Saturday, 09 January: An Amazing First Look at Jakarta!
Just kidding! Jakarta is amazing. Every street is filled with motorbikes (motor), rickshaw taxis (bajaj), and small cars (mobil)... not to mention the people who sit, stand, walk, and bicycle everywhere. Oh and there are loads of cute kittens as well ;)
Here's my crazy Saturday (Sunday coming later!):
Saturday, 09 January
I slept about three hours, woke up at 7am and then awaited my new friend Rendi (IG: @rendimuhammad) at my hotel. It took him some time to arrive due to the traffic that is all over Jakarta (it is a city of about 10 millions). Once he arrives next to here, he goes to get his motorbike and waits for me to hop on. Like holy shit I'm out of my hotel for ten minutes and I'm about to jump on a motorbike??? so I'm clutching to the back of this - actually quite nice - motorbike and we're scooting through all these backstreets of Jakarta on our way to Grand Indonesia - a massive ten story mall with two wings in the central Jakarta. I'm getting A LOT of stares haha. Anyway so we get to the mall and shop around a bit to H&M, Zara, Topman, and (my favorite) Cotton On... where I cop a rad canvas green t-shirt. He shows me also this great brand, Damn! I Love Indonesia, run by a famous Indonesian celebrity.... where I buy a black longline tee with zip sides - shit is mad hype.
Then we meet with our other newest friend Retno (IG: @r2wie) at the Starbucks on ground floor of Grand Indonesia. She's quiet and has a nice laugh and great style (you can see her on my Instagram or below). I'm real hungry at this point so Rendi recommends Ron's Laboratory. It's an ice cream place in Grand Indonesia that calls itself a Molecular Gastronomy dessert house. Idk about that but the ice cream was great. Also they gave us popcorn frozen with nitrogen to eat (video at the very bottom!). We talked about our favorite films, actors, and musicians :) Also Retno doesn't like sweets ??? Hahahaha
After, we took bajaj (rickshaw - pics below!) to go to Monas - the national monument of Indonesia (Monumen Nasional). We got stuck in like three traffic jams on the way there :p. Anyways, Monas reaches a massive 433 feet into the sky with a gold ornament planted solidly atop it; the entire monument is set in the center of the biggest city square in the world - Merdeka (Freedom) Square. Merdeka Square measures more than five times larger than Tiananmen Square in Beijing. I was sweating my ass off it was so hot. We took some pics and went to get coconuts to drink out of from the vendors near the entrance. My jetlag was hitting hard so we leave the park, pass some creepy ghosts (think Halloween but all the time), and took another bajaj back to Grand Indonesia to drop off Retno and pick up Rendi's motorbike (at this point I'm an expert on the motorbike) and we head back to my neighborhood.
We eat dinner at a FANTASTIC fried rice (nasi goreng) spot near my hotel on a lane famous for the street vendors. I order spicy chicken fried noodles (mi goreng ayam pedas) and a fanta lol and Rendi gets goat fried rice (nasi goreng kambing). Lots of street musicians. We finish the food (shit it's so good) and I go home to sleep.