Jakarta. Not as bad as I imagined.

 

Going to Jakarta had Senna excited and me less than Impressed. She expected a crazy built up city full of people and anonymity and I expected the exact same. Senna is a city girl and as the faithful old dog that I am, I agreed to spend a few days in, what I imagined would be, my living hell. It was far from that, thankfully.

We waited at the airport to meet up with Senna’s friend Lauren and set off into the city towards Six Degrees Hostel. We took a Grab Taxi from the airport, which will save you a lot of money if you download the app (its just like Uber).

We spent our first afternoon watching the sunset over the city scape on a rooftop bar, quite the scene. Afterwards we encountered what turned out to be a homeless man who invited us to his makeshift bar which was basically decorations and a few chairs, in a car park and down an alleyway. This may not be the cleverest idea, but once there we enjoyed ourselves. After a short while a few ‘Satudarah Motorcycle Club’ members turned up and we drank with them, mostly due to the free drinks that came with them. We agreed to let ‘Rocky Montana’, the name the homeless guy goes by, to take us around Jakarta the next day.

 

Trusting Rocky turned out to be a fantastic idea. He showed us the main port where we climbed aboard the ships over a sort of wobbling drawbridge. We whisked by ‘Tuk Tuk’ to the huge Mosque and went inside wearing full Muslim dress. We saw the cathedral across from the mosque and then went to ‘Old Town’, where the Dutch had planted their dominant white buildings. In old town we spent most of our time having our pictures taken as it is apparently lucky for Indonesians. This happened across Jakarta and the anonymous feeling Senna expected quickly diminished. After a short time, we managed to escape the photographers and ran to the nearest bar for a beer. We laughed about being given babies to hold and the multitude of questions asked while looking out onto the square as children and adults rode around on colorful bicycles, pretending to be Dutch. They even wore the posh colonial hats.

Lauren left to meet her parents and me and Senna decided to have a few beers, try some local food and chill at the hostel roof bar. The hostel was very well kept, with breakfast, cinema, pool table and curtained beds, only four per dorm. The next day we prepared to leave for Yogyakarta, hence the shortness of the blog, but in one month I visited Florence and Jakarta. Florence was meant to be my favorite place in the world and I did not enjoy it. I was dreading Jakarta and it turned out to be a pleasant and fun city. Most people would say something like, “never judge a book by its cover”, Senna just says “well, I am always right”. I must admit, maybe 3% of the time she is.

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