Putanga – Life on the Road

Stories from my journeys around the world…

Long Days in Jakarta

Posted by Monica Johansen on December 12, 2008

I am working in Jakarta in Indonesia this week, and since it is a project affecting the customer’s network access we have to do the deployment after business hours. Now, for most customers I have dealt with “after business hours” mean after 7 or 8 pm, but for this customer it means starting the work after 10 pm and some parts of the schedule is even set to after 1 am. Since I am a morning person I have problems staying up that late, and I am unable to sleep in the next morning. In addition I am still on Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) since I came back from Oz not long ago, so I am really struggling to stay awake.

Jakarta airport

Jakarta International Airport

Jakarta is definitively not the safest place in the world. The first time I came here I was close to getting robbed at the airport. To make a long story short, some guys approached me at the airport and claimed to work for the executive car company “Silverbird”, which is the safest taxi company in Jakarta (and also a lot more expensive than the other companies). They brought me to a parking lot and tried to get me into an old white car, but since I knew that the Silverbird cabs are all black I uncovered the scam and returned to the airport immediately before they had time to push me into the car or steal my luggage. To put it this way, I have heard stories of people who have been met at the airport by polite guys holding up a sign with their company name, and they have ended up being kidnapped and their company had to pay a ransom to get them out. Hence, I am relived that I did some researched before I arrived, otherwise I might have had some really scary stories to write about in my blog, if I had survived at all.

I have met a few Caucasian people working in Indonesia, and they all tell me to be careful and not walk around on the street alone. Even strangers have warned me, and one morning, when I entered the elevator in my hotel, a Japanese man looked at me with worry in his eyes and asked me if I was going out on the street. I replied that I was going to jump into a cab to go to my customer, and he said “that’s good. You shouldn’t walk alone here. It is very dangerous. “. I think it is a shame that I can’t explore Jakarta on my own, but I don’t see any point in taking chances with my life and health, so I follow the advices I have been given.

I was hoping to get some sightseeing done on this trip, because we were supposed to only work nights. In addition, I am working with a colleague from India, so I was hoping to have some company and get a chance see a little more of this city. But unfortunately there has been too much work to be done, so I will have to return to Singapore without any cool new photos in my portfolio.

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2 Responses to “Long Days in Jakarta”

  1. Nina said

    Det høres ut som om det er en god ide å ta hensyn til advarslene du får!! 🙂

  2. Teo said

    I think no only Indonesia, actually nobody sure where is actually safe nowadays…

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