Thursday, March 29, 2007
Been away for awhile, a busy few weeks, then one week of relaxing in Bali with my brother who flew out from
We visited Pasar Sukawati, a big market which sold just about everything at a fraction of the cost of the same stuff in Kuta and Sanur, sat on chairs on Sanur beach with toes curled into the sand and ate lazy meals accompanied by the ever faithful bintangs. Played pool in the back area of a dark but cavernous bar (Crusoes) recently purchased by a West Australian who, by all indications, had no idea how to run a bar but the people were friendly and the beer cold. Wandered through arts and crafts shops admiring the ingenuity of locally made products, sat by the pool, had a couple of rather perfunctory massages (not as good as to be found in Surabaya, then again, I guess I’ve been spoilt by the knuckles in type of massage found in Java where at the end you feel stretched and tenderised till the body is limp lettuce).
We walked the streets till late at night, wandering down and through back lanes and streets etched with the drizzle of rain, stumbling at times over broken pavements and potholes, but ever eager to see what was around the next corner. By the end of it we were exhausted and most probably a bit dehydrated, soon to be sorted when we found a place to stop at.
Interesting thing about
Another interesting conclusion was the lack of tourist numbers in
We noticed that the touts selling things along the streets were more insistent, an almost palpable air of quiet desperation in trying to make a buck. Every second step you took was accompanied by someone asking you step into their shop, all depressingly similar, all selling the same sort of stuff, and all quiet. Then there were the pimps/drug dealers. After about midday, these guys would start to ramp up their business by offering just about anything, all delivered in a sort of conspiratorial mumble. The quick patter of the guys delivered within an eye blink, so fast that at times you think you have misheard. “Did he just offer me cocaine?” I asked A at one point, and that was just the start. Cocaine, cannabis, women, girls, boys, and bizarrely, sunglasses (even though we were both wearing them), all were offered for sale. It got to the point that one gave up saying no thanks, and just ignored them. Sleeves were tugged, shoulders patted, pathways blocked forcing you to side step them, insistent sales pitches delivered as they hop along beside you.
This was a side of
If you can ignore the touts and the insistent sales pitch, it’s an okay place to visit. But I have to say that Sanur is still miles ahead in easy living. Its fairly quiet tout wise, lovely beach, though very calm waters do not make for interesting spectacles, good little bars and restaurants along the beach front, and a more relaxed air about it.
Not being a
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
This is the plane, Garuda PK-GZC, that crashed today at Yogyakarta Airport. It was apparently going too fast while landing, overshot the runway and came to rest in paddy fields before bursting into flames.
Reports vary, but it appears that there are 22 passengers dead, including Australians who were up front. Emergency doors that opened were only in the middle and the far rear door. This caused those up front to have to work through smoke and fire to exit. Most of those who didn't make it were from the front.
Reports are still confused as to exact numbers as some passengers left the airport after the accident.
For a little while I was quite worried as my cousin has just been transferred to the Australian embassy in Jakarta and there were reports of Australian DFAT staff on board. He texted me this morning to say that he wasn't and was heading to Yogya to help.
I have just heard from him as I type, tells me things are still not clear. I believe he means the missing Australians. I'm at a loss as to what to say here.
The runway pics taken after the accident on an Indonesian flying forum tell a story: Indonesian Flying Forum
More info: Professional pilot forum
This was the safest airline in Indonesia until today.