Knowing that I was born and still have families in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Mr. X decided to took us along with him for one of the outstation audit program. Since my mom and bothers couldn’t make it, I took my aunt with us.
We suppose to leave Jakarta at 4:30 PM but around 10:00 AM, Mr. X called and told me an accident had happened with one of their fleet so he will have to stay behind and took care of things but he will try to hop on the last flight to Makassar that night or the first flight out in the morning.
We had to do a 15 minutes transit in Surabaya. I never been to Surabaya’s Adiscipto airport before, but OMG that place was filthy! I mean FILTHY with garbage cans overflows and scattered garbage on the floor of their waiting area. We reached Sultan Hasanuddin Airport in Makassar after 9:00 PM local time. Someone from the airline was already there at the bottom stairs to pick us up. He handed our luggage tags to another guy and we were ushered inside the arrival terminal where my Aunt Jane, her husband Uncle Ferdy and their daughter Ella greeted us. I was impressed with the new airport, it was modern and big.
After the staff collected our entire luggage, we parted ways with my Aunts. They went to go get dinner then meet me back at the hotel. The staffs drove me and Lil’ A to the hotel, I wasn’t familiar with the roads anymore but I was flabbergasted when we got off the new toll road and passed rows after rows of pubs and clubs with so many ‘chicks’ looking for their ‘job’. Too bad I couldn’t reach my camera from my bag since Lil’ A fell asleep on my lap. Never seen a red light district in Makassar before but then again I haven’t been there for ages.
The staffs took us to Sahid Hotel, it’s an old hotel but it looks pretty nice on the outside and their lobby. Check-in was a breeze but I was greeted by an unpleasant smells when we stepped out of the elevator on the 4th floor. The room smells like old closet that you haven’t open in years! Since Little A and I were obviously too tired after the trip, I didn’t even bother to take any pictures or ask for another room, heck we didn’t even take a shower as tired as we were. The carpet was so dirty (proof showing on Lil’ A’s feet!), the bathroom smells so old and rusty. I couldn’t really sleep that night because the smell was strong but Lil’ A slept the whole night through. In the morning, I found out that the hot water is not running and the old tub was clogged. “We are doing some maintenance work, Ma’am.” explained the receptionist when I called downstairs. Mr. X couldn’t make it that night so I messaged him and told him I want to move to another hotel. So I spent the early part of that morning looking for a new hotel and most of them are full considering it was the weekend and with Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day fell on the same day, I guess most of the hotels are only selling twin rooms. (I should know since I was once a reservationist in a hotel!)
Around 11:00 PM I found a hotel, Mercure’s Royal Regency Hotel and we quickly checked out and I briefly called the station Manager there to informed him of my decision to move. I explained to him, I don’t mind if the room doesn’t have internet access or other little things and it’s not that I want a 5 stars hotel (although I wouldn’t refuse it either!) but if they don’t even have any hot water, I’m out! Lil’ A likes his warm bath/showers. He apologized and asked if we needed a ride to the new hotel and when I told him no thank you, my uncle will take us there he said he will personally drive Mr. X to the new hotel.
Mr. X didn’t showed up to the new hotel until after 2:00 PM. Then we all went out for a late lunch, the best Coto Makassar in town! A driver picked Mr. X up back at the hotel at around 5:00 PM; it is after all a business trip. After Mr. X left back for work, the rest of us went to the nursing home to visit my Grandmother.
From the nursing home, we all went to my other Grandmother’s house, which is now owned by Aunt Jane and her family. There, I got to meet some old childhood friends, I had spent 1 year living in Makassar to finish elementary school before we moved to Borneo. It’s quite amusing to watch Little A ran around with the other kids, on the very same little street where I used to do the same thing many years ago.
When we returned to the hotel, Mr. X was already there and he was done with his audit but he still have to do some more work on the phone and computer. We decided not to go out for dinner with the family because Little A was already so tired from the long day. After he fell asleep, I decided to ventured out and find us some late dinner. Took a becak ride down to the beach side, an area called Pantai Losari. The place had changed a lot and all the street food sellers that used to line up the beach side has been temporarily moved to one spot while the government is building a man-made island to place them in the future. All these information came from the becak driver who happily fills me in on how much the area had changed.
On Sunday, our last day in Makassar, after we checked out and left all our stuffs at the concierge, we went out to find some food & souvenirs but unfortunately because it was the Chinese New Year’s most stores and restaurants were closed. My Aunt Jane teased us that we couldn’t picked the worst timing to come there! Fortunately, we did found one souvenirs store that’s open. Boy, Mr. X went overboard with the stuffs there! Too bad we couldn’t bring home the famous pork bakpao (Chinese buns) or the delicious Makassar’s fried noodles. Mr. X asked if we could eat seafood so Uncle Ferdy took us to this seafood restaurant, I forgot the name of the area. That place was packed! It’s two stories and seems like since most restaurants were closed, people went there instead. The seafood’s were fantastic and super fresh!
We stopped by at the nursing home after lunch so I can see Grandma one last time before we left and to introduce Mr. X to her, they never met before. From there we found Pisang Epe (grilled press banana served with durian and brown sugar sauce) seller on the side of a road and we ordered some to bring back to Jakarta. At 3:30 PM a driver from the office were already waiting at the hotel to take us to the airport to catch our 5:25 PM flight. We said goodbye to Aunt Jane, Uncle Ferdy and Ella.
By the time we reached the airport, it was raining so hard you could barely see the road. Oh and since they changed our flights to the later time, we doesn’t have any tickets whatsoever, fortunately Mr. X’s badges works like charm! We checked in, and went upstairs.
The new airport kind of remind me of the Baiyun airport in Guangzhou, China, and I like the new design, way better than how it used to be. The bathrooms were pretty decent and clean. Unfortunately, I saw some spots where it leaks! I was told that they built the airport in such a hurry to finish it up alongside the new toll road that connects it to the city. Things were a little chaotic by the designated Gate for our flight because the passengers were not allowed to go inside. Some people were already complaining and the flight was obviously delayed again.
Our flight finally left for Jakarta after 6:00 PM. An hour delay!
A weekend is definitely not enough to enjoy Makassar!