Selamat Datang di Indonesia-Welcome to Indonesia !!!!
The best part of my work is my travel to different places which mostly you will not try otherwise for a vacation. This time it was Jakarta, Indonesia! Everybody goes La la about Bali – But Jakarta ??
My high school geography knowledge says it’s an archipelago– Java Sumatra Indonesian islands spread across the beautiful Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal! And also from hearsay Indonesia is supposed to be famous for dog meat! – probably due to poverty! So with this background and some apprehension, I started my voyage from Bangalore to Jakarta via Singapore (Singapore brings me nostalgic feelings as I lived there for couple of years-a different story for different time)! Long tiring journey- But the moment I landed late night, I was awestruck Oh my, such a huge airport! Beautifully designed with local touch! Flabbergasted, I walked to the exit! Blue birds and silver birds were waiting outside to fly us round the city! Blue birds are economy taxis and the other ones are luxury !
I stayed right in the middle of the down town in the hotel Manhattan, yes literally it is a mini Manhattan, the skyline – Man! This country is too modest, has never boasted its beautiful infrastructure. Most of our perception about Indonesia will be around Bali – honeymoon spot, but Jakarta is no less than Malaysia or Singapore! After a Very warm welcome at the reception I checked into the hotel!
The next day morning view from my 26th floor was just amazing, bright sun shine and buzzing cars and bikes and trust me clean air! As the weather looked pleasant, I decided to take a quick walk before breakfast to see the notorious traffic which everybody complains ! Hang on – is that true , all bikers are wearing a green and black jacket! Surprised how everyone can have the same jacket? You will not believe at least 50, 60 bikers at first shot had the same green color jacket and helmet. Confused! They are rental bikers, you can request the service using an app and you can beat the traffic faster! What an idea!! And so many black shiny cars. Not even a single car had dent or scratch. Sorry I live in Bangalore, my thought process about cars and traffic is obviously different 🙂
The good part of my travel is I am not a tourist, I go for official work and I don’t get a chance to see many attractions! I sometimes feel that’s good, as I get a chance to explore the city, people and food more than sightseeing!
Local food in Jakarta, as in any APAC city is definitely a challenge for a vegetarian like me, but found some very good Indian restaurant and had good food throughout my stay.
Weather overall was quite pleasing throughout my stay and I found locals are more relaxed. They packed their bags at 3 from office on a Friday evening, and office lights automatically went off at 5! Is this a heaven?? (Can you believe? If only that could happen in Bangalore!) I am not sure since when India got into the culture of serious working hours day in and out without an end, is it due to Globalization? Competitive pressures? Population explosion? Wait – Indonesia is 4th largest in population! Since when we Indians got into this culture of working like hell, ditching our happiness and family and not realizing all the money we are earning does not bring happiness! This needs another day to think through and write abt it !
Anyways, the houses in Jakarta are huge, people are friendly and seem to lead a very happy life. What else do you need!
It was a wonderful experience spending a couple of days in Jakarta.
The place should definitely be in your travel plans! Official or leisure J