Friday, December 17, 2010

Delinquent passports & no free wifi. Traveling with the Philippine National Men's Football Team in Jakarta, Indonesia

I was supposed to leave with the Philippine National Men's Football Team last Tuesday night for Jakarta but I was not allowed on board due to my passport having validity for under six months (it had five months and a day left). I was planning on getting a new passport but we had to leave for Indonesia. It was so disappointing to not be able to leave and so much uncertainty about getting an extension that I couldn't sleep the night before. I spent several hours at the DFA getting my extension of the validity that I was unable to write anything. To compound matters, someone cancelled my flight. Barely an hour after I managed to re-book my flight with no incurred fees shit happened again. I swear it was one of those days when nothing seemed to go right. Luckily, I was able to seek the help of PFF interim president Nonong Araneta whose travel agency was able to get me a new ticket. Guess the good karma rolled around coz it was a business class seat! That was a real cool ending.

This is our room at the Sultan Jakarta. I am sharing a room with fellow writers Cedelf Tupas (Inquirer) and Abac Cordero (Star). There's no free wifi anywhere in this hotel. An hour's worth whether you consume it or not will expire in six hours. Twelve hours' worth of wifi is valid for 24 hours from the moment you use the card! What highway robbery this is!

But we have a great view of the surrounding area and we're 10 minutes walking distance to the Bung Karno Stadium. I've been to Indonesia several times before and every time it's been for work. There are times when I've been able to go around but not too much. I hope to look around for a spell on my third day back here.

Some food I ordered at the Bung Karno while covering the match on twitter and for Business Mirror.

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