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Airport Adventures: Jakarta Airport

by gasm3103

Went outside airport and half a dozen cabs screeched to
a halt.

"Flew to Jakarta from Perth, Australia en route to London. Did it this way to keep ticket prices down. Arrived in Jakarta just before midnight with my wife and 3 kids. Plan was to catch up with a mate who lives and works in Jakarta but to cut a long story short we could not make contact with each other. Various local peddlers, taxi drivers, spivs surrounded us trying to convince us that we should take their taxi or use the hotel that they recommend. Did not trust any of them but they would not leave us alone. One of them tried to call my mate by looking over my shoulder at my list of telephone numbers and would not go away until I paid him for his troubles. We were the only Westerners at the airport and stuck out like a sore thumb. Our connecting flight to London was not until 2pm the next day - about 14 hours later so we needed to do something. Went outside airport and half a dozen cabs screeched to a halt. They would not go away but none of them seemed large enough to accommodate all of us plus our bags. Decided it was too risky to jump in 2 cabs as nobody could speak English well enough for us to understand them. Tried to get family to sleep on hard bench in airport but it was impossible as the local waifs and strays there were constantly staring at us. Add to this the TV's constantly blaring out quite sinister-sounding holy chants and feral cats roaming the lounge floor, it was not what I had hoped for my family. Eventually managed to squeeze into one cab but only once an airport security guard got involved and bizarrely jumped into the trunk of the cab to hold the bags down so that the cab driver could see out the rear. I refused to travel with this arrangement but the diminutive guard was not budging. We were at the mercy of the cab driver who indicated he would take us to a very good hotel. After 25 mins of travelling with the surreal sight of this guard poking his head up through the bags we arrived in this shanty town and I was starting to regret my decision to leave the airport."

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