My first day in Jakarta was filled with all sort of adventure for the senses. Because of the heavy rain last night, the area where I’m staying in was made into a virtual island. I was going to head over to a neighbouring area to drop by my damaged harddrive, however, because of the flooded exit road, I decided to cancel it and head over directly to Pacific Place, near Jakarta Stock Exchange to have lunch with my ex-Citibank friends. The taxi that I took tried every route known to him, and by the time we found an exit, the meter already registered Rp 50,000 (~AU$6.75) from the flagfall of Rp 6,000 (~AU$0.81).
I experienced the true ‘Indonesia’ as we tried to find our exit from Kelapa Gading (the residential area where I’m staying). We passed through the slums that bordered the housing complex. I had my shares of faces and stares, as we passed through rows of houses and rickety huts with ladies sitting outside gossiping while watching the passers-by, men playing cards and horsing around, and children running around in the narrow streets. From the slums near Kelapa Gading, we managed to get into the tollroad that brought us to the CBD.
I was late by an hour by the time I met my friends in Pacific Place – a new upmarket mall filled with expensive shops, cafes and restaurants. There were Lucia, Evelyn, Gilang, Reza, Iman, and Atty. We had lunch at Le Seminyak on the fifth floor, a Balinese-themed restaurant. I had Nasi Campur Bali – rice with several condiments on the side. It was good to catch up with old friends – I learned more about what had happened to each one of them, as well as to our mutual friends from the Citibank days. We had our laughters as we shared stories (dare I say, gossips?) … hahaha.
After lunch, Lucia, Gilang and I decided to have coffee at Starbucks nearby – Lucia said that my better-half must have been a patient lady, because I was such a moody guy. Hahaha. I suppose those who read my blogs regularly will know more about my inner feelings and thoughts, so yeah, perhaps I have a full range of moods in my emotional storehouse. 🙂 Lucia also gave me some Indonesian CDs to reacquaint me with the Indonesian pop scene – thank you very much, Lus! Much appreciated! 😀
From Pacific Place, I made my way to Ambassador Mall to drop my harddrive. The company that I contacted has an alternative outlet in Ambassador Mall – which was very convenient for me. The recovery would cost me around Rp 2,000,000 – Rp 3,000,000 (AU$275 – AU$404), he said – much cheaper than the price quoted in Australia. I really hope I can recover my photos – the rest would be a bonus. The next destination was Kelapa Gading Mall, the mall that I always visit whenever I’m in Jakarta because it’s just a short distance away from my sister’s house. I got myself some undies and then I had dinner in the foodcourt on the fourth floor. Unfortunately the Pempek Palembang (Palembang-style fried fish dough with vinegar sauce) counter was closed :(, so I had some Somay Bandung (Fishcake with peanut sauce from Bandung) instead.
I’m tired after a full day of taxiing here and there – it’s time for me to have a rest. Tomorrow I’m flying over to Surabaya, the capital city of East Java to meet Yani and her parents. It’ll be a new experience for me!