We leave Brussels at 6.15 am by bus, direction Charles-de-Gaulle airport, in Roissy. We have never been here, and I expected CDG to be a modern airport. Big mistake: it is outdated, and cramped. Bad news: we will leave 1h30 late, because of the Islandic volcano. This means that we will miss our connection in Singapore. Good news: we are flying a brand new Airbus A380, currently the largest commercial aircraft. Ours can transport 470 passengers. We take-off.
The A380 is very comfortable: enough leg room (even in Economy); every passenger has his own TV monitor, with access to tons of music, dozens of movies, video games (you can even play with another passenger anywhere on the aircraft), etc. The only trouble is that we are sitting next to a (Chinese?) woman who barely speaks French, stubbornly refuses to move (even to let us pass), and is absolutely incapable of doing anything on her own. She harrasses the cabin personnel by making them fetch her medicine, warm her rice (which she brought with her), close her table, etc. This is very long flight (12 hours), that we spend reading, watching movies (Avatar) and sleeping. Somewhere above Malaysia, we see the sun rising below the clouds.
We arrive at 7.50 am in Singapore, just when our connecting flight was supposed to (and did) leave.
They are well organized, and we receive our new tickets immediately after disembarking. Unfortunately, the flight is scheduled at 1pm, and we spend the time discovering Changi airport. Huge, very modern, with Internet corners full of PC's where we can do a bit of mail. No good deals to do in the Tax Free Shop: they have only shops for expensive brands.
We take-off for Jakarta.
Here reigns bureaucracy. A first queue to pay for the visa; a second one to create the entry in the passport; a third one for Immigration. They have installed a new procedure where, in addition to checking the visa and Immigration form, they also take our pic (but not, yet, our fingerprints, although they seem to be equipped for that).
A small miracle, our luggage is here. Another miracle, a guide from the travel agency is waiting for us, and we leave for Bandung by bus. We are moving at snail's pace on the highway, totally jammed.
And it starts to rain. We wonder when we will arrive at Bandung, which is 122km away.
It is night now (the sun goes down at 6 pm), it rains, there is of course not light on the road, and we are driving on the wrong side of the road (not really ... but here they drive on the left). After having left home 34 hours ago, we finally reach our hotel, which is very good (it's the one that hosted Fidel Castro during the Bandung Conference of 1955).
We try to find a restaurant. This is not easy, as our hotel is located in the business area of the city: lots of banks and office buildings. We find one, but unfortunately across the street. There is a lot of traffic, most traffic lights are blinking (and those that become green are just as dangerous, as it is allowed to turn left with a red traffic light). And, remember, they drive to the left. We risk our lifes, and cross the street. We are reminded that we are in an islamic country: no beer, wine or any alcoholic beverage. The food is very good, and inexpensive (7€ for the two of us). We don't taste the proposed dessert: banana with cheddar cheese. Back to the hotel; it is still raining (and it shouln't: the rainy season was supposed to end one month ago).