A blog series about my in-country assignment to Makassar for IBM Corporate Service Corp.
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I am home (in Manila) for a week now, but I still think and remember the great memories and experiences I had in Indonesia with my team – and all other people I met in Jakarta and in the island of Makassar. Most of the time, I find myself checking our Facebook Group for updates – posts, comments, likes, any activity from any of the team member. I miss them so much – and it is really hard to go back to my life. “Reverse Homesick” is what the CSC alumna calls it – and I am feeling it now.
People think that we had a holiday – but it is all hard work, especially for me, who had never done such type of a job. Our team had fun, that’s the truth – but we just made sure to make the most of the experience – and that means sleepless nights, sleepless weekends and sleeping in the road.
I didn’t find time to blog real time/timely during assignment (although I have some blogs here), but I just want to share my experience – so here I am, opening blogger and writing this post.
Let’s start with my departure – or should I say, arrival in Jakarta. It was my first time to travel alone – in another country. The only thing that was keeping me secured is the fact that I was heading to another Asian country – if things get worse, I can always book a flight back to Manila. But of course, ABV and IBM took care of everything – and that made me more secured.
My flight was at 7:00 in the morning, and the night before, I was packing and re-packing – ensuring my luggage weight did not go over the allowance. I told myself that this time around, I would travel light and just bring the essentials (I would talk about my luggage more on the next post). I registered a new blog (check it here) for the IBM CSC assignment and published two entries on it, but decided to publish everything here – since this blog feeds through the CSC site.
The Philippine Airlines (PAL) brought me to Singapore then to Jakarta. On our way to Singapore, I was seated next to a guy from USA and his girlfriend (Chinese) – they are on their way to Singapore for vacation. How nice it is to travel with your loved one? What is sweeter, the guy was reading a book about Chinese culture.
To know how I met my team in Hotel Kempinski, click Read More…
On our way from Singapore to Jakarta, I was seated next to a local from Indonesia who came from Manila for training. He is a seaman. He was actually seated in seat C but he gave up his seat for the Chinese girlfriend (so the lovers could sit together). He’s so nice to entertain my questions about Indonesia – and he even pointed me to a reputable money changer after we landed in Jakarta.
I guess we were glad to see each other.
Per the report that we received, I would be the second one to arrive in Indonesia. I thought that we would need to wait for another hour since Cheryl (USA) and Javier (Mexico) would arrive an hour after my arrival. But, he assisted me to the car and advised that there was another car awaiting for the other CSC participants.
Cool.. I was excited to see Indonesia! True to what Google presented me, it looks alot like the Philippines. Something different though, is the right-hand drive cars.
It was a long travel from airport to Hotel Kempinski. I caught some zzz’s.. and I woke up just in time the car turned and I saw the hotel.
Hotel Kempinski is a deluxe hotel with modern design – just modernly grand. Deluxe hotels are usually associated with old English or Victorian designs, but Hotel Kempinski is totally different. I love my stay in this hotel, even if we only stayed for two nights. The service is just personalized – and just of standard for deluxe hotel – from doormen to receptionists and bell boys. I have a degree in Bachelor in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and I still get impressed whenever I get such personalized service.
The view from the toilet
I stayed in a deluxe room (good for two)
and when I say good for two – I got two sets of robe, and everything else
I could have invited someone to sleep here 😉
There are even postcards you can send to your family
Charge your gadgets here or set up your wake-up call
At one point, I didn’t want to go out and just stay in the hotel
I love the hotel and my hotel room. I wished that we would stay here the whole duration of assignment. There was no laundry board and flat iron in the room, but the Housekeeping gladly delivered them in my room.
After I settled in my room, I checked the mall beside it – and found interesting shops but I didn’t shop (so unlikely of me, I know!). I was more excited to meet the team.
When I got back to the hotel, I asked if the other IBM CSC participants had arrived – and the front desk receptionist confirmed that Patchin (USA) and Sanchez (Mexico) had just checked in. I asked for their room numbers and called to “welcome” them.
Cheryl (USA) was gracious the first time I talked to her. She just talked and talked – and I can tell she is just one funny lady! I was supposed to invite her for dinner and she said that Anna S (ABV) had sent a note inviting us for dinner at 6:00 PM. My watch showed 5:00PM and I hadn’t adjusted it. I still had time to prepare – take a shower (as usual) and meet the team (finally!).
I received a call from Arun after a few minutes – he was the first one to arrive in Jakarta.
When I arrived in the hotel reception area – I found Arun (India) and Anna S (ABV) – then there were Marcelo (Brazil) and Sabine (Austria) who just arrived – looking all tired and restless – coming from more than 20 hours of travel. I couldn’t believe I was meeting them finally – imagine they came from different parts of the globe – and that we only got to talk or listen to each other talk – during weekly calls.
Soon after, Cheryl came – and she was all gracious and smiling. I love her aura. Then came Javier – who gave everyone a kiss (not sure though if he kissed Arun). I thought, this would be my family for the whole month.
We then went to the mall and settled in the Indonesian restaurant suggested by Anna S. More than a Program Manager, she works like a tourist guide for us – suggesting places to visit, and food to eat. She had been to different places and she shared that Philippines is her favorite place – and she loves shopping at Bayo! That night, we first experienced authentic Indonesian food.
It is nice to remember what happened that day.. I wish I were just preparing to leave for assignment. I got more stories to tell. Will blog some more in a bit!
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