Thursday, October 21, 2010
Back to Southeast Asia
It has been a long time since my last entry here. The last time I travelled, I went to L.A., which I didn't enjoy too much because I had to drive around a lot there, and traffic is so heavy almost all the time that I just got frustrated by driving and would return to the hotel exhausted each day. I didn't even do anything interesting outside of my work activities just because I didn't want to have to drive to get there.
But now my work travels bring me back to Southeast Asia, where I get to add a new country to my reperatoire, Indonesia. I'll have more pics and stories about it soon enough, but for now, what I want to do is give some advice: try not to fly with United on a long haul trip. I imagine other US airlines are the same, but I was surprised to learn that they don't have individual TV screens for each passenger. I was looking forward to catching up on my movies, which is usually the only time I get caught up with what's current in life! The other really disappointing part was the big lack of food. I didn't even bring anything to snack on this time because I'm so used to flying with various Asian airlines for my long haul trips that usually feed you to death, so I was expecting to be stuffed. My flight was boarding at 1pm, so I figured I wouldn't get lunch, just a snack and then supper, so I bought lunch at the airport in San Francisco. My flight ended up departing 45 minutes late, but despite that, they served lunch. I didn't take lunch this time around because I wasn't hungry as I'd already eaten. But had I known that was to be my only meal, I would have taken it! The only other thing they served us (about 7 hours after lunch) was a bowl of instant noodles, to which they had to add boiling water, and then about an hour before we landed (the entire trip across the ocean from SF to Hong Kong is just under 14 hours), they gave us rice with a small amount of some nasty carrot curry with a couple of little lemon-flavoured cookies.
At least my flight from Hong Kong to Jakarta was interesting, though by that time I was on Cathay with my own TV screen. I met this interesting individual who works in forensics and has worked with the FBI, the CIA, Interpol, and has been chased by mafias from various countries, one of which even killed two people that worked for him. I wondered how I could get his job!
More on Indonesia in a bit!