September 11th, 2005 – by: jenyenh
Woke up early...Its my birthday unfortunately, my friend had a meeting until lunch so I didnt know what to do. I looked out at the balcony from our hotel room and the streets are empty. So I decide to get out of the hotel..I decided to walk a couple of meters away from the hotel entrance and I found myself roaming around wandering in the middle of Jakarta not knowing where to go and what to do. Apparently, the empty street wasnt that empty. So, I hopped into a taxi. The driver asked me where I want to go, and I told him I wanna go to a mall. He mentioned the names of a few malls, none of them familiar to me, so I just asked him to drop me to the nearest mall so it would be easy for me to come back to the hotel. After 20 mins ride, he dropped me to a mall. Its not a huge mall just 4 floors and looks like a square building with not so many things in it. I was so used to being in Dubai where shopping malls have at least 250-300 signature shops in it. My friend is actually into retail business so, I have a pretty good back ground on shopping and bargaining. Anyway, came to this mall • I forgot the name…hmm. Its not coming back to my mind at this moment. Well, I went around like 45 mins venturing all the corners trying to figure out a gift for myself, I didnt see anything that interests me at all, except for the electronics section. Apparently the 3rd floor was only for electronics and IT’s..hmmm my kind of place, there were not so many women, I guess they are all in the cosmetics section. I strolled from end to end and didnt even know what i was looking for. What caught my eyes was a logitec wireless headset (bluetooth)... it was sealed with the original trademarks in it and costs 125USD, for a moment, I thought • its a bit expensive but then I bought a similar one from Dubai and its about the same price, so anyway I made some excuses that it was my birthday so I can have whatever I want. I end up buying the thing. I asked them to test it, to ensure it works…they told me it works as it is still sealed and I can bring it back in case it fails.
Happy to have it, so I went around for more things, bought a couple of items. Jakarta is not a good place to buy IT stuff...nothing really special...so, I went to the 4th floor, I was so surprised that the 4th floor has more people compared to any floors. A lot of them gathered in groups and very congested. Although I hate crowded places, except of course the clubs and pubs - I was too curious of why people gathered around. hahaha..I found out that the whole place was selling DVD’s and VCD’s. A lot of posters on the wall, movies, MTV, etc. The place was like a fleeing market. They have tables and covered with white blankets. There are DVD’s placed in cartoon boxes and you just have to squander your way in the crowd and then flick through the boxes full of DVD's to find the movie you want. Then, as you look for the movies along with like 10Thousand people around you that makes it hard to breath, you smell their perfumes and even feel their breathing, at the same time another person will ask you “do you want to buy pirated movies?” in a more discreet way, although it would appear to be a harrassment as they try to wispher it to you in the crowd. Apparently what seems to be a table covered with white blankets are cartoons loaded with pirated DVD’s.
While I was looking for the new movies on DVD’s, in the opposite corner of the building was chaos, people were running and shouting. As the crowd was pushing people ran in different directions. Although, I didnt understand what was said, I ran along…as almost everyone was heading the escalator like there was fire on the other side of the building. Because of the thick crowd running in the same direction, I stood still trying to figure out where to run.. no sign of stairs anywhere. Then someone pulled my arm and tag me along. Then I found myself heading to the staircase along with other people. Apparently the place was raided by police! I cant believe it.
Once out of the building, I found myself sitting on the sidewalk with 2 backpackers James and David who were also trying to buy fake DVD’s, who actually pulled me out of the crowd - "thanks guys". I couldnt move away from that place after that, we just kept laughing, thinking about the same thing, Of all places in Jakarta…I ended up here. Goodluck? Badluck • who knows? When I reached the hotel I realised I took 7 DVD's without even paying it.....sshhhh
Jakarta Hotels & Accommodations review
Great Service but an old hotel
Went to Jakarta for my birthday to join a friend travelling on business, choose the Four Seasons as it is in the heart of the busy city. The staff are… read entire review