Archive for March 2006

Seven hours in Bangkok

I arrived at 5 o′clock in the afternoon with Thai Airlines TG 434. Hot and humid air just like Jakarta, I got off the plane at the last line and for that I have to ride on mini van provided by the air port because the airport bus was full and was impossible to pick up the rest of the passengers that only three left.
Because I have 7 hours to standby at Bangkok air port, I decided to take a city tour which costs vary depends on the route. There is a USD 38.00 course, USD 43.00 and USD 52.00 course. I took the last one because a dinner has also be included. I leave the airport accompanied by tour guide and a driver riding on an 8 seats mini van, feel like a VIP guest 🙂
It takes about 30 minutes to arrive at the destination, a tourists shopping center called SILOM VILLAGE. Nothing too much special about it, only a handicraft shops with cook-in restaurants which serve Thai food. The guide gives me one hour to take shop before the dinner is served, so I leave the Silom Village and take a walk along the Silom street.
I just feel like being in Blok M Jakarta, except for the Indian temple which shines beautifully. I take a close look at the temple, unfortunately there are signs NO PHOTO everywhere so that I can′t take pictures of it, I didn′t enter it because make me sick seeing them pray in front of statues, dummy thing I think. Everytime I see such a view, I always feel guilty that Islam was not spreaded among them, how can they think that god is as many as thousands? How can they think that the statues are worthy to be worshipped? Pathetic. Well, I like the beautiful shines they made in the perspective of art, but not with the worshipping things.
I take my steps along the street and stopped in front of Holiday Inn hotel, a chain hotel which has business all around the world. There I find again a gold pagan, some pedestrians give me an odd look as I take a videocam on it, probably they think I am a Thai because our faces are not different so much. A Thai videocam a pagan? Probably just like seeing an Indonesian take a picture in front of the mosque in Kebon Jeruk area in Jakarta. A Thai girl passes and take a praying gesture in front the pagan, and also gives me an odd looking, I continue my walking.
On the street I also found a Family Mart and 7eleven convinience store, after buying a juice which is made from fruit they call longan I take a seat in a bus stop next to the convi and spend 15 to 20 minutes watching the people getting off and getting on the buses. There I can see what is different from what you can see in Jakarta, the bus in Jakarta will never really stop and make the passengers run to get on the bus. In Bangkok, the buses really stops and don′t move until the passengers perfectly get on. And also there are no windows for economy class buses, so that even the buses are not air-conditioned it won′t be too hot inside because the fresh air can flow freely inside the buses, pretty smart I think. I wondered why buses in Jakarta are not designed like that. If you are familiar with non AC buses in Jakarta you know what I am talking about, being in economy class buses just like being inside a toaster 🙁
After spending one hour, I go back to Silom village and having dinner while watching the traditional dances. Expecting special dances? If you are Indonesian, you′ll be dissapointed because the dances just look like Indonesians dances, they even admit one of the dances is modified from Bali dances 🙂
9:30, the guide comes again and take me back to the airport. 12:00 o′clock I have been on the plane and wake up 7 in the morning at Kansai airport. After brief inspection at immigration I proceed to custom clearance. A young female staff gives me a smile, after looking at my student visa she asks me 荷物はこれだけですか? and pointed to 2 bags and 2 plastic bags, I smiled back and say yes and she asked me to proceed. About 15 kgs over-weight without any charges from Cengkareng and absolutely no bag-opening no further questions in Kansai, alhamdulillah.
Around 11 o′clock I arrived back in Kobe.

Flower city Bandung

Bandung, arrived on saturday 18 March 2006.

As far as I can see nothing changes too much in Bandung since the last time I visited last year. Traffic jam in Soekarno Hatta-Buah Batu, crowd in Alun-alun, and the noisy in Kebon Kalapa.
What caught my eyes is things that dramatically changes in the area around NHI Bandung or IKIP and surroundings. I saw a laundry service which is named AUTO WASH, pretty smart I think, an area where thousands of students from NHI Bandung, IKIP Bandung, and other universities lives of course will need a lot of services like laundry, places to eat, and bookstores & stationeries.
This city really promises many possibilities and chances. If you would like to try services related business, this city is one of the best choices in Indonesia for now. Not only because the consuming behaviour of the people but also because every weekend this city is crowded by thousands of people from Jakarta who are coming to spend their money. With Cipularang highway avalibale on service since last year, for people from Jakarta, Bandung is nearer than other places in Jakarta itself. One of my acquintances even said that it is preferrable to have lunch in Bandung rather than Glodok area 🙂

Interesting in business? Why not trying your luck in Bandung?

Bertolak meninggalkan Makassar

Bersolek, itu kesan pertama kali ketika menginjakkan kaki kembali di kota kelahiranku Makassar. Sepanjang jalan poros propinsi, puluhan kompleks pertokoan berupa ruko atau mall sedang dibangun dan beberapa sudah berfungsi. Entah apakah pemerintah daerah Sul-Sel dan Makassar menyamakan langkah dengan pemerintah pusat yang membangun ekonomi `hanya` dengan modal tingkat konsumsi, yang jelas dalam 5 tahun ke depan kota ini akan jadi sasaran barang impor kalau industri barang konsumennya tidak digenjot. Ini sebenarnya sebuah peluang yang luar biasa besar bagi mereka yang berniat terjun ke dunia bisnis, karena dengan perhitungan kasar saja, untuk mengisi mall-mall dan pusat perbelanjaan yang demikian membludak itu, tentu akan dibutuhkan supplier produk bermutu dan mudah didapatkan oleh toko-toko itu.
Secara teori, pembangunan yang tolok ukurnya berdasarkan pada tingkat konsumsi masyarakat memang amat sangat rapuh dan semu, tapi apa mau dikata, saaat ini sejauh itulah kemampuan pemerintah kita. Mudah2an para pebisnis dan calon pebisnis bisa jeli memanfaatkan peluang ini tanpa perlu bergantung kepada pemerintah, yang untuk saat ini memang tidak bisa dijadikan tempat bergantung 🙂
Hari ini bertolak menuju Bandung, mudah2an perjalanan dengan Adam Air lancar, amin.