Eye opening day and night out
Jakarta Travel Blog› entry 3 of 23 › view all entries
I embarked on touring the museums at 10am, confident that the instructions given to me by Elsa were clear and simple. Wrong. Getting to the busway was at the top of my most frustrating encountered situations. I got a taste of the huge language barrier my friends had been talking about. I am humbled. Before I reached the busway, I got off the mini car 4x!!! that was not fun at noontime, in one of the hottest days in Jakarta as I was told. This resulted to numerous calls to Elsa and vice versa by the sides of the busy streets, so not safe. The main reason for this is the busway is way different from my concept. It is like a pedestrian bridge which has a walkway in the middle for the buses.
The buses though are very convenient. I enjoyed the fact that the marshalls at the bus doors limit the number of people coming in per stop so that someone can ride everytime, why don't we do that back home? Unlike in the trains in the Philippines you have to know which stop has the least commuters and get on there. The buses here also have very comfortable seats and pass through specific roads to avoid heavy traffic.
Going to the museums evoked the compassion in me. The underpass and the walk to the back of the Kota train station gave me a view of beggars, numerous side street vendors, dirty walkways and terribly busy streets.
Trekked the museums and due to the sweltering heat, it took me sometime to appreciate the beauty of the wooden items at Fatahillah museum and dissappointingly most of the descriptions were in pure Bahasa, I wish they would do something about it since most visitors of course are tourists. The ceramic museum was deserted and unimpressive, I paid 2000IDR for a 15min walk around it.
The Fatahillah Square looked very similar to our Luneta or plazas back home.
I finally got a dose of the stand still rush hour traffic, from 5-6pm. Especially when the buses merge with the private vehicles at some parts of the road and when the pro Palestinia rallyists flocked near the National monument.
As I was on my way home I got an invitation from Rini for a meetup and I ended up enjoying a round trip of the busway lines for 3.5 hrs exploring a huge area of Jakarta for a mere 3500IDR.
I was really happy and honored to have met the Indonesian TB's at the last minute, infamous people I'd been hearing about from other TB's. There was Rizky, Yanti, Aswin, Sandy, and of course Rini. I continue to feel more and more confident going around in a foreign land with more friends to hang out with. But going to the meet up area was tougher than I expected as I discovered the length of time entailed taking the buses from Elsa's place to the Senayan area sporting an uncomfortably full bladder and trafficking through throngs of commuters.
The Senayan area gave me such a beautiful picture of Jakarta, the malls are highly extravagant, similar to the Suntec mall in KL or the Orchard road malls in Singapore.
Going home cut short the dinner bonding as the busways close at 10pm. I fortunately was able to catch the last buses for my stops, thanks to the company of Yanti as she walked with me to the busway. Instead of the unsafe minicars at the late hours, Elsa instructed me to take the motorbike and have her give instructions to the driver using my phone. This part was crazily fun. The driver seemed more confused than me and resulted to several road trips, stops, and calls to and fro, and unfortunately, Elsa's family getting mightily worried as they went home from their relative's wake, not a good impression.
But after today, the map definitely made a bit more sense:-)