12-3 and 12-4: Sorong to Makassar to Jakarta to Hong Kong to New York

Sorong to Makassar
At Je Meridian, we had breakfast in a huge ballroom in the hotel (which apparently used to be a car dealership) and wasted a few hours talking, sharing videos, and bemoaning our collective long flights home. Then we packed and lugged our gear downstairs. We passed more time hanging out in hotel lobby while Andy and Thorbin somehow checked in our luggage and got our boarding passes without our passports. Then it was off to the airport, where – coincidentally – no one ever asked for identification either. It was like traveling in the 1980s all over again.

Sorong Airport

Sorong Airport

Our Merpati Airlines flight from Sorong to Makassar was terribly late, which concerned the seven of us traveling to Jakarta since we had a short connection time. But we made it with time to spare since – duh – we gained an hour – and also because our flight to Jakarta was late.

Makassar to Jakarta

In the Makassar Airport – Alex, Evvy, Frank, and Don…. “Wait a minute? Aren’t there supposed to be seven of us?”

Oh…. There they are. Alex, Evvy, Nana, Colin, Frank, and Don

Don, gleaning vast amounts of information from a newspaper written entirely in Indonesian

Alex, wondering if our flight to Jakarta is really being piloted by pros

When we arrived to Jakarta, Evvy, Don, and I roamed the airport looking for the Cathay Pacific office so we could secure at least good seats if not exit rows. This is where we discovered that my itinerary-scheduled 9:15AM flight to Hong Kong was an 8:40AM flight, and coincidentally the same one Don and Evvy was on. Hm. Okay. Good thing we made that little office stop.

Evvy and I decided to spoil ourselves with the Sheraton Hotel – an oasis of western luxury. Oh, the wonder of air conditioning. And a spa. And Internet access. And edible food. We had dinner in the restaurant before Evvy got a massage and I played on the Internet. Then we snuggled in for a comfortable sleep.

12-4: Jakarta to Hong Kong to New York
Somehow I scored both a bulkhead seat from Jakarta to Hong Kong and an exit row from Hong Kong to New York. On the Jakarta to HK flight I asked (through the Chinese-speaking flight attendant) the lady next to me if she’d switch seats with Evelyn so she got the legroom too. Evvy and I very happily sat and watched movies during the five-hour flight.

In Hong Kong we sat for an hour in the food court with Don, chatting about diving, travel, and anything else our bleary minds could think of before we split up: them to LA and me to NYC. Misool was beautiful and stunning and wonderful, but I was so ready to be home. There’s nothing quite like three long days of to squash a holiday high. But it was worth it!

New York, when I arrived was below freezing and full of cars and tourists. Just like it should be this time of year. I almost kissed my street… but that would have been gross.