People, people, everywhere!

Jakarta Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 17 › view all entries
I don't think I have seen this many people in my whole life!  When we go into a store there are more sales people than customers, when we go eat, again, more waiters than eaters.  Last night we dined at an outdoor foodcourt (that had Valet parking!!) and at one point I counted 16 servers - and there were only 9 of us eating.  I figured out that each restaurant in the foodcourt had their own waiters and when you sit down they all come to you with their menus - you order from your table (strange for us westerners who are used to 'cafeteria style' foodcourts) and they bring you your food - then the bring your bill.  I had nasi goreng ayam (chicken fried rice) for supper last night since my body was requesting bland food - it was the best fried rice I've ever had in my life!!  All that and it was only about $2 CAD including my lemonaid.
  Yesterday was supposed to be a stay home day, but someone we ended up shopping again.  Started out at the gold stores (nope, none of my money spent here!!) and then we went to this very fancy mall.  I was afraid everything would be very expensive (mahal!), but the prices were surprisingly very good for such a posh looking mall.  I bought myself two pairs of sterling silver earrings for about $11 each and a wooden fruit bowl shaped like an elephant for about the same price. 

The day before yesterday we went to Mangga Dua mall - it was like a gigantic indoor flea market where you could buy all kinds of knockoff items (purses, watches, wallets, etc.).  I am not sure, but I think the one building we were in was 7 or 8 stories tall - and there were other buildings we did not get to!  These malls sure put our "BIG" shopping malls to shame, that's all I can say.
  Mangga Dua was my first scary bathroom experience since we arrived.  I walked in and saw water all over the place and instead of TP there were spray hoses (like the ones you would see attached to your sink in Canada)...I am not positive if the stalls even had doors - I was so traumatized that I walked right back out again and have tried my best to avoid public bathrooms since then.

Today Bianca and her family are off to visit some other family in the area, so Wendy and I are staying behind to relax and tidy up our suitcases and figure out what we've bought.  So far I have been fairly good - a couple handbags (LV knockoffs) and 2 wallets (again, knockoffs) and some souvenir trinkets.  I will likely buy some more trinkets in Bangkok next week and Bali the following week, but overall, I don't plan on spending a whole lot on things to bring home.
  Tonight we are heading out to the Jakarta Fair with the extended family.  Not sure what to expect, but then again, that's nothing new!

So far the heat is not bothering me - Bianca (native to Indonesia) is finding it much hotter than I am...I guess I was meant to live in a tropical climate!  The traffic/driving, on the other hand...whew!  the first time our car was swarmed with motorcycles I thought we were being attacked, but quickly learned that that's just how things are here - at home if bikes surrounded you like that you better start to pray because it is likely a biker gang looking for trouble!  Here it's just a very popular mode of transportation.  Nobody pays attention to the road markings, weaving in and out of traffic like there's no tomorrow (and I'm so afraid that there might NOT be a tomorrow!) and it is scary to see someone riding a motorcycle, wearing flipflops, and texting or talking on their cell phone too!  I've seen as many as FIVE people on one bike - it is very common to see entire families riding together and often nobody has a helmet on.
...think of the fines out RCMP would give out at home for these infractions!!
Bluenosergirl says:
Haha, learned that one the hard way Shauna! Brought it with me but it was in the purse I'd left at the house...I now never leave home without TP!
Posted on: Jul 02, 2010
sshaunaa says:
Public toilet tip ..
take toilet paper with you to the toilets and (hopefully) there's a waste basket there as well! Also with the water soaked floors, flip flops are not a good idea!
Posted on: Jul 02, 2010
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: cicie