Taksi dari Ahmad Yani International Airport ke Pusat Kota

Perdebatan pilihan itu selesai dengan cepat oleh otoritasku sendiri. “Tak usah taat dalam seni backpacker, Donny. Ini tugas kantor, manfaatkan saja fasilitasnya, naiklah taksi!”, batinku tegas mengalahkan beberapa opsi bodoh yang kadang sporadis muncul dalam sikap dan pilihan.

Dasar, si anak pengiritan”, candaan para kolega kepadaku, begitulah brand yang tersemat. Bagaimana tidak, setiap keluar bandara aku selalu berfikir otomatis bahwa biaya naik bus itu cuma seperempat biaya naik taksi. Jadi aku selalu rela berlama-lama menunggu kedatangan kotak raksasa beroda empat atau enam itu.

Konter Taxi Service di Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Sudah lewat Maghrib….

Telepon terus berdering dari kolegaku yang sedang melakukan sesi rehearsel training di kawasan Bukit Semarang Baru (BSB). Tanpa ragu aku mengangkat smartphone, ternyata dia hanya ingin mengabarkan bahwa aku lebih baik langsung menuju penginapan saja, karena rehearsel akan paripurna dalam lima belas menit lagi.

Lima menit mengantri untuk mendapatkan tiket taxi service seharga Rp. 50.000, aku segera di arahkan menuju sebuah taksi. Seorang pengemudi paruh baya nan sederhana berlari kecil menjemputku. “Assalamu’alaikum, mas. Mandap pundi?”, tanyanya penuh senyum sembari membantu mengangkat kardus di pundak kiri dan dua buah roll up banner ditentengnya di tangan kanan.

Jasa taksi bandara ini dikelola oleh Primkopad (Primer Koperasi Taksi Angkatan Darat) S-16.

Seperti biasa, backpack kesayanganku tetap tak pernah lepas dariku, bersamaku masuk dari pintu depan. Kubaca papan ID Card yang tertempel di dashboard.

Pak Ari, asli mriki pak?”, aku membuka pembicaraan sembari memasang safety belt untuk kemudian meluncur bersama ke hotel.

Wah mboten mas, aku asli pekalongan. Njenengan saking pundi niki wau?”, jawabnya sembari pelan menginjak pedal gas keluar dari area bandara.

Saking Ibu kota pak. Sampun dangu nyambut damel wonten Semarang pak, pripun rame nggih? “, dialog mengalir lancar menghangatkan suasana.

Nembe tigang tahun mas Donny. Sakderengipun, wonten Jakarta, gandeng anak sampun sami mentas, nggih pun, pindah nyambut damel mriki mawon. Caket ngomah”, ucapnya sambil terus ceria mengendalikan taksi putih meninggalkan daerah Tambakharjo.

Tugas kantor nopo pripun niki mas Donny? “, tanyanya menyidik.

Nggih pak, manawi mboten tugas kantor biasanipun pados bus pak. Bandara niki wonten bus ten pusat kuto pak? “, tanyaku mencari referensi.

Oh wonten mas Donny. Wonten BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) Trans Semarang. Mirah kok mas, namung Rp. 3.500, mas”, ungkapnya menjelaskan.

Aku dan Pak Ari.
Jalan Puri Anjasmoro pukul 17:24 WIB.

Lama sekali aku tak merasakan nikmatnya menggunakan jasa taksi bandara. Sehingga waktu 20 menit itu kumanfaatkan sungguh untuk menikmati business trip kali ini….Terimakasih ya kantorku tercinta atas kesempatan ini.

Perlahan taksi berbelok ke kanan, mulai merapat ke Jalan Arteri Yos Sudarso, menuju ke selatan. Aku berpindah dari jalan berpembatas beton yang Nampak masih baru , menuju ke jalan dua jalur di masing-masing ruas, berpembatas setinggi trotoar dan pepohonan rindang di setiap sisi kiri ruasnya.

Dalam dua puluh menit, dengan jarak tempuh enam kilometer aku tiba di The Azana Hotel Airport. Selembar alat tukar bergambar Soekarno dan Hatta kuserahkan kepada pak Ari. Sengaja kulebihkan ongkos perjalanan dan berbagi rezeqi kepadananya….Sadar diri, kalau sedang backpackeran, aku jarang melebihkan ongkos….Hahahaha.

Aku akan menginap dua malam di hotel ini.

Mari kita lihat dalam empat hari kedepan, Semarang punya apa saja….

Citilink QG 144 dari Jakarta (HLP) ke Semarang (SRG)

Rute penerbangan QG 144 (sumber: https://flightaware.com/).

Yeaaaa….Aku mendapatkan business trip akhir pekan. Seperti biasa, aku selalu mensiasati tugas kantor untuk tetap bisa menyalurkan hobby andalan….Yes, eksplorasi. Tugas pelatihan Jum’at dan Sabtu, akan kusambung dengan extend hingga Ahad dalam perjalanan gratisan ini.

SEMARANG….

Itulah kota tujuanku kali ini. Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport menjadi titik tolak dan Ahmad Yani International Airport menjadi titik mendaratku.

Bos : “Don, saya belum dapat orang untuk menghandle training di Semarang. Kamu bisa ga ya, kalau akhir pekan ini pergi ke Semarang?. Mendadak sih Don, sorry sebelumnya”.

Aku: “Hhmmhh (pura-pura mikir), boleh lah pak (sok jual mahal, padahal mau bingiiitttzzzz)

Bos: “Kamu berangkat Kamis sore, pulang Sabtu sore, nanti biar tiket diurus orang Marketing Support”.

Aku: “Siap, Pak”.

Setelah pembicaraan selesai, secepat kilat kutelpon staff Marketing Support yang dimaksud.  Aku minta kepulanganku di extend hingga Ahad sore. “Biar akomodasi hari Ahad aku yang tanggung, tapi tiket pulang tetap kantor yang bayar”, seruku padanya yang disusul dengan konfirmasi “OK, Pak Donny”.

Wah senangnya hatiku….Jalan-jalan lageeeeee.

Pagi itu, aku masih bekerja seperti biasa hingga tengah hari. Setelah menaruh beat pop hitam kesayangan di rumah, aku berangkat menuju Halim. Tak jauh, hanya 25 menit dari landmark tempat tinggalku, Terminal Bus Kampung Rambutan.

Aku tiba di bandara sangat mepet dengan boarding time, membuatku berfokus pada memotong panjangnya antrian di konter check-in. Entah mengapa, para calon penumpang yang mengantri di depanku selalu memanggil teman-temannya ketika sudah berada di depan konter, membuat jengkel karena banyak penumpang yang mengantri dibelakangku bisa otomatis menyodok antrian….Parah.

Aku mendapatkan tiket tepat sepuluh menit sebelum boarding time. Itulah….Aku tak lagi berfikir mendokumentasikan setiap sesi di Halim Perdanakusuma

Alhamdulillah, selamat dari keterlambatan.

Aku memasuki gate 6 dengan nafas cepat karena khawatir tertinggal penerbangan. Tak sempat mendinginkan keringat, panggilan penerbangan itu tiba. Tanpa sempat duduk, aku segera bersiap diri menuju Semarang sore itu.

Waiting room Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.
Mengantri boarding di gate 6.

Citilink menjadi daftar maskapai ke-12 dari 28 maskapai yang pernah kunaiki. Bangga bisa menikmati penerbangan maskapai berwarna korporat hijau itu. Warna yang melambangkan tiga makna yaitu young-fun-dynamic. Inilah anak dari maskapai kenamaan Garuda Indonesia. Dan yang lebih membanggakan adalah terpilihnya Citilink dalam daftar The 20 Best Budget Airline for 2019 versi Skytrax.

Pemandangan keren, ya. Hanya perlu berjalan kaki dari gate 6 menuju ke pesawat.
Wooow….tepat di kaki pesawat.
Lihat ACnya, hingga berkabut begitu….Dingiiiiin.

Seharusnya aku duduk di bangku 23A, persis di window seat.

Seorang Ibu: “Mas, bangkunya tuker ya. Saya pusing kalau tidak dekat jendela”.

Aku: “ Oh silahkan Ibu, tidak apa-apa”, hmmmh perlahan kumasukkan Canon EOS M10 ku, tak ada gunanya kupegang, aku tak bakalan bisa meng-capture indahnya bumi dari bangku bernomor 23C.

Duduk di aisle seat.
Linkers….Inflight magazine milik Citilink.

Perjalanan menempuh jarak 400 km ini ditempuh dalam waktu 50 menit. Jadi ini adalah penerbangan singkat yang sangat tanggung untuk dibuat tidur. Lebih baik, aku menyusun itinerary dadakan dari beberapa referensi yang kudapat serta menyusun anggaran perjalanan.

Sore itu perjalanan sungguh berat karena sepanjang pantai utara Jawa penuh dengan awan yang membuat penerbangan penuh turbulensi. Kufikir semua penumpang terdiam karena memikirkan hal yang sama….Hahaha. Sementara seorang pramugara terus berpegangan pada bagasi kabin untuk menahannya terlempar karena turbulensi. Senang tapi menegangkan. Aku sendiri selalu berserah diri kepada Yang Maha Kuasa ketika melakukan penerbangan.

Begitu leganya, ketika suara lembut pramugari mengarahkan segenap penumpang untuk bersiap mendarat. Memasuki kota Semarang, cuaca berubah cerah dan pesawat mulai langsir dengan lembut dan akhirnya….Touchdown Semarang.

Oh itu, bentuk bangunan baru Ahmad Yani International Airport.
Terimakasih Citilink.

Pelatihan yang ditugaskan oleh kantor masih berlangsung esok hari dan rehearsel pelatihan sudah diwakilkan oleh rekanku yang datang dari kantor cabang Surabaya sejak pagi tadi. Dia memilih menggunakan kereta dari Surabaya menuju Semarang. Jadi, aku tak perlu terburu waktu menuju ke hotel setelah mendarat.

Seperti biasa, aku akan mengeksplore gerbang wisata Kota Semarang ini…..Yes, Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Kuy lah….

Citilink QG 145 from Semarang (SMG) to Jakarta (HLP)

Citilink QG 145 flight route. Source: https://flightaware.com/

Titan treated me to lunch before arriving at hotel. A portion of Pecel 1* rice near Public Senior High School 1 Semarang. Then he also supplied me with typical Semarang Presto 2* Milkfish to take back to Jakarta. Wow, he was my kind friend.

Before actually checking out, Titan, who was curious about how I chose cheap lodging, he came with me to dormitory room. He paid close attention to dormitory room and its sleeping capsules. “Great Donny, can you sleep in a capsule like this?“, he said with a smile. “When abroad, I did the same thing, Titan. That’s why I can travel at a low cost”, I replied in a whisper.

Toyota Calya in orange metallic color, picked me up at Sleep & Sleep Capsule. Simultaneously, I said goodbye to Titan to leave Semarang. Thank you Titan.

On 15:25 hours, I arrived at the airport. Without further ado and exploration, I hurried over to check-in counter. I was only forty-five minutes from boarding time. Less crowded counters allowed me to finish check-in process in fifteen minutes and finally my boarding pass was in my hand….Nice.

I continued to focus on heading to waiting room quickly. I was only thirty minutes away from flight. And exactly fifteen minutes before boarding, I reached waiting room and sat down with gasping. Not long, after enjoying the beauty of waiting room, A call from ground staff to got ready to fly echoed. Now, I was preparing at Gate 3A to enter aircraft cabin.

Ticket to Jakarta.
Citilink QG 145’s cabin interior. Sat on seat number 10A.

Now I was sitting on seat which matched with its number on boarding pass. I was getting ready to go to Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, which was 394 Km from Ahmad Yani International Airport. I would fly with Airbus A320’s flying casings with a maximum altitude of 26,000 feet, with a speed of 520 mph and a travel time of 53 minutes.

During boarding process, I continued to enjoy the beauty of Ahmad Yani International Airport’s new passenger terminal from plane window. Seen some planes were back and forth coming and going on left side of plane which I was riding. The sky was cloudy, a sign that I should be prepared for a little turbulence right after take-off.

The time when had been waiting arrived, the plane was already getting ready on runway and waiting for permission to spur its jet engine into air. I was just busy in reading Citilink’s inflight magazine, i.e Linkers. Plane slowly began to advance and showing overall shape of airport from end to end. Beautiful of Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Wings Air’s ATR aircraft.
Which destination was that Air Asia to ?.
Terminal building along with ATC of Ahmad Yani International Airport during take-off.

Before breaking through thick clouds above, this flight quickly showed the beauty of Semarang’s north coast. Combination of dark clouds with orange sunlight which penetrated between clouds, combined with blue sea with the creeping of ships around port….Hmmhh, a very authentic Semarang.

The vibrations began to be felt when plane wanted to stabilize its flying altitude. But after that, sky returned clean and revealed its beauty from a height. That afternoon, I didn’t want to close my eyes and mised that amazing sky show.

Semarang north coast….Wouww, awesome.
The sun version of sky and the sun version of sea …. Beautiful isn’t it ?.
Pilots were very adept in dodging clouds….Smooth flight.

Flight incredibly felt short. Citilink began to get down above capital sky. Land of Bekasi was very dense. Several city icons were clearly visible from above. Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium, which I visited during President Cup match between Bali United and Semen Padang FC, just for seeing Irfan Bachdim’s figure closer.

While another view was LRT line which was being built along Cikampek toll road, it looked very beautiful. That was the path which almost I have taken every day throughout my profession as a salesman in capital city.

Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium was visible from a height.
LRT line which was currently under construction.

Citilink QG 145 landed at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport very smoothly. As usual, passengers would get off and walked at apron area to main terminal building. I rushed to conveyor belt to pick up luggage and then went home using an online motorcycle taxi.

Get off the plane in apron area.
Several visitors were waiting for Apron Free Shuttle Bus. I prefered to walk..

Many beautiful flights with Citilink. Thank you Citilink.

Alternatives for flight tickets from Semarang to Jakarta can be searched on 12Go or the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

The Story of Buddha’s Death at Watugong Pagoda

The moped was lauched with all its might by Titan heading south of the city. 15 kilometers away, 30 minutes in length. He said that I would be brought to the highest pagoda in Indonesia, in Pudakpayung area. Almost 12:00 hours, Titan and I arrived there, right on the edge of Perintis Kemerdekaan Street. Entering the gate, I just realized that it was a Buddhist monastery or worship complex, named Vihara Buddhagaya Watugong.

I passed a building with a roof shape which was similar to roof top at Grand Palace, Bangkok. If Grand Palace has a golden roof, this building will be brick red. This building is called Dhammasala Vihara. I started exploring it from top floor which was used as a multipurpose hall then entered its room in downstairs.

Dhammasala Vihara.
The first floor of Dhammasala Vihara is a praying room, decorated with a golden Buddha statue.

Leaving Dhammasala Vihara, I slowly approached second main section of monastery. This was what Titan meant earlier. The seven-story pagoda was with its nicknamed as Avalokitesvara Pagoda. Avalokitesvara itself comes from Sanskrit word “Avalokita” which means to hear down and “Isvara” which means sound. Meanwhile, Avalokitesvara in Chinese language is called by two words, namely “Kwan Im”. Meanwhile “Kwan Im” itself is a manifestation of compassion from Buddha.

Therefore, this temple is also known as Goddess Kwan Im Pagoda. Some people call it as Metakaruna Pagoda or Love Pagoda because of its existence to honor Kwan Sie Im Po Sat figure, Goddess of Love.

Sidharta Gautama statue under Bodhi Tree, a 65 year old Bodhi Tree.
Avalokitesvara Pagoda rises 45 meters in high.
Me dan Titan.
The 5 meter high statue of Goddess Kwan Im is located inside Avalokitesvara Pagoda.

Having finished walking around Avalokitesvara Pagoda which was guarded by God statues which arranged around each side on ground floor, I started exploring its courtyard and garden. There were twin gazebos with two layers of roofs which were used by visitors to sit and rest because they were tired after exploring vast monastery area.

Meanwhile, on other side of its courtyard was Sleeping Buddha Statue (Buddha Parinibbana), which reminded me when visiting Pha That Luang in Vientiane exactly five months before my visitation to this monastery. Next to Sleeping Buddha Statue, lined Ariya Atthangika Magga Monument, which represented eightfold main path as a practice for attaining highest happiness (Nibbana).

Gazebo around pagoda.
Buddha Parinibbana which describes passing of Buddha between two Sala Trees.

I slowly started to leave Buddhagaya Vihara. 7 meters tall Ashoka Monument was also visible. A monument made from solid stone and had lion head. A meaning which is contained in this lion head is that no matter how wild a lion is, when we know its character, it will be easy to conquer.

And at the end, I passed Sanchi Gate and Watugong Monument. This gate is a replica of a gate in front of Sanchi Stupa at India. The gate was built as a symbol of respect when entering temple building.

Meanwhile, Watugong Monument was built to show origin of area name, i.e “Watugong”. The name was taken from an original natural stone in the form of a gong (Javanese musical instrument).

Almost finished in visiting.
Ashoka Monument to commemorate King Ashoka from India who obey in practicing Buddhism.
Watugong Monument and Sanchi Gate.

My visitation in Semarang had really ended. Titan would take me to Sleep & Sleep Capsule to pick up my backpack and supplies. After that I would go to Ahmad Yani International Airport and returned to Jakarta.

Thank you Semarang.

Kampung Laut’s Kampung Batik

Shortly after entering room number 523 at The Azana Hotel Airport, I rushed into bathroom, then came out with wearing casual clothes. From his face, I knew that Mr. Muchlis was starving. Because of this, he has been snacking on packaged peanuts which he brought from the rehearsal place.

Come on sir, let’s go, looking for dinner!“, I said while preparing Canon EOS M10.

Where are we going to have dinner, Donny?“, He also seemed to didn’t have choice.

Do you want to go to Kampung Laut or not? Let’s eat seafood!”, I asked him. Secretly, I’ve found this restaurant through browsing since leaving the airport this afternoon.

Is it far, Donny?“, He asked. Maybe he was reluctant because as far as I know his passion is not far from climbing mountains, doing city exploration made him was grabbed by laziness.

No sir, it’s only six kilometers, at most a quarter of an hour, sir, let’s go! Before too late.“, I said.

I agree, Donny. I will order a online taxi”, Let’s go.

Soon, a black Honda Jazz picked up us at the lobby, we drove to Tawangsari area. I understand that this was same route when I left Ahmad Yani International Airport to The Azana Hotel Airport. We passed Yos Sudarso Street then turned left and following Puri Anjasmoro Street towards the airport. It was just that we will stop about two kilometers before actually arriving at the airport.

We arrived at Kampung Laut Restaurant.

Together with Mr. Muchlis in Kampung Laut.

Once arrived at our destination, I forgot to be hungry. Sight of whole restaurant made my exploration desire relapse. I asked Mr. Muchlis to find a seat, I briefly looked at the menu at a table, then I asked him to order white rice, sweet and sour squid and young coconut ice for my dishes.

I’ll walk around for a while, Sir, let me know where we will sit!“, I hurriedly asked.

I’ll sit in the middle, there Donny, I’ll wait!“, He pointed to a small table in open space on west side of main hut.

Yes Sir“, I closed our quick conversation.

I left him to explore some spots in restaurant which is designed to float on artificial lake. I started to enter the first part which was eight main huts, four on left and the rest on right. Elongated tables with dozens of chairs were arranged under huts, as a sign that that huts are used to serve large numbers of visitors. It seemed that Mr. Muchlis was right to chose a small table in outer court.

A row of huts with a pond in front of it.
Long dining table in the hut….Perfect for eating together with all office-mate.

Meanwhile, at western end, there is a long platform leading to a “Kampung Laut” nameboard which is designed to be a spot to take pictures for visitors after eating. The concept which attracts young people to visit here.

The best photo spot in Kampung Laut.

Not long after, I immediately joined with Mr. Muchlis for dinner after he sent a short message “Foods are ready, Donny. Come here!“.

Come on, dinner….

Outdoor dining table.
Our menu: water spinach, squids, fishes, coconut ice and avocado juice….It was simple menu… .Hahahaha.

After eating, I talked about rehearsal this afternoon which Mr. Muchlis did without my help. Were there anything missing?, what can be prepared again before tomorrow’s training?. “All were done, Donny, you don’t need to worry. The important thing is tomorrow we come half an hour before the event start, Okay! “, He concisely and convincingly said .

Before closing our dinner at Kampung Laut Restaurant, we stood in front of a small stage and enjoyed several songs which sung by a beautiful singer. Wow, if there were a lot of time, I would definitely sing with her. But seemed, She was singing a few requested songs from restaurant guests.

What was the best song if I had a duet with her?… .”Yellow” or “Tiwas Tresno”.

At exactly 21:30 hours, we withdrew and immediately headed to hotel to rest. Mr. Muchlis swiftly brought in an online taxi with Wuling Confero brand. This was first time for me to feel sensation of riding a China car.
Hmmhhh….It was quite relieved. “This uses a Chevrolet engine, for your information, Sir“, said the driver, proud to his car. Woow….When I hear a “Chevrolet” word, the first image which comes to my mind is the yellow “Bumblebee”.

Eittt I forgot, before actually leaving the restaurant, for you who wanted to shop for “Batik (Javanese clothes)“, there was a “Kampung Batik” outlet that sells Semarang typical batik.

For Batik fans…. Please stop by.

Time for sleeping and got a sweet dream, my friend …….

Exploring Ahmad Yani International Airport

I started this free business trip, very suddenly and equipped myself sufficiently. The most important thing was, my lovely tool wasn’t left behind….None other than black Canon EOS M10. Apart from supplies, an itinerary was never arranged before leaving. In the next four days, I will be an explorer who played as I pleases.

When Citilink started to take-off and leaving Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, I never thought anything about Ahmad Yani International Airport. My memory is still the same about it. Simple, not big, a waiting room which is directly face to face with plane muzzle when it’s parking. Those are memory sheets which neatly arranged in my brain cabinet. However, several years ago, Ahmad Yani International Airport was playing a role in taking off for the first flight in my life.

Oh apparently…..

It’s different, it’s amazing“, I muttered when I peeked through plane window when Citilink QG 144 was taxiing towards the apron.

It’s true, Ahmad Yani International Airport which have IATA code “SRG“, has transformed itself into a super elegant airport. I was dropped off in parking lot, next to Lion Air plane. Stepping under giant wing, main terminal building looked like a stretch of glass windows which showing off large pillars inside. Solar light appeared to perfectly penetrate the entire room in glass building.

Let’s entering the terminal building.

Asphalt on airport vehicle lane still looked very black and smooth, a sign that this route was recently operated. Road markings which stuck to asphalt were still perfectly white. The terminal wall was still a light beige.

A. Arrival

I entered arrival hall corridor towards baggage claim area. The floor was still shiny and reflected the lights in a regular pattern, glass room on left was still under construction status, while corridor right side had several toilets, lifts and a prayer room in operation. Several shelves containing shoe flower pots were beautify room corners.

Corridor towards baggage claim area.
Baggage claim area.

Some baggage service counters of several airlines still appeared to be closed, maybe the airlines concerned weren’t operating yet at this terminal.

After going through baggage claim area, a row of information provider counters have been prepared, such as Tourist Information Center, BP3TKI, money changers and TRAC car rental companies. Meanwhile, between main building and road for in and out of the airport are separated by a stretch of water. Yes, I was currently in a floating terminal which covering 7 hectares area which was built on a swamp.

The exit area is under a canopy corridor and framed by whitewashed steel beams. This corridor connects arrival hall and commercial zone of airport. The existence of a pool, umbrella shade with chairs under it and a garden planted with medium tall trees with a patterned distribution make exit area appearance is very neat. Here is where the pick-up await their guests arrival or relatives who have just landed.

Exit gate.
Park area.

Once past exit gate, there was a photospot area with background of President Joko Widodo who is riding his onthel bicycle. Followed by existence of toilets, nursery rooms, money changers, prayer rooms and ATM areas.

Musalla after exit gate.
Corridor with a line of ATMs from several banks.

Airport digital clock screen showed 17:09 hours, when I entered commercial zone. Two predominantly green customer service desks appear parallel to exit gate. Meanwhile, black and red waiting benches circle every main pillars in terminal building and several of them line up in several empty walls. Several photo spots are located in building corners, while departure and arrival flight information LCD are in the middle zone so that it is easily accessible to all passengers and visitors.

Customer service counters.

Commercial zone area was already occupied by several well-known brands such as X-Side Eat, A&W, Kukomart, Bank BNI, Eaten Kopi Tiam and other brands.

Exiting commercial zone building, I was greeted by a double corridor separated by a four-wheeled vehicle lane. This is taxi zone and drop and pickup zone. This corridor looks neat with round poles and spandex roofs. Meanwhile, under the shade, waiting chairs are arranged along corridor. I myself chose taxi transportation mode to downtown, considering that this was a business trip which all costs were paid by office where I work.

B. Departure

Three days later, I returned to this airport to return to capital city. Online taxi dropped me off at same place where I left the airport when I arrived on the first day. I set foot in drop and pickup zone then rushed to find check-in area inside of terminal building.

Arrived in drop and pickup zone.

Entering commercial zone, I just continued through it, many prospective passengers seemed to be relaxing in this area, either in public area or eating food at several coffee shops. As soon as I left commercial zone, I entered a transparent roofed area with steel pillars with two LCD check-in information screens, while on right side there was a wooden deck with number of palm pots on it, while the other part was a pool which soaked terminal piles, it was giving a impression that this is a floating passenger terminal …. Very cool.

Garden and pool on right side of departure hall.

At the end of garden and pond, I entered a building which served as a check-in area. As in garden outside, this check-in area looks tall and wide. Thirty check-in counters stretches on a hall side. Meanwhile, “Total Baggage Solution” counter is ready to help each passenger for wrapping their luggage to secure it during loading & unloading process in plane hull.

Check-in area.

I rushed to waiting room after getting my boarding pass, passing through a narrow corridor which in its left side is glass window which facing a garden and the right side is covered by plywood of a functional space project. At the end of corridor, facing iPORT shop, I turned left into commercial zone. Several clothing stores such as POLO or coffee shops like Starbucks are in this area.

Commercal zone in departure hall.

I started to enter waiting room which have green waiting chairs, carpeted in gray patterns, equipped with a prayer room, executive lounge, smoking area, toilet, charging area, LCD TV and free internet counter. In some spots, a photospot was provided.

Waiting room.
One of photo spots in waiting room.

And finally, that afternoon I left Ahmad Yani International Airport through gate 2A. That was short story of my exploration in an airport which Semarang residents were proud of it.

Let’s visit Atlas City and enjoy its beauty!.

Taxi from Ahmad Yani International Airport to Downtown

The debate of choice was quickly over by my own authority. “Don’t be obedient to backpacker art, Donny. This is an business trip, just take facility advantage, take a taxi! ”, I firmly thought to defeated some stupid options which sometimes sporadically appeared in my attitudes and choices.

Oh, thrifty man“, my colleagues joked, that’s brand which is embedded to me. How come?. Every time I leave the airport, I always automatically think that taking a bus was only a quarter of taxi cost. So I always linger waiting for catch bus to downtown.

Taxi Service Counter at Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Almost Maghrib time….

My phone kept ringing from my colleague who was doing a training rehearsel session in Bukit Semarang Baru (BSB) area. Without hesitation I picked up my smartphone, it turned out that he just wanted to tell me that I better directly go to hotel, because the rehearsel would be complete in fifteen minutes.

Five minutes in queueing to got a taxi service ticket for USD 3.7, I was immediately directed to a taxi. A simple middle-aged driver jogged to pick me up. “Assalamu’alaikum. Where are you going, sir? ”he asked with smile and then brought my cardboard box on his left shoulder and carried two roll up banners in his right hand.

This airport taxi service is managed by Primkopad (Primer Koperasi Taksi Angkatan Darat) S-16.

As usual, my beloved backpack still never leaves me, with me it was entering from front door. I read ID Card board which was pasted on the dashboard.

Do you a resident here , Sir Ari?“, I opened conversation while putting on safety belt and then skied together to hotel.

Oh no sir, I am from Pekalongan City. Where were you come from, sir? ”He replied as he slowly stepped on pedal out of airport area.

I’m from the capital, Sir. How long have you been working in Semarang? Is Semarang a busy city?“, dialogue smoothly flowed to warm the situation.

It was only been three years, Mr. Donny. Previously I worked in Jakarta, because of my son had graduated from school, so I moved to Semarang to be close to home”, he cheerfully said controlling his white taxi leaving Tambakharjo area.

Office assignment, Sir Donny?“, He asked like investigating….Hahaha.

Yes, if it’s not an office assignment, I usually take airport bus, Sir. Does this airport have airport bus service to downtown, Sir? “, I asked for looking for a reference.

Yes, there is Trans Semarang BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). It’s cheap, only USD 0.3 for one way, Sir”, He explained.

Me and Mr. Ari.
Puri Anjasmoro Street on 17:24 hours.

It had been a long time, I didn’t use an airport taxi service. So that I really enjoy 20 minutes to enjoy it….Thank you to my beloved office for this opportunity.

Slowly, taxi turned right, starting to passed at Yos Sudarso Street, heading south. I moved from new construsction road with concrete barrier to two-lane road on each section, is bordered as high as its sidewalk and many shady trees on each left side.

In twenty minutes, with a distance of six kilometers, I arrived at The Azana Hotel Airport. I handed over USD 7.5 to Mr. Ari. I purposely gave more this trip cost and shared kindness to him….Self-conscious, when I’m backpacking, I rarely gave more for trip cost….Hahahaha.

I would stay for two nights at this hotel.

Let’s see in the next four days, What did Semarang have?

Citilink QG 144 from Jakarta (HLP) to Semarang (SRG)

Flight route QG 144 (source: https://flightaware.com/).

Yeaaaa …. I had a weekend business trip. As usual, I always made a strategy for my office duties assignments in order to keep my main hobby….Yes, exploration. After my training assignment for Friday and Saturday, I would extend my trip to Sunday in this free trip.

SEMARANG….

That was the city which I was going to this time. Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport was my starting point and Ahmad Yani International Airport was my landing point.

Boss: “Donny, I haven’t got anyone to handle our training in Semarang. Can you do that? You must go to Semarang this weekend!. It’s suddenly Donny, I’m sorry before”.

Me: “Hhmmhh (I pretend to think), it’s okay sir

Boss: “You go on Thursday afternoon and back on Saturday afternoon, let Marketing Support staff buy your tickets.

Me : “Yes, Sir”.

After our conversation was over, I immediately called the Marketing Support staff. I asked for my return ticket to be extended until Sunday afternoon. “I’ll be responsible for accommodation cost on Sunday, but my return ticket is still paid by office“, I said to her, then be followed by her confirmation “OK, Mr. Donny“.

Wow, my heart was happy….Traveling again.

That morning, I was still working as usual until noon. After saving my favorite black “beat pop” (beat pos is a brand of Honda motorbike) at home, I went to Halim. Not far, only 25 minutes from a landmark where I stay near it, Kampung Rambutan Bus Terminal.

I arrived at the airport very close with boarding times, causing me to focus on the length of queues at check-in counters. For some reason, passengers who was queueing in front of me always called their friends when they were in front of the counter, it was very annoying, because many passengers who are queueing behind me could automatically overtook the queue….It was bad.

I exactly got the ticket on ten minutes before boarding time. Because of it…. I no longer think about documenting every my session at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.

Alhamdulillah, I wasn’t late.

I entered gate 6 with a quick breath because fearing of missing my flight. Not having time to cooled off my sweat, the flight call arrived. Without having time to sat down, I immediately got ready to fly to Semarang that afternoon.

Waiting room in Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport.
Queueing up for boarding in gate 6.

Citilink is on 12th airline list of 28 airlines which I’ve ever ridden. Proud to be able to enjoying a flight from this airline which its corporate colour is green. The color symbolizes three meanings, i.e young-fun-dynamic. This is subsidiary of the famous airline in Indonesia i.e Garuda Indonesia. And surely more proud when Citilink was selected in the list of “The 20 Best Budget Airline for 2019” by Skytrax.

Cool view, huh. Only needed to walk from gate 6 to the plane.
Wooow….Right at under plane.
Look at the air conditioner, so foggy….Cold.

I should have sat on seat 23A, right in the window seat.

A Woman : “Sir, can I swap seat with you. I get dizzy when I’m not near the window”.

Me: “Oh, It’s okay mom“, hmmmh slowly I entered my Canon EOS M10 camera to my bag, I wouldn’t use it during flight, I won’t be able to capture beauty of the earth from plane seat number 23C.

Sit in the aisle seat.
Linkers… .Inflight magazine belonging to Citilink.

This 400 km trip was taken in 50 minutes. So this was a very short flight and very short time too for sleeping. Better, I compiled an impromptu itinerary from some references which I got and compiled a travel budget.

That afternoon, my journey was really tough because north coast of Java Sea was full of clouds which made my flight was full of turbulence. I thought all passengers were silent because of thinking the same thing….Hahaha. Meanwhile, an air crew continued to hold on to cabin baggage to save him from throwning off due to turbulence. Happy but thrilling. I myself always surrender to “The Almighty” when I fly.

So relieved, when soft voice of flight attendant directed all passengers to get ready to landing. Entering Semarang CIty, weather turned sunny and plane started to smooth landing and finally….Semarang Touchdown.

Oh that, Ahmad Yani International Airport new building.
Thank you Citilink.

The training which was assigned by office was still ongoing tomorrow and training rehearel had been represented by my colleague who came from Surabaya branch office since this morning. He chose to use train from Surabaya to Semarang. So, I didn’t have to rush to hotel after landing.

As usual, I would explore tourist gate of Semarang City….Yes, Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Come on, guys….