Jet Airways 9W 256 from Mumbai to Colombo (BOM-CMB)

My third-flight and also my last flight with Jet Airways were deliberately priority to be written. Remembering every Jet Airways flights that are very important in completing my exploration in South Asia region.

Early morning flight (2:05 p.m.) which was departed from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai made me lack of sleep time since checked-in until landing (04: 35).

Entering airport, I immediately sought a pray room. Entering prayer room, I was greeted by a man who was wearing an ihram cloth (Ihram cloth is specific cloth for hajj or umrah in Mecca) among a group of umrah tour which were praying together. His hospitality smile welcomed me after ablutions.

He : “Assalamu’alaikum, hi brother, where are you come from?

Me: “Hi sir …. from Indonesia“. I threw a smile to him.

He: “I’m from Bangadesh, I think you are from Malaysia“. He smiled again.

Me: “Yeaa….Malaysian and Indonesia are looking same”. I shaked his hand

He: “Where will you go?

Me: “I will go to Colombo…Oh ya three days ago, I visit your country

He: Suddenly hugging me … ” Really, How about my country? nice?

Me: “Yeaa, exotic country….very original….I will come again next time”.

He: smile again and patted my shoulder.

I also found some Indians praying at some airport corridors.

Dinner at that night were some authentic Indian street fried foods which I got from the last rupee after exploring Mumbai”

A thing that I always do when traveling is to exchange my last local moneys into USD before leaving a country which I visited and then spending last coins which can’t be exchanged to buy a menu for next meal. In fact, sometimes I will eat it in next country.

Last 2 hours waiting time was used to charge all my electronic devices which low battery after I use it in exploring Mumbai.

Airport information calls which don’t use Indian-English accent at all make me feeling like at European airports (It’s still dream….I’ve never set foot in Europe). Yeah cool.…all information calls at this airport is accented with native english .

It was really nice to see my plane leaned on gate 85D, a sign that I would set foot in Colombo soon.

My plane just arrived and was unloading

1 hour later boarding process started.…

through aviobridge I finally caught my third flight with Jet Airways.

Online checking-in that I did 24 hours before flight made me free to choose a window seat. This position is always my choose at every flight to easy documenting every moment during flight.

boarding process before I really fell asleep.

Trying to still awake by reading “Jet Wings”, I hoped cabin crews would immediately distribute in-fligt meal.

this is Jet Airways’ inflight magazine.

Even when I fell asleep, inflight meal never came. Apparently, there wasn’t food on this flight. Or whether I missed it. Because I really fell asleep very hard. Because less sleep during Mumbai exploration.

I was awakened by flight attendants to immediately establish my seat, signaling that I would land in Colombo soon.

I deftly set up my Canon EOS M10 and turned it on. I would catch some city view when plane prepared to touch down at Bandaranaike International Airport.

I was stunned by a row of lights that were patterned straight and neat. There wasn’t doubt that it must be a beach that would ll be my destination in Colombo.

View along the famous Galle Face beach.

10 minutes later, Jet Airways actually landed in Colombo. Hmmmh… couldn’t wait to get down soon.

Bandaranaike International Airport could be seen from plane’s window.

My arrival was at 4:35 a.m., I had to wait until morning to catch first airport bus which would go to downtown.

Jet Airways was in unloading process at Bandaranaike International Airport

Subha udesenak!Pearl of the Indian Ocean“….kindly welcomed me, please….hehehe.

Jet Airways 9W 256 dari Mumbai ke Colombo (BOM-CMB)

Penerbangan ke-3 sekaligus penerbangan terakhir bersama Jet Airways ini sengaja kudahulukan untuk ditulis. Mengenang setiap penerbangan Jet Airways yang sangat berjasa dalam menuntaskan penjelajahanku di kawasan Asia Selatan.

Penerbangan dini hari (jam 02:05) yang bertolak dari Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport di Mumbai membuatku kekurangan waktu tidur dari mulai check-in hingga landing (jam 04:35).

Memasuki airport, Aku segera mencari pray room untuk bersembahyang. Memasuki mushala, Aku disapa oleh seorang Bapak yang mengenakan kain ihram bersama sekelompok rombongan yang sedang shalat bersama. Senyum keramahannya menyambutku seusai berwudhu.

Dia: “Assalamu’alaikum, hi brother, where are you come from?”

Saya: “Hi Sir….from Indonesia”. Sembari kulempar senyum.

Dia: “I’m from Bangadesh, I think you are from Malaysia”. Dia kembali tersenyum

Saya: “Yeaa….Malaysian and Indonesia are looking same”. Kujabat tangannya

Dia: “Where will you go?

Saya: “I will go to Colombo…Oh ya three days ago, I visit your country

Dia: Tiba-tiba memelukku….”Really, How about my country? nice?

Saya: “Yeaa, exotic country….very original….I will come again next time”.

Dia: Kembali senyum dan menepuk-nepuk pundakku.

Aku juga menemukan beberapa orang India bersembahyang di beberapa selasar airport.

Makan malam waktu itu bermenu “beberapa gorengan jalanan asli India yang kudapat dari recehan rupee terakhir pasca menjelajah Mumbai”

Trik yang selalu kulakukan saat traveling adalah menukar kembali kelebihan uang lokal dengan USD sebelum meninggalkan negara yang kukunjungi lalu membelanjakan uang receh yang tak bisa ditukar dengan seporsi menu untuk waktu makan selanjutnya. Bahkan terkadang makanan itu akan kumakan di negara selanjutnya….Gokil bued….Ngirit minta ampun.

2 jam waktu tunggu tersisa kumanfaatkan untuk mengisi daya semua alat elektronikku yang lowbatt setelah kugunakan dalam menjelajah Mumbai.

Panggilan informasi bandara yang tidak sama sekali berlogat Indian English membuat Aku merasa berada di bandara-bandara Eropa (Ngaco….padahal belum pernah menginjakkan kaki di Eropa). Iya keren lho….panggilan informasi di airport ini beraksen native english.

Seneng banget melihat pesawatku merapat ke gate 85D, pertanda Aku akan segera menginjakkan kaki di Colombo.

Pesawatku baru sampai dan sedang proses unloading

1 jam kemudian boarding process pun dimulai…..

melalui aviobridge akhirnya Aku menangkap penerbangan ketigaku bersama Jet Airways.

Online check-in yang kulakukan 24 jam sebelum penerbangan membuatku leluasa memilih window seat. Posisi ini yang memang selalu kuincar setiap terbang untuk bisa mendokumentasikan setiap momen selama pernerbangan berlangsung.

boarding process sebelum Aku benar-benar terlelap tidur.

Mencoba menahan mata dengan mambaca “Jet Wings” berharap para awak kabin segera membagikan in-fligt meal.

inilah infligt magazine nya Jet Airways.

Bahkan hingga Aku terlelap menu itu tak pernah datang. Ternyata memang tak ada makanan dalam penerbangan kali ini. Atau entah Aku melewatkannya. Karena Aku benar-benar terlelap sangat nyenyak. Akibat kurang tidur selama eksplorasi Mumbai.

Dibangunkan oleh pramugari untuk segera menegakkan tempat duduk, menandakan Aku akan segera mendarat di Colombo.

Dengan cekatan Aku segera men-setting Canon EOS M10 ku dan menyalakannya. Aku akan menangkap beberapa view kota disaat pesawat bersiap touch down di Bandaranaike International Airport.

Aku tertegun dengan deretan cahaya lampu yang terpola lurus dan rapi. Tak salah lagi itu pasti pantai yang akan menjadi destinasiku di Colombo.

View sepanjang pantai Galle Face yang sangat terkenal itu.

10 menit kemudian Jet Airways benar-benar mendarat di Colombo. Aduh…ga sabar untuk segera turun.

Bandaranaike International Airport terlihat dari jendela pesawat.

Kedatanganku pada pukul 04:35 dini hari, membuatku harus menunggu hingga pagi untuk menangkap airport bus pertama yang akan menuju pusat kota Colombo.

Jet Airways sedang unloading process di Bandaranaike International Airport

Subha udesenak!Pearl of the Indian Ocean“….sambutlah diriku dengan ramah ya….hehehe.

Airport Bus from Bandaranaike International Airport to Colombo Central Bus Stand

My arrival in Colombo, Sri Lanka began with a strange toilet activity. Airport cleaning service-man greeted me, “Indonesia?”, He pressed a flush button on my urinal and gave three sheets of tissue in front of bathroom sink and finally at the toilet door he asked me some money for eat. I didn’t have Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) that morning because I hadn’t exchanged my USD to local money. I apologized and left him.

There wasn’t problem when passing the immigration counter because I have an e-Visa, a return ticket to exit from Sri Lanka and a dormitory reservation voucher.

I immediately exchanged my USD … I got a little problem. The money changer staff said that I must exchanged minimum USD 100/transaction. I didn’t gave up for asking one by one to all money changer, and finally I could exchange just USD 50 at the Sampath Bank’s money changer.

Left: Sampath Bank money changer at Bandaranaike International Airport.

Right: Sri Lanka Telecom’s Kiosk Mobitel

I was actually little crazy, that local money that I got from money changer would still remaining about USD 25 at the end of my adventure in Colombo. I exchanged the remaining LKR to USD at the money changer in downtown.

With LKR 8,830, my first spending was the 4 GB SimCard Mobitel from Sri Lanka Telecom for LKR 960.

After waiting almost 2 hours until bright morning, I decided to head to downtown. I left the arrival hall to catch the first airport bus. Coming out along the corridor, I was a little nervous in my loneliness, but I just said to myself “hi man, you have arrived … so if you want to do more, you must explore”.

My muttering was stopped when I faced an airport guard soldier and I asked to him where the airport bus shelter was. Actually, I already knew the answer, surely I have to turned left from the exit door and the bus was at the end of the corridor. Yes… True, He said like that. (I knew because I have been googling before came to Colombo, so I asked only for affirmations). So I walked to the left of exit door.

Yess, I was at the end of corridor….but, “where is the bus?”. There are lots of Toyota Hiace parked. Someone approached me. “Where are you going, sir” … I said I wanted to go to Galle Face Beach (My hostel is near there). In essence, he said there wasn’t airport bus here and he offered services for 6,000 Rupees to Galle Face with His Toyota Hiace. Well, surely I couldn’t afford to pay it. I said that I was a backpacker and didn’t have much money. I just asked him for helping me to showed where was the location of airport bus shelter … He was so kind and finally told me … actually, the bus was at the right of exit door.

Top left: Sign to airportbus shelter. Top right: Airport bus shelter

Bottom right: Airport bus ticket for LKR 150.

Lower Left: Situation of airport bus inside

I immediately got in bus. 15 minutes later the bus left the airport. My eyes couldn’t close because I was stunned by the view of Colombo’s morning street. Then the bus pushed onto highway, the morning sun warmly penetrated the bus windows, Keeping me from cold temperature of the bus. The medium-sized bus drove slowly and showing off the originality of Colombo … Ahhh, I couldn’t wait to get to downtown.

40 minutes later, the bus arrived at Colombo Central Bus Stand. I didn’t want to linger in this central terminal. If I was long here, it means that I would be surrounded by taxi and tuk-tuk drivers. Got information from Sri Lanka tourism site. As soon as I got off the bus, I immediately avoided their intention to gathering around me. I just said: “I’m sorry, I’m looking for bus no 100”. I crossed the arterial road in front of the terminal then turned right around 500 meters. And sure enough, I saw the bus. Running to catch it and hupp … I jumped through the back door

Left Top: City bus no. 100 to Galle Face. Top Right: Bus inside

Bottom Right: The closest bus stop from Hostel at Galle Face

Lower Left: Arterial road situation around Colombo Central Bus Stand

I began to feel strange, my southeast asia face was surrounded by their south asia face. Crammed standing into Colombo bus wasn’t different with Kopaja (name of Jakarta’s city bus). It only took 14 minutes to arrive at Galle Face and then walked 200 meters from the bus stop, I found my hostel.

Okay … I would bring you to see Colombo… let’s go!

Airport Bus dari Bandaranaike International Airport ke Colombo Central Bus Stand

Kedatanganku di Colombo, Sri Lanka dimulai dengan aktivitas toilet yang aneh. Penjaga toilet itu menyapaku “Indonesii?”, memencetkan tombol flush di urinoirku dan memberikan tiga lembar tissue di depan wastafel dan akhirnya di pintu toilet Dia memintaiku uang untuk makan katanya. Aku tak punya Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) pagi itu karena Aku belum menukar USD. Aku mohon maaf dan meninggalkannya.

Tak ada masalah berarti melewati konter imigrasi karena Aku memiliki e-Visa, tiket keluar Sri Lanka dan reservasi dormitory.

Aku segera menukarkan USD….sedikit masalah. Kata staff money changer minimal penukaran 100 USD. Tak menyerah menanyakan satu persatu money changer, sampai akhirnya Aku bisa menukarkan 50 USD di money changer milik Sampath Bank .

Kiri: Sampath Bank money changer di Bandaranaike International Airport.

Kanan: Kios Mobitel milik Sri Lanka Telecom

Aku memang sedikit gila, uang segitu nanti masih akan bersisa 25 USD di akhir petualanganku di Colombo. Aku menukar kembali sisa LKR ke USD di money changer di tengah kota.

Berbekal 8.830 LKR, spending pertamaku adalah SimCard Mobitel 4 GB keluaran Sri Lanka Telecom seharga 960 LKR.

Setelah menunggu hampir 2 jam hingga pagi menjelang terang, kuputuskan menuju pusat kota. Aku meninggalkan arrival hall untuk menangkap airport bus pertama. Keluar menyusuri koridor , Aku sedikit nervous dalam kesendirianku, tapi Aku cuma berujar di hati “hi man, Kamu sudah sampai….so mau ngapain lagi kalau ga explore”.

Gumamku terhenti ketika Aku menghadap ke seorang tentara penjaga bandara dan menanyakan letak airport bus shelter. Aku sudah tau jawabannya, pasti suruh belok kiri dari pintu keluar dan bus ada di ujung. Tuh….bener kan doi ngomong begitu. (Aku tahu karena pernah googling, Aku menanya hanya untuk afirmasi). Aku makin PeDe melangkah ke kiri dari pintu keluar.

Yess, sudah diujung nih….bus mana bus ?, kok banyak Toyota Hiace diparkiran. Seseorang menghampiriku. “Where are you going, Sir”…..Kubilang mau ke Pantai Galle Face (Hostelku dekat situ gaes). Intinya dia bilang disini tak ada airport bus dan dia menawarkan jasa seharga 6.000 Rupee menuju Galle Face dengan Hiace nya. Yah pastilah Aku gak mampu bayar….yeeee. Kubilang baik-baik bahwa Aku backpacker dan tak punya uang sebanyak itu.  Aku hanya minta tolong untuk diberitahu dimana letak airpot bus shelter….doi luluh dan akhirnya memberitahuku….ternyata bus itu ada di sebelah kanan pintu keluar #tepokjidatnih

Kiri atas : Sign menuju airportbus shelter . Kanan atas : Airport bus shelter

Kanan bawah: Tiket airport bus seharga 150 LKR.

Kiri Bawah: Suasana di dalam airport bus

Tak menunggu lama, Aku segera naik. 15 menit kemudian bus meninggalkan airport. Mataku tak bisa terpejam karena tertegun menikmati pemandangan jalanan pagi Colombo. Bus kemudian merangsek ke jalan tol, matahari pagi menembus kaca bus dengan hangat, membantuku menahan dinginnya AC bus. Bus berukuran sedang itu melaju pelan seakan memamerkan orisinalitas kota Colombo….Ahhh, Aku tak sabar sampai di tengah kota.

40 menit kemudian, bus mulai masuk ke Colombo Central Bus Stand. Aku tak mau berlama-lama di terminal sentral ini. Kelamaan disini berarti harus siap dikerubuti taxi-er dan tuk tuk-er. Berbekal informasi dari situs pariwisata Srilanka. Begitu turun bus, Aku langsung menghindar dari niat mereka mengerumuniku. Ku bilang aja: ” I’m sorry, I am looking for bus no 100”. Aku menyeberangi jalan arteri di depan terminal lalu belok ke kanan sekitar 500 meter. Dan benar saja, Aku melihatnya. Berlari kecil mengejarnya dan hupp….aku lompat lewat pintu belakang

Kiri Atas :City bus no 100 ke Galle Face. Kanan Atas: Suasanan dalam bus

Kanan Bawah: Halte bus terdekat dari Hostel at Galle Face

Kiri Bawah: Suasana di jalan arteri sekitar Colombo Central Bus Stand

Aku mulai merasa asing, wajah Asia Tenggara berada dikerumunan wajah Asia Selatan. Berdiri berdesakan didalam bus yang tak jauh beda dengan Kopaja Ibu Kota. Hanya butuh 14 menit untuk sampai di Galle Face dan berjalan sejauh 200 meter dari halte bus, Aku menemukan hostelku

Okay…..Akan kuajak Kamu melihat Sri Lanka…yukkks gaes!