Monday, July 31, 2017

RTW #1: Indonesia

28 July 2017

Arrival in Jakarta
Although I was expecting the heavy traffic, I never realised how bad it really is until I experienced it myself. Imagine 5km/h pacing. It was horrendous. I am hopeful that the government of Indonesia can speed up the airport railway project.

Given that I have a big luggage I had to take the cab. Always take BlueBird, that's my advice.

I arrived safely in my Airbnb somewhere in the South of Jakarta, the place is called Taman Rasuna in Setiabudi. The nieghbourhood is really nice and I'm guessing this is where most of the expats live. It has its own amenties within the building complex ranging from convenience store, ATM, pool, basketball court, gym, and of course short walk to Epiwalk (shopping mall). My host was not in the country when I arrived but has given me adequate information to properly check-in.

Meeting my old friends from E&Y Philippines
When I was still working in Philippines, my batch from E&Y left altogether and moved to Jakarta. I was considering moving here as well. Anyway, after 10+ years we finally got reunited in nice italian restaurant called Trattoria. They are lovely person and very hospitable. They took me under their care and showed me around Jakarta even as far as Taman Safari.

Got reacquanted and shared our own little stories. Eventually after couple of hours we called it a  night and decided to head back home. Luckily I live near their place so it was so convenient for me. Nice 6+ hours sleep and was recharging my batteries for the big event next day.

29 July 2017

Taman Safari, an experience with the wildlings
Woke up as early as 5 am so we can lessen the risk of being held up in traffic. My previous boss accompanied me to Taman Safari. We rented a car and I forgot that I drank coffee and Berocca that I had to hold my bladder for the longest time in traffic. I guess I re-learned that skill once again (having a bad traffic in Manila too).

When we entered Taman Safari, I had to seat in front and pretend to be a local. Do not speak and act nonchalant. I did pass the test. And after all, I do look like one of them. I guess this is the best part of Indonesia trip. A prelude to Safari's if you may (later on my RTW, I am doing the main Kenyan Safari). I saw lots of elephant, camel, giraffe, deer, antlers, lion, tiger, hippo, rhino, you name it. They have all kinds of animals out in the wild forest. And we can feed them carrots. I wonder if this animals never get sick of eating carrots. Seems like they don't really mind. Come to think of it, it makes their eyesight much better. So they don't damage cars, right!

We also did shows of dolphin and tiger. Dolphins are one of the smartest mammals hence they can do maths. Imagine, they can multiply!! Plus they can play sport (like soccer ball to the audience - ROFL). I therefore conclude they are well-rounded mammals.

Finally, due to time constraint we have to pick only one more animal show. I had a choice between cowboy show or tiger show. Of course I had to pick the latter. Cowboys are not animals!! One of the scariest, I reckon. The trainers are so at risk of being eaten alive right in front of the audience. You can see how hungry they are and how often they ask food. If they are not given food, they keep on chasing the trainers. It was so awkward to watch but in the end, they did surivive. In my opinion this should not be part of the park's attraction. Too risky and no real talent for tigers. Maybe its just me.
And for the highlight of my Taman Safari adventure. I manage to be brave enough and sat beside a tiger for about two to five minutes. Taking selfies while under the constant risk of being desert for the tiger. He is from Sumatra and I know they are really tenacious. But I did survive and got my 20k IDR's worth of pics.

We called it a day and took of at around 3ish. Just in time to avoid heavy traffic jam and huge rain poured whilst driving.

Prelude to the Great Malls of Indonesia
Jakarta has the biggest, most glamourous malls. It is so lavish that I can't compare any other cities in Asia, let alone Australia or USA for that matter. Too bad my budget doesn't call for any shopping spree. I can only buy selected souvenirs! By the way the mall is called Plaza something but it has a signage of Galaries Lafayette (from Paris).

Then we went home after feeling the exhaustion.

Go-Everything App
When I arrived home, I searched the web for home massage and I came across go-massage. Apparently the Go-App offers variety of service from shopping, eating, massage and even glam (which I think is make up for the girls). How lazy can you get, huh? Anyway, for 80k IDR it was really cheap and I ended up giving the masseur, 5 stars for taking away the stress of Taman Safari and the Great Mall tour.

Slept very well and ready for another big adventure in-stored for me the next day.

30 July 2017

Indonesia in half a day
I’ve seen all of Indonesia in half a day. How is it possible? Visit Taman Mini and you’ll see the highlights of every main destinations like Sumatra, Papua, Bali, etc. It’s a cultural village much like Philippines’ Nayong Pilipino. My friend Jb and her hubby showed me around. Jacob (their son) was so enthusiastic that helped me forget about the humid day in Jakarta.

Livin’ it like them
The other half of the day was spent much like how they spent their normal Sunday’s.
We went to their one of a kind shopping mall, with good cinema too. Can you believe it they do have beds in the cinema? And they call it Velvet seats.

Went to church after that. That time seems a bit gloomy so we ended up going to Wings Tip (something like that). They do have very tasty wings. Got mine in garlic and parmesan (I think) with super good chips and unlimited drinks. Finally went for bit of grocery shopping just to see what local chocolates and coffee look like. I ended up bringing it back home as souvenirs.

31 July 2017

Time to say goodbye
The final day in Jakarta I did it on my own. I went for Go-Jek for the first time. I was damn scared that I might fall or something might hit me. Go-Jek is like your Grab or Uber but its a motorcyle instead. Only downside to it is that sometimes there’s no reception in some areas of Jakarta so you ended up walking until you get data and book your Go-Jek. It’s the best antidote for overcharging tourists!

I’ve seen the old town located in Tua Pua (?). There’s really nothing special here to be honest. I was hoping I can get all the famous sights ticked but I ended up in a dumpster somewhere I don’t even know how I managed to reach by foot. So scary and I don’t know how I survived. Anyway soon as I saw the familiar landmark, I breathed much better and immediately called my next Go-Jek to Manas (?). To my horror Monday is maintenance day. How can I be stupid not to research it before I go, right? Out of frustration, I just ate Mee Goreng and Teh Bohl (?) and called it a day.

The joy of doing nothing
Straightened my things back in the apartment and I did enjoy packing and organising my things. Getting ready for India. Then my Airbnb host messaged me and he wanted to meet me in the apartment. I was having the impression that the reason he wanted to go to the apartment is to check that I haven’t burned the place down. LOL J It ended up to be a good meeting of fellow aviation geek and travel enthusiasts. The conversation went on and on. I was happy that I met someone who shared the same interests as I do, so I ended up giving him the dried mango!

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