Jakarta 2010

First Day
I love travelling logs.
I love looking at pictures of different people, cultures, food, colours. There are so many things about travel logs that speak volume of what or how the place really is. To me, travel logs and discovery programs are the best.
I bought tickets to Jakarta to travel during the Merdeka weekend not knowing how my workload’s going to be or what will happen at Jakarta when the time of holiday eventually do come. And when it came frankly, work got incredibly crazy. Then there were news where Indonesians were attacking the Malaysians and the embassy.
Eventually, I told my mum that I wanted this trip so badly that possibly nothing could make me cancel my trip, and thankfully everything went smooth if not awesome!
Reached Jakarta last Saturday in the morning, and I was blessed enough to be picked up by Mas’ parents (which I didn’t take photo of!!!).

This is Ojek. It’s a scooter that carries you around like a cab. Looks like a Tuk-Tuk don’t you think? These kind of mobiles are pretty famous in busy cities with high-population like Bangkok and Jakarta because they’re fast and could basically skid through every narrow alleys.

Fact 1: Jakarta has tons of malls. As they brought me around town, I think they showed/ introduced to me more than 10 grand malls and apparently these malls are always packed with people. Goodness me. I guess the 10 million population has to go somewhere?
Mas’ family driver, where all these guy helpers are more affectionately known as Agus, brought us around to check out some of the landmarks/ uniques in Jakarta.
Right after much sight-seeing (I really love sight-seeing)>J They took me straight to Mangga Dua, a shopping haven for those who especially love bags as they sell pretty good deals of all kinds of bags, purses, wallets and mind you they’re all good imitations. I know most of you are pretty materialistic when it comes to branded goods (especially handbags) but it wouldn’t hurt to get these imitations for your loved ones – and tell them so
Extra bags always come in handy!

Monas; a tall statue where it’s famous for it’s giant gold log at the tip of it. Not particularly sure the whole story behind it though.

When I was brought to their place, I was shocked. The house was not only massive, with a pool, among other things - look at the guest room which I have been sleeping for the past nights.

It's massive!

Chocolate cake, legs dipped in the pool, lovely conversations.
This is vacation.
After much freshen up and relaxation, we went out for Buka Puasa which was such another experience itself. Getting tables without reservations or (even with!) was insane – the entire mall - all restaurants that we went to were full. After much searching, Mas’ parents finally got a place at a Siam restaurant – awesome food.
Then there was shopping!
Everything in Jakarta is cheap. I changed about RM400 to Indonesian ringgit and I thought that that expenditure for 4 days was fitting. I spent most on my family, and myself. As for value of money, just about RM20 you could get about 3 decent accessories and ample of mini earrings. Some of them actually cost about RM1. Earrings for RM1!! While some apparels are as cheap as RM10! I’m talking about jackets, dresses, office attires.

Second day
The family brought me to this place called Taman Mini Indonesia – where you get to visit all the traditional houses of all kinds of races and culture in Indonesia. Something like a literal mini Indonesia. These houses are crafted and drawn so skilfully that it was awe-inspiring. Imagine a 15 foot long houses, woods crafted at it’s best. On the stairs, on the floor, on the walls. There must have been ancient histories the houses, why they are built and the rationale behind the creation of these houses.
I especially love this one for example. This is a Minangkabau house.
The rooftop is made out of thousands of straws. Not only drawn and coloured, this house (as you can see the floral prints on it) are carved. Amazing isn’t it?
The artistry and architecture of old cultural houses.
We are losing bit by bit of our personality in modernism don’t you think?

And this;

I must say I’m a very culturally driven person, and traditional in that sense. I appreciate art in all forms, especially art that has a story with time. I also grew up wanting to be of complete different than some people or rather girls my age. I love shopping, but if I had to choose between shopping and dropping everything to take a boat ride to the deepest of the forest, I would choose the latter in a heartbeat.
House of Bali, famous among all for it’s architecture and Hindu statues.

Food wise, I tried a few local delicacies that are my favourites. Es (Ice) Teller, something like an ABC that mixes fruits (Avocado, Jackfruit and Coconut), Teh Botol (which apparently is a favourite drink among the locals) – basically Jasmine tea in a bottle.

That night itself, we had a bit of R&R as well. Went to the saloon while Mas’ parents went to the Malaysian Embassy for a buka puasa event.
For the record, I had manicure, pedicure and hair treatment for only RM30!
Since it was my first time for pedicure and hair treatment while second for manicure ; I was really excited! For the record, everything cost less than RM30! Imagine the amount of manicures and pedicures you girls get to do if you’re living there.
Not just that, the manicures come with arm massages J

Say hello to the third day!
Was brought by Mas’ mum to this place called Tanah Abang, which is apparently the busiest place in Jakarta. It’s like the place for all wholesale bargains, linens, clothes, everything that you request to buy in bulks. I wanted to get Batik for my brother (he wears them occasionally) and that my friend, was surely the it place. Everyone was crashing into everyone, some guy even knocked me in the face with this huge luggage he was carrying on his head L
It looked pretty ghetto, with what all the craziness of raya business hustle and bustle, but frankly,if I thought my office was a port for Blackberrys that place or Jakarta in general is a freakin’ headquarter for all the BB users. Everyone had one!
From the aunty who’s selling ABC, to a 7 year old. Everyone was typing on their qwerty like crazy. The Blackberry network there is so huge that everyone there seems to have one, or want to. According to Mas’ sister, even if they struggle to meet ends meet, they would still invest in the blackberry lifestyle.
I feel blessed that they welcomed me with so much love and care throughout my stay it has certainly made me missed my mum even more.
I've learned a-lot in this trip. I've learned that though I have yet to make all kinds of important decisions in the future that may or may not be the best and the good for all, there will be a time and place where they permit me to decide so. It makes me realise or rather take note of what I want in life. The people in my life, the strength I have to gather through, the lifestyle I choose to succumb to.

I truly love travelling alone. It gives me a sense of freedom and peace that I desperately am trying to grab hold of. Travelling may not be the answer to everything for me, but it certainly open my eyes to all kinds of life paths I will or will not choose.

Love & peace,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


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