Exploring the map on a weekend

Jakarta Travel Blog

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Guardians of Manga Dua

My first weekend in Jakarta went by too fast. Went with Elsa last Saturday to Manga Dua, a mall as she mentioned for those who are cutting cost. Scheduled to visit the National Monument and National Museum but decided to procrastinate for the sake of blogging and surfing as I waited for her to finish her half day work. Had a lengthy discussion with the internet counter clerk through the help of an customer/interpreter. A helpful customer enjoys talking to me too much and prolongs my blogging, but was nice enough to discuss his family life with me, a fellow Christian.

Famished waiting for my friend and her colleagues to close shop and have her friend drop us off for free near the malls.

We took the minicar from our drop off point which passed through one of the poorer areas, Pademangan, where you could see people living beside the polluted rivers. We reach the mall at 3pm and rush off to grab a bite from a buffet of local food. I get an adobo-like chicken dish, sweet and sour chicken and carrots and beans spicily sauteed. Not bad for a cost of IND 15,000. I tried out the popular Tehbol bottled tea and confirmed the fact that I am not much of a tea fan and eventually had Elsa finish it off for me as I settle on a Coke.  

Manga Dua is a haven for bargain shoppers and gadget freaks and I get highly excited with canvassing a Canon Ixus that I plan to buy this coming weekend to replace my ancient Canon AS 400:-(

Elsa all along gets bugged by another traveller who needs to surf her couch at the last minute, who is apparently walking around the National Monument with his bags without a place to stay and may possibly be with his 2 friends.

My first friend and host in Jakarta
She desperately tries to call them back on a number that turns out to be from a Wartel PC. We take 2 minicars and the busway and get off at a stop with a mall (I have to see the stops to remember it and saw 3 backpackers come in, 2 of which looked a bit intimidating with their huge ear piercings and one with a half shaved head. All were very young. My host gets worried to approach them and how her family would react at such different company and I helped her entertain them. Boy did we get attention of course as we took the busway and amazingly fit in 2 badjais together with all their luggage on a drizzling evening. Found out the travellers were Russian and Ukrainian and were leaving early to take a train. Barely said much, made her mom a bit upset, and had to settle for smoking outside the house.
As I explore Casablanca

The Mall of Indonesia tour was postponed as we settled for picking up the other travellers and heading back home so I could do my washing. I must say washing my clothes again after over 3 yrs of having someone else do it was refreshing...and back breaking, being out of practice and all.

Sunday was packed with meeting friends and church service. We called the church the day before to figure out the location and was a bit more confident to take the public transport due to Friday night's experience. But going there really was a huge mission to accomplish. Where I live in the Philippines is about 3 hours each way by a shuttle due to the flow of traffic and distance of the location, but this side of Jakarta, was just way too far!!! Almost 3 hrs of transferring busways at Harmoni and Rangunan, going through a long transfer bridge in Dukuh Atas, not to mention the badjai to the Cempaka Timur bus stop, to reach yet another business district which was Casablanca was terribly exhausting!! I got my first taste of the Blue bird taxi, and I must say I was not impressed.

The driver did not speak a word of English, took 5 stops around the area to ask where my building was which made me late for over 15 min at the service.

Going back to the busway, I took advantage of the churchgoers who spoke English and followed their advise to take the mini car and instead of figuring out the right metro mini to take after that, opted to take another taxi, this time Ekspres, which I heard is also reliable, to the nearest bus stop which turned out to be Petra Kuningan if I'm not mistaken. Through all this, I swear to myself this location is not going to work, I have to find another church site closer to South Jakarta where I'm moving next.

I meet with Liz who is a South African I bumped into at the Vietnam airport and toured a bit in Manila and is coincidentally in JKT the same time as me.

Liz and me, reunited after 8 months in a country not of our own.
We have non stop chatting, coffee and lunch, I am famished since my breakfast for the first time consisted of a pack of  Nips chocolate from back home through all my morning's ordeal. We met up with the other people from the othe site and I find them mostly mature but confused on where they want to go or what they want to do which wasted a whole lot of time going back and forth, but all were generally very nice. Elsa finally joins them and finds the meeting a bit awkward being her first time as well. As for me, more contacts and friends, the better, to make me feel at home and hopefully land myself a job.



blurbmoi says:
Thanks! glad you like it eh? i do hope you get to Asia soon and discover the gems here too:-P
Posted on: Jan 30, 2009
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Guardians of Manga Dua
Guardians of Manga Dua
My first friend and host in Jakarta
My first friend and host in Jakarta
As I explore Casablanca
As I explore Casablanca
Liz and me, reunited after 8 month…
Liz and me, reunited after 8 mont…
Having coffee at FX with Liz, view…
Having coffee at FX with Liz, vie…
photo by: cicie