07 June 2016

Travelokz: JKT

About two weeks ago, I went to the land of shortforms - Jakarta, Indonesia. Indonesians sure have a thing with shortening names of things like WarBit for Warung Cubit, NasGor for Nasi Goreng and Polsek for Polis Sektor. Anyway, it was quite a brief trip but it is really meaningful to me and you can see why from this hastily edited video:

Now sure these are just snippets because I made this using a free video app hehehe. I have yet to install a proper video editor in my laptop so let's hope I could have the proper one before my next trip in July!

So my new roommate and I went to Jakarta to attend his friend's wedding but let's start from the beginning. 

Departure photo captured by this Hand McShaky fella beside me zzz
We arrived in Jakarta that Thursday night and headed straight to our AirBnB apartment. The apartment is in Pancoran Riverside and Margaret's housekeeper greeted us there. I thought I could finally rest but my roommate here discovered that his wallet was missing. Hence, we began our journey next morning by reporting about the missing wallet to the police folks (hence how we discovered what Polsek stands for) and cancelling credit/debit cards and calling the cab company to trace the wallet.

Macet: that's Indonesian word for heavy traffic 
The traffic in Jakarta was no kidding. We travelled mostly by GrabCar and Uber around the city. Lokman said, he wouldn't ever drive in Jakarta even if someone gives him a Mercedes to drive there. It is pointless to ask me to drive here because I have always preferred not to drive anywhere. Hehe.

Anyway, these photos (above and below) were taken near Kalibata police station. We walked around to find shops that sell either sim cards or batik dresses. We found neither (but they do sell pets and photo frames and leathers by the roadside, how odd/cool is that?) and decided to head to the nearest shopping mall: Kota Kasablanka. 

Lunch at Old Town White Coffee, Kota Kasablanka
We didn't take much photos inside the mall because it looks a lot similar like Pavilion Mall in Malaysia. But we were surprised because the security check was rather strict. Other than that, we tried to find a cinema here to experience watching movies like a local. They don't have that, or maybe we couldn't find it yet they do have swimming pool at the gym upstairs. Haha!

Lokman scored a new pair of sandals from Eiger because he lost his previous one before our wedding. He hadn't stopped talking about how he wanted to get a new one in Indonesia so I forced him to buy one regardless of the price so he would stop talking about it. Also, we got our local sim card here so that's one thing off the list. We then headed straight to the apartment to settle phone calls with his banks.

Solemnization ceremony at Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel

The solemnization of Lokman's university friend was held at Grand Sahid Jaya that Saturday morning. It was our first time experiencing Indonesian wedding so pardon the excitement! The ceremony was elaborative: there was akad (of course), Al-Quran recitations by the bride and groom, feet-washing ceremony and others. I couldn't watch up close because I am not a family member but it's nice enough to be given the chance to watch from where I stood here.

After the ceremony, we went to Tanah Abang to find our dresses for the reception that night. Both of us completely forgot that there were two separate events and we brought only one attire. Regardless, it was a good excuse for us to shop for new batik dresses and shirts!

Random hawker from the roadside

Long walk away from Tanah Abang to get a GrabCar
We didn't take pictures at Tanah Abang because there were A LOT of people. We swam through a sea of human beings to get our stuffs and quickly left the place because it was about to rain plus rain equals to worse macet. So yeah, we walked like two kilometres away from Tanah Abang to get a GrabCar because the traffic near the place was the worst one everrr.

Later that night, the groom's friends who lived near our apartment gave us a lift to the hotel. We chatted on our way. They are also newly-wedded for around two months or so and I asked them to recommend us some local eateries. The wife suggested us to explore Tebet and the husband took us through Tebet road to show us the places on our way back home after the reception.

Anyway, here are the photos of the reception:

Group photo with UTP folks (find me if you can!)

Photo credit to Wanjes: The bride and groom entering the hall

The performers with wedding hosts
One of the huge congratulatory cards made of fresh flowers
The wedding was held in the same hotel and it was truly joyous and merry. We had such a great time and there was so many food! My roommate and I, of course, we tried everything. Every food that they served... well, except for this one food we missed because our tummy just had enough with all the lambs and satay and nasi berlauk and mushroom soup with pastry top and cakes and the list goes on.

Nevertheless, we had quite the cultural shock because the seats were limited. By limited, I mean there were like twenty seats but hundreds of guests. Thus, most of us had to eat while standing which is actually okay... except that the plates were a wee bit too heavy especially with all the food we dumped into each of the plates. Sure they laid out few tables but most of guests just held their plates and ate as usual. The locals seemed to be doing okay, so I figured - let's do like the locals do! 

The following day was our final full day in Jakarta. So we planned to head to Monumen Nasional (MoNas) in the evening and Tebet after sunset.

The crowd at MoNas 
It was a fine evening and there was quite the crowd around the National Monument. We saw locals picnicking and taking pictures and playing kites around the area. There were families, couples, tourists and many others around here. Like a true tourist, we took pictures and videos here then head straight to the ticketing counter to get into the mini museum. The monument holds huge ass sculptures on the walls inside and plenty of dioramas to tell the recorded history of Indonesia.

A cat lepaking near the sculptures

Garuda bird: Indonesian national emblem
After the full tour around MoNas, we began our food journey at the nearby food court. We ordered fresh coconut drink and ayam penyet. To be honest, the ayam penyet didn't impress me and I prefer the ones from Pecel Lele, Padang Jawa here in Klang. But I was hungry from all the walks so sure it probably tasted just as great.

Coconut drink and ayam penyet from MoNas food court
Our GrabCar driver drove us from MoNas and dropped us in front of Martabak Boss, the first stall in Tebet recommended by our local friends last night. We ordered one to-go and I have no idea who was Lokman trying to feed when we ordered a large one. Also, when I saw the workd martabak, I thought it would look like Malaysian murtabak made of dough and normally filled with chicken/beef curry. Only here, Indonesian martabak looks similar like Malaysian apam balik and the one we ordered was filled with chocolate rice and cheese. It tasted nice but too huge for me.

Martabak Boss, Tebet: Chocolate and cheese
Then, we walked through the road and stopped by Eat Happens to get Cendol for Lokman and Cendol Duren for me (because this loser doesn't consume durian products, only durians zzz). Their Cendol Duren was nice and it was packed in a plastic sealed cup with huge straw. I took it home because the cup was large.

A shaky picture in front of a sushi restaurant in Tebet
We walked further until we found NasGor (NASi GOReng/fried rice). Our local friends explained that the restaurant sells wide variety of rice/fried rice with multiple levels of spiciness to choose from. Just look at this menu:

We brought our food home and ate in front of the TV while watching Asians Next Top Model (mind you we don't even watch TV at home!). Lokman ordered Nasi Goreng Kambing level Menenangkan and I ordered Nasi Ayam Penyet. I don't know what level is my Ayam Penyet but I can assure you it felt like level Mematikan! And it defeated my high endurance towards spicy food. But overall, it was nice and I loveeee all the food.

Later we packed, slept and headed straight to the airport next morning to return to Malaysia. Also, Lokman's friend who had been in touch with the cab company we first took when we arrived in Jakarta told us that his wallet was found but it was in another district. We couldn't get to that district in fear that we would miss our flight home. But thank you, Raldi, for collecting his wallet and handed it to a friend who was returning to Malaysia few weeks later.

So, I think I have written so much for someone who has not been updating her blog for almost half a year. Basically, I am just too lazy to wrap this one up. Also, pardon me for writing this like a lame school essay because I am really just here out of spite trying to procrastinate and avoid doing my assignments. And sure because Hawa kept telling me to document my little journey here (so here's for you, woman!)

Let's hope I have more to write (and post!) once my final semester is done! Also, seriously, I could only write this long now because I successfully submitted my final draft of thesis last week. Hehehe.

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