Back in Singapore, cleaning myself up after pushing Destroyer around in the running stroller for half an hour, I was taken aback by how far away Jakarta seemed. I’d gone from a shower on the 53rd floor of a hotel, to am airport, to a plane, to a taxi, to the 23rd floor of am office building and then to the 40th floor of our apartment block without a pause. A frictionless lurch through time and space.
Funnily enough, I was aided by the rumours of protests in Jakarta. The mayor has offended enough people for there to be major protests, and that has discouraged people to travel to Jakarta on Fridays, which means the roads are clearer and we got to the airport in a record 45 minutes. Not for us the usual nausea-inducing stop-start traffic that afflicts the journey to the airport. It was almost like Bangkok, where you wish the road to the airport was more congested so people wouldn’t drive so fast along it.
At the airport I sat in an icy cold lounge and made a call back to the office, finishing just in time to walk to the gate and catch the plane home. There was a random woman sat in my seat, who looked at me with a combination of contempt and affront, that I’d expect to sit in the seat specified on my ticket. She moved, under my baleful gaze, and I got on with the important business of watching The Secret Lives Of Pets while reading Byron Sharp’s How Brands Grow.
Then I was the first person into a cab from my flight, back to the office to eat a dreadful lunch of potato crisps jsut before my meeting, then home to help pack and run interference on the kids. I took Destroyer shopping and she fell asleep in the stroller at 5:45. Dreadful timing as she then wouldn’t sleep at bedtime, but the nap was inevitable as she’d failed to sleep all day.
And so, after I’d got La Serpiente to sleep, I strapped Destroyer into the running stroller and took her for the usual four-and-a-bit kilometre loop to school and back, where I was gobsmacked at how much easier it is to push a stroller carrying ten kilos of child rather than fifteen. Or however much heavier La Serpiente is. As it’s late at night I fixed an ultra bright bike light to the stroller, which about half the people on my oath took notice of. I suppose I really need an air horn too.
Then, home to bed. Four hours until we wake up and take our ride to the airport…