Day 1: The flight to Manado

~This is part of the Minahasa-Sangihe Chronicle, a journey by Toshi and Uncle R in their ancestors' homeland in North Sulawesi, which is located just on the Indonesian border facing southern Phillipines. Date of journal: Friday, 7 March 2008 ~

So I was wrong back then when I wrote here that Manadonese have reverted their city name’s spelling from “Manado” to “Menado”. I found out that the correct spelling was still "Manado" because the plane ticket still spelled it that way. Hence my use of the correct spelling now.

Uncle R and I arrived at the Soekarno-Hatta airport at 14:00 while we were supposed to be having a 19:00 flight. That meant that we had plenty of time to burn. Great. I started to regret not bringing my “Eldest” novel. It was a five-hour wait spent by reading the newspaper(s!), some printed Wikipedia stuff I brought along, and Jack Johnson on my mp3 player.

If you wanna have some grub for your hours-long flight to any part of Indonesia, I strongly advise you against taking a Lion Air flight. Before Uncle R and I board the airplane, we had some meal because Uncle R had forewarned me that the Lion Air flight we were going to take was a meal-less one, i.e. The Lion Air flight does not provide any free food to Economy-class passengers!

At around 19:15 (I checked my wristwatch that time), the Lion Air plane took off from Soekarno-Hatta, bound for Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado.

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Lion Air Prayer Booklet

Uncle R was right: they only provided a flimsy glass of Aqua. How cheapskate of them, eh?

At 22:15 WIB (23:15 WITA), we arrived at Sam Ratulangi International Airport which was located on the outskirts of the North Sulawesi capital.

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First picture I took in Manado

In the airport, I saw this, which should be set as an example for other international airports across Indonesia (esp. Jakarta) to follow

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Elevator for the handicapped

From there, we took a Dian taxi to the most inexpensive hotel we could find. Uncle R was originally inclined for Gran Puri Hotel, but the taxi driver recommended us to a newly-built Wisata Hotel which was strategically located in the centre of the city. I was honestly surprised to find out that Uncle R was quite adept in the Manado dialect. Haha... He had been here before, 12 years ago.

Note: From here onwards I use the WITA (GMT+8) timing system.

One thing I first noticed in the Manado taxi was that they use a Kijang taxi that looks like this:

Dian Taxi in Manado

Instead of the sedan-type taxi that Jakarta has. They also don’t use the fare-metre in their taxis, but negotiate the price instead with the passenger.

At around midnight we arrived in Wisata Hotel, where we bathed straightaway.

I was starving that time, and Uncle R and I tried to look for some meal to no avail. All the stores were closed after 10 PM: a thing definitely nonexistent in Jakarta! I was then forced to sleep with an empty stomach. Poor me…

~to be continued tomorrow~


A gentle reminder: In my strict self-adherence to the anonymous-blogging-policy, I wouldn’t upload any images that show me or any of my family members; hence this whole Minahasa-Sangihe Chronicle will lack any facial pictures of me or Uncle R. The individual names that I am going to post on this blog, with exception to those who aren’t related to me by blood, are going to be altered for pseudonyms or initials. However, all events, happenings, and place names are still going to be recounted exactly as they were.

Finally Woken  – (3 April 2008 at 05:02)  

"The Lion Air flight does not provide any free food to Economy-class passengers!"

That's what you have if you fly with budget airlines. I once flight London-Aberdeen, I think, and the flight attendant has the meal ready, but we have to pay.

Don't forget to try fried bat when you're in Manado :)

厚山 利彦 (Toshihiko Atsuyama)  – (3 April 2008 at 11:39)  

it was my experience last month btw. see the date (6 March)? :)

putting up postdated posts are becoming a habit for me.

are u serious that u had to play for your British flight? how cheapskate are maskapai penerbangan these days, eh?

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