3 hours of sleep is more like a power-nap rather than a good nightâ€™s rest, but I was forced to optimize my time in Jakarta since I was here for only 24 hours (or so I thought). My hotel, the Borobudor, is a resort that sits on 23 acres of landscaped gardens. At 7 am I was out taking pictures in the gardens, visiting the gift shops, and looking for coffee. I also wrote some postcards from the hotelâ€™s complimentary stock, showered, and packed my bagâ€¦all before 9 am. Today I was meeting up with Asri and Berlin, www.travbuddy.com/Acy_jkt & www.travbuddy.com/good_shepherd, for lunch and a personal tour of the city. So as I waited near the phone to hear from them I admired the view from my room. I could see the gardens, as well as a portion of the skyline of Jakarta.
I was amazed at how big this city actually isâ€¦so many tall buildings.
I spoke with Berlin, and then Asri, sometime around 9:30. Berlin had some things to do first, so Asri was coming to get me at the hotel and we would meet up with Berlin later. Asri showed up right on time and we took the cab to a shopping mall near the center of the city. I couldnâ€™t believe the trafficâ€¦so many motor bikes. I thought Taipei had a lot of scooters, but Jakarta is king! I was glad we were in a cab and that someone else was driving. Most everyone will probably remember the bombings a few weeks ago at the Marriot and Ritz-Carlton (we drove by and seen the Ritz), and the first thing I noticed in Jakarta is that all vehicles go through check points when entering a hotel, shopping mall, etc.
The trunk is opened and the car is inspected inside. I thought this was just precaution since the bombings, but it turns out they have been doing this for much longer.
My hotel pool
Asri and I wandered around in the mall, looking for a place to eat, but mostly just talking and having fun. We eventually sat down at some tables outside the Warjok Asli, an Indonesian restaurant. I was in Indonesia, so I had to eat some Indo food! Asri would have to tell you what I ordered, but whatever the name of it was, I really enjoyed it. Or maybe it was just the company that made the food so tasty! ;) Asri had her little netbook, so we also logged onto fb so I could update my status and brag about where I was! Haha
By the time we finished our lunch, Berlin (Baby Bear) made her grand appearance! It was good to finally see her!! She had made all the arrangements for the meetup and helped me with my hotel and transportation, so I felt really bad that she was sick and couldnâ€™t enjoy the meetup.
Even today she was still in the recovery mode and I appreciated it that she could still come.
Yanti, Asri, and Berlin riding up the escalator
Our next stop was a place to get some beverages where we would also meet up with Yanti, www.travbuddy.com/YantiSoeparno. Well, I donâ€™t recall the name of this place, but we did have our drinks and also met Yanti there. Afterwards we took a walk in the center of Jakarta. There is a circle drive, or round-about, with a fountain and statue that symbolizes â€śWelcome to Jakartaâ€ť. Of course, we stopped to take pictures on our walk. Yanti also presented me with a gift from Indonesiaâ€¦a print of Balinese dancers! I am going to frame it and add it to my collection of gifts from around the world.
Eventually, and unfortunately so, it was time to say good bye. Berlin and Yanti had to leave, and I needed to back to my hotel and then to the airport. It was very special meeting Berlin and Yanti, and I am sure Iâ€™ll be seeing more of them. Asri graciously agreed to keep me company to the hotel and on the hour long drive to the airport. My flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30; we arrived about 6:30. Asri and I said good bye, but she would wait just to make sure I checked in without any problems. At the counter, I was promptly told my flight had been delayed until 12:30â€¦another 6 more hours. I went back to Asri and explained my misfortune. 6 hours would be a long time to wait, but Asri said she would stay until I had to leave! I couldnâ€™t believe how nice she was to do this for me. And so, she and I spent 6 hours at the Jakarta airport togetherâ€¦6 hours that seemed more like 6 minutes! My misfortune was just a disguise for the true fortune it turned out to be.