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Finally! After four years, I will be seeing my favorite country again.

Photo from my first post about Indonesia.

People often wonder why I love Indonesia so much. So much so that I’ve chosen to prioritize learning Bahasa Indonesia over Mandarin Chinese. My fascination with Indonesia has a long “history”, all the way back from my childhood. I also find Indonesians to be a very friendly group of people. Their attitude is quite similar to that of Filipinos but it seems they are more respectful.Anyway, one of my friends from IBM Indonesia is getting married this year and he invited me to his wedding. Of course, I said yes. I did say that I’d love to attend his wedding when he first told me about it over a year ago.

As soon as he sent the digital invite (e-invite?), I looked up airfares online (and filed for leave). Thankfully, Cebu Pacific had a seat sale. Manila-Jakarta round trip for only 4,500 PHP (~100 USD). I initially wanted to book a PAL flight but it was thrice as expensive.

CebPac_Jakarta

The catch is, his wedding (pernikahan) will not be in Jakarta but in Semarang, a city in the northern coast of Java island. It’s either I spend 8 hours on a train from Jakarta or I go by plane. The choice is obvious. I haven’t booked yet but the flights from Jakarta to Semarang can go for as low as 3,100 PHP. I want to experience flying with Garuda Indonesia but their fares are twice as expensive than the fares of Batik and Lion Air.

I’ve also been looking at hotels in Jakarta. I really want to stay at Mandarin Oriental again because the hotel was so far the best hotel I’ve stayed in – ever. Much better than Four Seasons in Bangkok! Even the Sheraton at New York Times Square. But I need to maintain my SPG Platinum status so I might go for Le Meridien Jakarta.

As for my stay in Semarang, I was looking for a hotel but my friend told me he’d take care of my hotel. I don’t want to be an additional expense but I think it is impolite to turn him down.

I wonder if their are good batik shops in Semarang? I want to buy long-sleeved batik shirts which I’ll wear in the office.

I’m really excited!

Bonus:

This coincided with the invite. I finally found the music from Mandarin Oriental Jakarta! I’ve been looking for this ever since my trip in 2011. It’s a memorable tune because it’s what I heard every time I turned the television on.

Isn’t it soothing?

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