March 14, 2012

What Happened During My Last Day in Hotel Kempinski

Blog written on 3/11/2012 at Hotel Kempinski, Jakarta, Indonesia 
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A lot. A lot has happened today. This is our last night in Hotel Kempinski and no one wants to leave the place. I suddenly dreamed of being an Expat who always stays in luxurious hotels and do business; but then again, we are not on a holiday, and I am not even an Expat. We are here for the purpose - and that is to be immersed in the community to better understand its needs and challenges - and to be able to help. But that will come in the next few days. For now, all I can say is - I love the hotel room! The amenities and the automatic toilet bowl!

And I have to say that the hotel got the best breakfast offering (even our ABV partners think so!). It beats the grand dinner or lunch buffet offerings in Manila.

Only here have I seen sushi being served in the morning. They use avocado for the California Maki though instead of Mango.

Please click Read More to know what I did this day..

I felt full after breakfast - and I had just enough energy to explore the city - was thinking of shopping but I decided to join the boys Arun (India), Marcelo (Brazil) and Javier (Mexico).

We went to the old city and it was such an adventure. We looked like typical tourists - holding a map, asking questions, figuring out directions.

Indonesia reminds me alot of the Philippines - the traffic, the vendors in the street, the people - they look alot like Filipinos. The language is what makes all the difference. I have actually learned three new phrases - Selamat Pagi, Selamat Malam, and Selamat Siayang. Maybe I would be fluent in a month.

On our way to the museum (which we have never seen and been), we were surprised to find motorcycles using the pedestrian lane, and we don't have a place to walk on! We all have to let them all pass. It's surprising for the three - but even I who is so used to traffic and commuting got surprised.

We walked down the dirty, noisy streets of the old city; but what I love is the helpful people of Jakarta - everyone we asked helped from tried to direct us to the right way - even though they find it hard to talk in English.

We never seen/been to the museum and decided to take a cab and check the Manos - it's a tower with a design made of real gold. We don't have much time, yet we decided to buy ticket to check out the tower. It appeared that there was a long line to the elevator - so we just climbed up to the second level platform.

We don't have use of the ticket so we just gave them away to the lucky visitors (.. that line sounded like a contest voice over). It feels nice to make someone's day!

We had 45 minutes to prepare for the 3:00PM call time. I wore the "patriotic shirt" with that Philippine Map design, but when I saw Arun and Sabine at the lobby looking so polished in their business attire, I had to run back to the room and change. I wore the multi-way dress that I originally plan to wear during this meeting. It's blue for IBM.

During the orientation, we once again discussed things like customs, communications and security - we also gotten our allowances and in-country mobile phone. Does anyone miss the Nokia Phone?

It is nice to have this so we can communicate with our team while on assignment; but I am still keeping my local number which unfortunately cannot send text messages or make a call eventhough I have signal.

After the meeting and some photo opp at the lobby, time to visit the local IBM office in Jakarta - which is located near our hotel and is inside the mall.