Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adventures in Jakarta

written at the airport on July 18, 2010
(sorry, totally forgot I wrote this)

Leaving Jakarta and going back to Padang. Really looking forward to going back to the dorm room and chilling there. I think we've had enough of this big city and big spending deal for now.

Saturday was a day of adventures. We packed up and had our last breakfast at our five-star hotel. One of Andi's friends is getting married so we tagged along to this wedding. The wedding was really interesting. It's supposed to be a traditional Sundanese wedding. We signed our names in the guest book and walked in. It was held at a huge auditorium with lots and lots of venues for food. There were a lot of guests. There weren't as many chairs so everyone just mingled and walked around.

The ceremony itself was pretty short. There were dancers that led the procession of the bride and groom and relatives. Once they got on stage, there was a speech and prayer. After that, all the guests lined up to shake hands and take pictures with the bride and groom. And then the eating began.

The amount of food was ridiculous. There were tables with different types of foods: Indonesian, dim sum, Dutch, desserts, fruit, etc. There were also people serving the food. And then there were stands with lots and lots of fruit. It looked like they bought out an farm of fruit. So basically we ate a lot. The ceremony started at 11am and everything was done by 1pm. It was pretty quick and fun.

After this, we took a taxi to a nearby mall. Greg met up with some people he met on couchsurfing. I met up with Dian and we chatted about life at Starbucks. Really wish we had more time to hang out. But it turns out that we will be in Singapore at the same time. So we can hang out there as well. Going around places in Southeast Asia is so easy. Really want to come back and spend some time traveling around. I should plan out a trip.

We got back to the five-star hotel to pick up our luggage and check for a package from a company that we met earlier this week. There was no package so Greg and I decided to take a walk around the National Monument. We walked around for about 2 hours looking at buildings when we saw people sitting by a big fountain. It was nearly 7pm so we though there might be a fountain show. But it turns out, people were just there to sit around and eat Pop Mie (a brand of instant noodles) and drink instant coffee. There were lots of families and kids playing so it was kind of a nice spot.

We took a taxi to cheaper hotel and the taxi took us around this neighborhood in the northern part of Jakarta. There were lots of turns and it looked like we were going through Chinatown. We finally got to our hotel and checked in. We had thought that Andi would stay with us so we booked two rooms. He ended up staying with his brother so we each got our own rooms. Turns out, they gave Greg a huge deluxe room called the Maluku Suite. This suite was ridiculously large, with a large bed and lots of sitting space. My room had two beds and was pretty nice as well.

The hotel is in the middle of Chinatown and is run by Chinese people. There was no 4th floor and there were Chinese paintings and furniture everywhere. We went out looking for food and walked around this apartment complex next door only to find convenient stores. We were about to walk out onto the street when we found the food court. There is a courtyard in the middle of the apartment complex and there were a ton of food options. We had shrimp, noodles, and veggies. I remarked that we came to Jakarta to eat Chinese food. We were trying to avoid Padang food, which is a famous cuisine of Indonesia so we ended up eating a lot of Chinese food.

Anyway, this is the end of the Jakarta trip. Might come back to this city but not sure I can handle all the traffic and pollution.

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