Yesterday was the start of our mini vacation in Bali. So this morning, I was looking forward to waking up in our spacious rented bungalow and enjoying a beautiful day beside the pool and/or beach. Instead, I lay awake all night in a tiny bed in a disappointing hotel next to the Jakarta airport. Yes, folks, we missed our flight out yesterday and had to hole up here overnight.
Let me give you the full story.
Thursday morning, we wake up at 5 am. Our departure was scheduled for 1:30pm, so we spent the morning getting ready. Was 5 am too early for this? Yes, but that’s the time J wakes up every morning and I want you to feel our pain.
I took the morning off work, so I spent some time answering emails and such while the kids harassed everyone in sight. Now, traffic in Jakarta is bad, we already know this, so we planned to leave with plenty of time. In fact, last time we travelled, we got to the airport too soon because we left so early. We decided to leave just after 10 am.
It’s 11ish and we’re about halfway there, but traffic is starting to concern me. There are more cars than usual and we’re being held up in long lineups at toll booths. The kids are getting restless and B has woken up from his nap in the car. I figure we still have lots of time, though, don’t panic. Then we start hitting actual traffic jams – maybe there are some accidents, maybe it’s unexplainable, I don’t know. I start sending panicked texts to my coworkers for advice. But the traffic clears, and we think we might make it! Arrive at the airport at 1 pm – we’re cutting it close! Race to the counter for check-in: and THEY WON’T LET US CHECK IN. Apparently you have to arrive 45 minutes before the flight leaves to check in. Sure, I get it, I hate people who are late, and I understand having to make a cut-off time. But seriously, with just under half a hour before the flight leaves?? Surely we can run for it. Nope. We are officially turned away.
Thus begins a 2-hour saga of panicked calls to our travel agent. Every single flight on every single airline is booked for the day (it’s a long weekend). And our original flight/hotel bookings are non-refundable, so we can’t even bail on the trip. We eventually settle on a flight leaving Friday afternoon on a different airline and book a room at a nearby hotel for the night. Unfortunately, this means that 1) we pay for a whole new flight, 2) pay a no-show fee for the original flight that is basically the equivalent of the original tickets, 3) pay for a night in the airport hotel, and 4) pay for the night in our hotel in Bali, even though we are not staying there. This trip just got very expensive. You know how in Home Alone, the family just travels all over and stays in random hotels as their plans fall through because of the kid? I always thought it seemed crazy and imagined just how much money they were spending to do it (I was a weird kid). Now I know how they feel. They were rich, though, so maybe they didn’t care so much.
And, it turns out, we managed to pick a hotel that we suspect is the gay Asian businessman hookup point. That in itself is not an issue, but the fact that it feels like we walked into the eighties is. It’s all neon and block lettering. There’s a a karaoke bar, a “music lounge”, a fusion restaurant and a festive spa treatment area. They did let us ride in a golf cart to our room, though, so that’s a plus. The view from our room? Not as good.
Anyway, Bali trip take 2 happens later today.Wish us luck!