Saturday, September 5, 2009

How has travel in Asia changed in the past 10-15 years?

Not much, really. At least air travel. Airports are airports, and airplanes are airplanes. And it's not that I expected it to have changed that much, anyway. Security is a little tighter, obviously. The same kinds of limits to liquids in ziploc bags in carry-ons apply as it does in the States, except everything is expressed in metric. 500 ml bg, 100 ml of each liquid.

Seems like I am always flying to the same places. When I first traveled around Asia in 1994, I flew to Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, and a few other places, all from my main destination of Tokyo. This trip, I'm flying through Tokyo and Bangkok to Jakarta, and back through Singapore and Tokyo. The Bangkok airport is brand new, built three years ago, but, as I say, it's hard to remember any real differences from the old one, as airports are airports.

I guess that's not completely true. The Jakarta airport is small enough that it reminds me of a regional airport. The corridor floors are a reddish color, and the large windows invite in the greens, oranges, blues of the flora: all kinds of trees, grasses, bushes and flowers. I am struck by the variety of flora here. It is very beautiful.

15 years ago the language most often heard in Asia travel seemed to be Japanese. I suppose that had to do with how I traveled, since I went through Tokyo so much. Still, I remember that many of the passengers I heard, even going to SE Asia, were speaking Japanese. That is no longer the case. Japanese was still used for announcements flying out of Japan, but Mandarin seems to be much more prevalent now. And most of the travelers on my flights were not Japanese.

There doesn't seem to be much sightseeing to do in Jakarta, and since I am here to work, I won't get away to other destinations. That is a slight pity, considering the promising beauty I've glimpsed. Maybe some day I'll have to come back for a vacation :).


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

What is this work that you are doing over there?

Moria said...

There are a couple pastoral candidates here whom I am helping to train in practical theology--conduct of the services and pastoral care mostly--prior to their ordinations. They wanted a little more experience in these things that were talked about in the classroom, but not practiced as much.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Ah, excellent! Have fun whilest doing it!