March 18 2012

Some of you are probably wondering what the outcome of my last blog post was.

In parallel to asking the blogosphere about where I should go, my IBM colleagues were also working on customer visit opportunities. In the end, it appears I will proceed from next week's AusLUG in Melbourne to Indonesia, for my third visit to the country. My first, in April 2006, was to the island of Batam, for a quiet weekend in between work efforts. The second, in 2007, was our honeymoon in Bali where the main souvenir was the 400-pound Buddha.

After AusLUG, I am returning to Bali for the weekend. It won't be the same without Deborah, but I am still staying in Sanur where we first went during our honeymoon trip. It seems quieter and more relaxing than the Kuta/Seminyak area, though I'm sure I'll visit there. But I had to spend the weekend somewhere, and Bali turns out to be far cheaper than Melbourne (yeah, that's it, I'm saving IBM and myself money) with a nonstop flight that gets me 90% of the way towards my real onward destination. While in Bali, I'm hoping to do a day trip out to the rice fields, temples, and maybe an animal park, and am considering a morning cooking class. I will be eating a lot of mie goreng for sure, and hope to get back to Ibu Oka.

From Bali, I'll fly a domestic segment to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Not sure how, yet - none of the domestic airlines (Garuda, Air Asia, Lion Air, or Sriwijaya Air) will take an American Express card and/or an American-issued Visa via their website. I'm sure my corporate travel people can take care of this, but the Garuda fare online is US$128, while via Travelocity it is US$229.

After Jakarta it looks like the journey home -- ten days away from the family is too long, but going to Asia means hardly any other length of trip would be worthwhile. I'll (likely) be bringing a good camera, hoping to share the journey with you.

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