“Living Dangerously” Airport Re-Opens – Mel Gibson OK!


The Year of Living Dangerously was a great movie, and the book was better – so good it was banned here in Indonesia for years!

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  • Old Pak Harto didn’t like it, and in the long Suharto Presidency, what he disliked did not appear.
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But regardless of the accuracy of its account of the heady days of 1965, when Sukarno was toppled and the Communists put to rout, it was VERY watchable.

I recall when I touched down for the first time on a steamy January night – yes, an anniversary coming up soon! – I vaguely expected my airport formalities to resemble Mel Gibson’s.

But no way!

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Wrong airport!
Halim Airport, in the east of the capital, had been relegated to commercial use, few if any passengers travelling through there.

Soekarno-Hatta International Airport had long since taken over as the entry and exit point for Jakarta.

  • Sukarno_hatta_airport_Jakarta_-_Indonesia  Soekarno-Hatta

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And my only hassles there were the crooked cabbies, whom I bravely brushed off and got the cheap bus.

Now, this month, Halim has re-opened for passenger business. But no latter-day Mel Gibsons will be flying there from foreign parts.

Although four airlines have agreed to fly out of Halim, only Citilink, the budget subsidiary of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, will begin operating there this month. Citilink will serve flights to Malang, Semarang and Yogyakarta.

Oh, well, eventually I’ll probably use it, even if only for a local trip.

Then I can stride out, smoking nonchalantly as Mel did then…oops, alas, Indonesia has gone downhill in that respect, the health-freak-fascists ever vigilant at airports.

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“Okay, Officer, I’ll stub it out right now!”

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So maybe I will encounter something out of a police state after all!