing you all a better year ahead!
Coming out of the plane I feel the familiar heatwave and sticky air that I actually enjoy after all the freezing air con used generously around these places. Is very warm and a filter of sweat with dust is filling immediately every pore of my skin. Taking a taxi to our hotel, the traffic is not disappointing us. A hectic mix of cars, Vespas, and people that are carrying various activities on the side of the road is making our trip worthy. We pass a slum neighborhood on our way to the hotel: exotic fruits that look like figues with a snakeskin, all sorts of exotic fruits that I cannot name are sold everywhere and pretty much everything you can imagine on the open air stands, deep fried food or strange looking impossible to identify items. The tiniest children with their bare feet on the sidewalk eating, crying or watching us curiously, young men, old men, a skinny cat looking like she didn’t have food in months – all these in an impossible amalgam of colors, smells and noise that cannot be ignored. In the background, you can hear the inimitable praying mosques that give this place a very particular and charming identity. All the way to the hotel (about 45 minutes) is all the same. yet very different. I have noticed people eating on their Vespa, making selfies (with a selfie stick obviously), even sleeping. We are a bit afraid where our hotel would be. All I want is a shower and a proper bed. After several stops of our driver asking indications about the hotel address(panic!), we are finally here (Tangerang). It is luxury compared to the background, we actually have a huge room and a big shower (with moderately warm water, remember it’s very hot) and we have a proper dinner. Something that was supposed to be vegetarian: a sort of soup with seafood and chicken, not a bad mix with rice.
Yes, we are in Asia. The place that cannot be mistaken for any other, the inimitable and unique land of mixed cultures, the melting pot where everything is possible. Nice to meet you Indonesia.
I know that I said I wouldn’t give any sort of travel advice but this one is for your own good: when booking a flight, book it in a Goddamn earthly hour. It’s so! so! so! important to arrive on time for your flight. Especially if your flight is leaving from Paris. And you are in Brussels. Right: I am not a morning person (or day, or evening, or night for that matter but this is a whole other topic).
After having ALL the formalities/parking/check in and check out, you name it we are finally on board.
Now: flying on the 24th of December, crazy right? I mean with Christmas and all that. And having an escale in Jeddah for 7 hrs (!) with limited entertaining on hand ( yes, we actually had to talk to each other) , I mean seriously, who does that? Turns out that all Middle East.They are traveling to Mekkah for their annual Hajj -pilgrimage (I know, before asking me where Jeddah is I will certainly tell you: they don’t celebrate the birth of baby Jesus).
We have been surrounded by a sea of pilgrims sleeping on the floors probably tired after their Mecca revelations and all. And I must say they have better coffee than Charles de Gaulle airport (and cheaper,I think, because to be honest I have still no idea about the conversion).
Finally we are on our second flight and the longest but I wouldn’t know because I have slept for 9 hrs. It was the best flight I ever had. The end. And oh, merry Christmas and Namaste. And a bonus picture with Andrei smoking in Jakarta airport after 24hrs travel not being able to.to be continued. Stay tuned.