Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sydney, Singapore and Jakarta International airports.

On our trip over to Australia I had made a few notes on my laptop about airports......unfortunately I could not connect my laptop to the internet to post them.

(Don't loose your wireless will regret it!)

Jakarta international airport, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport

In the weeks prior to our departure there was a lot of mentions of the state of CGK's restrooms in the media....... well here is my two cents worth......


In my 32++ years I have been to quiet a few public restrooms around the world. This would come in the top 5 worst ever.

It is an absolute disgrace for the capital's airport.

The airport itself is not too good.
Very inefficient!
I try not to ever say a bad word about the country that is our present home, we truly love living here but honestly ...the airport sucks big time!

EVERY time a citizen or resident leaves the country you have to pay a fiscal tax of 1 million rupiah ($125) per person as well as 100 000RP departure tax ($12.50). So it costs us three hundred dollars to leave the country, kids are free of fiscal but pay Dept. tax. Apparently claiming it back on your tax return triggers an who would want the Indonesian tax department going through their finances???????

Not much was open, for some reason we were not allowed in for 10 minutes....I think the guard was waiting for us to pay him. At 4 am in the morning I need nice hot coffee and a clean spot to sit and be able to sniff Bens warm snuggly body. None of this can happen at CGK.

We have got some great tips after a few visits through...when you get off your flight RUN to immigration. Knock over all in your way, just get there ASAP. It will save at least an hour of ridiculous queues.

A new tip is to take a wet wipe and rub off all chalk marks on your luggage surreptitiously as the come off the carousel. It will stop the annoying spot checks at customs. Unfortunately I did not have a wipe handy and the wise guy wanted to check the bag on the bottom of my trolley which was piled high as a volcano threatening imminent eruption. GJ and Yadi were no more 20 metres away behind the screen but I still had to unload and then reload my mountainous pile of luggage......

Unless you speak way more Bahasa Indonesian than I do, don't bother with the porters. I know the going rate, can negotiate the price but still get surrounded in the carpark and hit up for more. Same as the creepy men in the terminal who walk past and hiss in your ear "statues, etc", I loudly say no. My sweet bloggy buddy has taught me how to say no like a local..."ngat" (i think that is how you spell it...) lots of guttural emphasis and none of the soft formal word "tidak'.

Singapore Changi airport.

Oh my, immaculate, organized, efficient. You could eat in the restrooms here.

On our return journey we caught the new light rail system between terminals.
Ben was in heaven; a bus, a plane and a train all in one day! You could live in this airport for a week+ free trolleys throughout.

Sydney International Airport.

I must admit getting alot better...

but the extortion of having to pay $4 for a single luggage trolley...and no credit on return.

The shops are interesting, lots of chairs and windows and space, but the rest rooms still smell. It was nice to watch the sun come up over the airport and see all the activity.

Customs and immigrations on arrival are still super slow and tedious.

I was a bit nervous traveling home by my self with the kids......The journey started at 4.45am and finished at 10pm, a looooooong day.

Normally I have GJ as my pack mule...... this time it was just me with 4 large suitcases, 3 cabin luggage bags, 3 backpacks and a handbag and 3 tired kids.

But we survived, intact and sane.

Singapore airlines are great for traveling with kids. Their inflight entertainment system is great and the kids meals have a small portion of healthy well balanced food with heaps of yummy junk. I totally caved for convenience......they ate all junk (well not Ben as he vomited all the junk food over himself and me on landing/arrival in Australia....) and drank COKE!!!!! that is normally SO not allowed.

After having to take Ben to the toilet every 50 minutes on the way over, and being pee'd on TWICE (yes I was in a state when we finally arrived home in Sydney...vomit and pee encrusted as well as hot, sweaty and tired...) I cheated on the way back. When the poor little thing fell asleep I whipped his knickers down and put a nappy on him. When he woke up he felt it and was most impressed that he could just pee away where ever he was.......He didn't want to take it off.....must be a boy thing!

The new airbus was ok...we didn't get to see the cabins though. The girls still can't grasp why we can't travel business class....I can see their point, it does look much better LOL.


Heidi said...

Oh my goodness Ben's face is changing. He's looking more and more grown up. The bottom right pic looks like he's a mini GJ having an in-flight scotch.

HardRockMan said...

F&%# OFF also works with the porters - its amazing how universally one word is so well understood

Mrs Top Monkey said...

Cripes, what a journey! Well I guess I'd better stop all my daydreams about my upcoming wee one being sweet and obedient and all that and be prepared for real life! :)