Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 4: Lorong Rupa and Museum at Kota Tua, Jakarta

Kota Tua, street of art and culture
Call for Taxi -Silver Bird Group
In this whole Jakarta trip, I will only tell you the truth within Jakarta. No luxury, no 5 star hotels review, no big car fetching me around. This will be a pure story of art and culture of Jakarta, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to my Day 4 at Jakarta. This is my last day, fun exploring around here!

Another traffic jam day! Tsk tsk, I decided to meet up with Tarra at Bentungan Hilir bus shelter, till the moment I thought it was easy, but it wasn’t. I ended up in a place where the taxi driver dropped me, and I didn’t know it was the right place. When I asked for Bentungan Hilir, the locals said this is the place, ask where is the shelter, they had this in their heads -- ?????????

Darn, not again! Miscommunication, okay, go for another word – bus. Okay, they nodded and luckily enough, 5 minutes of walking from my long lost territory. Tarra was also stuck in the traffic jam, so this time; we took the bus at 10am, and went straight all the way to Kota Tua. Our bus passed by Sarinah, a favorite place for foreigners and backpackers. Aiks, I should go there last night! Crap.

We reached the last stop, walked down into the underground tunnel, and head over to Kota Tua. If you like art and culture, it might as well take one whole day exploring all the museums! Alas, I had chosen my favorite museum. (Tell you which as you read on).

Anyway, we passed by this street art, and checked out their work. Hmm, this is interesting, I found this interesting. They named their own street as ‘Lorong Rupa’.


Hmm, unique, they draw and sell interesting items. Tarra and I went to have a look, and I am interested into their art. Upon asking how much is the price, the artist ‘Yance’ told me: “in fine art, there is no fixed price, but a priceless property you owned.” Artist ‘Yance was in Lorong Rupa for more than 5 years, doing sketching and drawing by the street of arts. When he had enough money, he rather spend his money to expand his Lorong Rupa. Now, somehow or rather, he is different, not the typical money minded person. One person who express and define his mind towards art. Hence, he drew me, the price?

The process:




 “Cannot be revealed,” Yance said. Yance is to be known as Sketser at facebook. Check him out.


Yance
Found another street food! This is moderate for me, but it is popular food I heard, a mix of egg and some shredded coconuts.


Ah ha! My wayang kulit museum. I had dreamt of exploring wayang kulit since young, remembered them via an advertisement.

Drawing

Puppets around the world
Puppets
The traditional lamp and costume



Although I did not manage to get the traditional show, this staff was eager to show me how to perform a puppet show excitingly. Amazed by how he tried to express:


Till the time I come again, Jakarta! I was disappointed I am unable to go to Monas, but looking at it while stuck in the bus, well; at least I see it with my eyes.


Monas

130pm, need to rush back to Dharmawangsa by 3pm, peace out, out I go!







*****

Hey ya! Thanks for dropping by....do you have any comments or thoughts after reading my blog? I always love 2-way communication, do leave a comment in the comment box below, alright? Thanks!

Enjoy Life in Good Ways,
Suki Jezz

Day 3 - Botanical Garden and Bogor food,Jakarta

In this whole Jakarta trip, I will only tell you the truth within Jakarta. No luxury, no 5 star hotels review, no big car fetching me around. This will be a pure story of art and culture of Jakarta, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to my Day 3 at Jakarta.

Well, guess I made you waited for a while for my journey to be continued. Sorry about that, I was busy with other writing jobs. Apologizes, and to thank for your continuous support, I would continue pamper you with few more blogs coming from another country. Stay tuned still!

So day 3, guess I had to wake up earlier to take the taxi a further place, from:

Dharmawangsa Hotel to Cawang train station (stuck in an hour traffic jam);

Cawang train station to Bogor (an hour train journey)

When we reached Bogor, I and the ladies took Angkot, a minivan number 3 to travel from Bubulak to Baranang Siang, the fare is between 2.000 till 4.000 Rupiah, and so the fare is reasonable. A 20 mins distance, we reached Jalan Ciheuliat, and we found something interesting…

So, the first thing when you see this picture, what do you think what are we waiting for?



Guess? Come on, guess!











FOOD.

FOOD.

FOOD.

This missing in action uncle came back to his old location to sell Lumpia Basah, means wet popiah. The ingredients: bean sprouts, soft yam, and egg. A price of 4.000 Rupiah, yummy, I still can recall how delicious it was till now!


Uncle said: "Film me! Film me!" Just joking...


So the landmark to find this uncle Lumpia (if he didn’t relocated to another place again), he will be exactly by the roadside, opposite Puskesmas Bogor Timur (a medical centre), Jalan Pakuan, 6, Bogor. Good luck.

Till we meet him again, shall we?we took Angkot, and this time, some locals will pop into the minivan, and start to play their guitar and sing songs. Well, you may give them a token if you love what they are doing, or else, just say thank you and smiled back, it is not a necessity to give money to them.

We reached Jalan Bangka, Bogor. Bogor is named as Angkor/ rain city, simply because it always rain, and the flood flows into Jakarta city, guess the government still cracking their head how to solve the flood problem which hits the city. Tarra told me it was happened that we were at Bogor, where the incident of Sukhoi SuperJet-100 at Salak Mountain occurred. Sad, I feel sad, as the plane crash caused fatal accident.

Well, move on. Tarra and I reached Botanical garden at Bogor.


Botanical Garden
We started off with the zoological museum, where different kinds of animals can be seen.

Whale
Interesting facts, visit them!

One that I like was nycticebus coucang, which it’s teeth have been used for men’s medicine, but this is a pretty bad usage though. Slow lorises have their teeth cut or pulled out for the pet trade, and often die from infection, blood loss, poor handling, or poor nutrition. Fellas, save animals please, they breathe too, don’t do it for the sake of money, find another way.

Next, I am sure everyone heard of Asian palm civet, the animal which we get civet coffee/Kopi Luwak from its digestive tract. Civet coffee is one of the world’s most expensive and low-production varieties of coffee.

Here are some beauties:


The President house in the garden, nice...
Dutch graveyards, we crawled from the walls behind,not knowing this is a graveyard area!
 As the garden was too big, we end up take the mini tour ride around the garden, where the tour cum driver explained to us the whole area. I have almost had my ears dropped, trying to lean forward to hear what he said, as he talked in Indonesia language, and he stopped at each area like for…not even 1 min, crap. I can’t even manage to take good pictures. Well, at least I know there are 3000 species of floras, 87 hectare, and more than 500 orchids in the garden. Too bad I missed the Rafflesia this season.

One of the highlights was the lover trees, two tall trees had the legend of if you go there with your admirer; she/he will fall in love with you. Haha, you see, after a while, there will be a big red bridge named as break up bridge. (What the?) One is lover trees, one is break up bridge…so you fall in love, and then you walk further, you break up? Hilarious. The oldest tree in the garden is almost 189 years old, shall we blow candle as its birthday celebration?


Happy 189 year old, my oldest tree! (right side)


This view, tells me words,  check out the lorry
Poor horse, need to work!

2 hours passed. We walked to the food street, and ate the famous Soto Betawi and Gado-gado finally.

Soto betawi, gado-gado
Nah, this is just the starter, we went into Botani Square and had some ice tea and Cireng Keraton, crossed over the bridge and we ate the softbun Pukis.


Iced tea and Pukis

Tarra asked: “We go for apple pie now.” What! Food, okay, might as well this end up be a food trip, my belly is growing and growing. I remembered we took Angkot and reached Tugu Kujang, stopped at Badan Pertanahan Nasional Republik,Jalan Salak,2, Bogor. we walked inside to another version of the village. Oh ya, go for chicken porridge Kabitha which can be found near the train station, ask people ya. De-koffie-pot is famous for its coffee drinking session, and Warung Taman at Taman Kencana park will seduce you with their famous fried rice. If you like pizza, go for Kedai Kita, wood oven pizza.

So many foods to recommend! Life is about enjoying food still. We reached PTA apple pie area, finally!


Environment and menu

Video of the surrounding:


I won’t miss their famous Bajigur and Bandrek; to be chilled along with their apple pie.

(1) Apple pie (2) Bajigur (3) Bandrek

530pm it is, to avoid to get stuck with the massive jam, we walked back to our previous exit and took Angkot till Taman Topi (near police station), opposite Taman Topi Square, there is a small lane going back to the train station, and we headed back Cawang station. Well, this time, I took the bus by myself (previously Tarra guided me but as it was too late, I have to survive on my own) from Cawang station heading to Plaza Semanggi. I had to walk opposite (thanks to Tarra who drew a mini cute map to guide me for the direction) and took a taxi back Dharmawangsa hotel. Guess how long I spent on the easiest smartest transportation way? It took me 1 hour and 40 minutes from the Cawang station to Dharmawangsa! Good or bad? I don’t know. Well, lucky I still managed to taste a bit of sup buntut at Kemang.



My blog  make you hungry? Cheers!



*****

Hey ya! Thanks for dropping by....do you have any comments or thoughts after reading my blog? I always love 2-way communication, do leave a comment in the comment box below, alright? Thanks!

Enjoy Life in Good Ways,
Suki Jezz

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day 2: Taman Mini Indonesia and Couch Surfing Gathering

Day 2 - Taman Mini Indonesia and Couch Surfing Gathering

Mini Indonesia
In this whole Jakarta trip, I will only tell you the truth within Jakarta. No luxury, no 5 star hotels review, no big car fetching me around. This will be a pure story of art and culture of Jakarta, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to my Day 2 at Jakarta.

Well, I would say, Dharmawangsa Hotel does serve good breakfast: Western and Asia cuisine being well served, with all fresh ingredients being displayed in front of my eyes. I was told that lots of people like to have their meal while chatting in this quiet classy place, because they have beautiful swimming pool being indoor or outdoor, Jacuzzi, and no lounge with noisy live band interfering the relaxing time.

Ms Tarra came to my hotel at 9.40am with a little gift from me - a lovely flower hairclip from Bali. Awww, I was happy that she gave me such a lovely souvenir!

My souvenir from Tarra

Oh ya, can you imagine how ‘ironic’ it was when Tarrra came into my hotel? I led her to another room, now there goes my senseless direction. “So where are we going today?” as I trusted her for arranging the program, Tarra understands the time at Jakarta more than me precisely! “Let’s go Taman Mini Indonesia, just like a mini Indonesia, featuring all 33 different culture of Indonesia, and we are going to use public transport. Ah ha, something different than the normal taxi I guess. So, our first public transport is Bajaj, a 3 wheels mini cart car, originally from India.

Bajaj BBQ model? Uwek...
Now just beware, you need to negotiate with the fare with any public transport at Jakarta, either you end up paying more for the same service. If you are being charged more than RP 15.000 for Bajaj or Ojek (motorcycle,it looks creepy for me as I am a lady), just go for taxi instead.

Somehow, it broke down near Blok M Square, so we paid the Bajaj’s driver RP 6-8.000 and took a bus at the terminal near Blok M Square and go all the way to Bendungan Hilir Shelter, a shelter near to Plaza Semanggi (another big shopping centre at Jakarta). Do you know there are more than 60 big shopping centres at Jakarta? Wonder if there are really so many shoppers around? Their fashion, however and hopefully, can be reconstructed with a new fashion taste. Anyway, we took Transjakarta bus no.9 by paying RP 3.500 per single journey and reached Pinang Ranti at 10.45am. ** Transjakarta is recommended as it is an aircond bus with reasonable bus fares. **



Jam with people at the bus shelter, not to mention the traffic jam on the road!
So the little girl (Tarra) had not eaten yet. Hmm…we stopped by a stall which served Ketoprak – lontong, taufu, cracker, aroma peanut sauce, mee hoon/rice vermicelli, and bean sprouts, as usual can be spicy or none spicy. Surprisingly, I wonder how each stall can be differentiated of its specialty since everyone almost serves similar food. “The peanut sauce is the magic key,” explained Tarra. Well, there you go, a lovely snack for my lunch, comes along with the sweet cendol. (Too sweet for me!) Ketoprak RP 8.000, Cendol RP 6.000


Cendol

Ketoprak
Pink Panther
So here we go, food ‘energizer’ made me feel guilty with my growing big belly, and we walked from Pinang Ranti to Taman Mini Indonesia. Tarra rented a bicycle with two seats. (I told her that I do not know cycling, she laughed). “Come on, you can do it!” and end up I couldn’t catch up with the poor Tarra who cycled with difficulties, with me at the back of the bicycle giving more trouble than helping out.

The entrance and bicycles.
As it is almost impossible to check out all the traditional houses, Tarra introduced me few interesting cultures: Orang Dayak House, Kalimantan Timur (East Kalimantan)

Hello, baby...
Know how to go up but don't know how to come down! - Baluk Tree House-
Papua (now this is good, man, wait till you see the pictures!)

Papua Handicraft
Left picture is named Koteka, to cover the Papua men's private part...hmm..such length? **smirking**
Can I buy Papua house and the 'bodyguard' since the properties are expensive and we have security problem nowadays?
Museum Prangko, Jawa Timur (East Java), Jawa Tengah (Central Java), ** and you thought the whole Jawa (Java) is the same right?eh, wrong!**,

Jawa/ Java
and museum of Indonesia.

Outside the museum. Ya ya, I know I am fat, I will lose weight...
We also manage to take the cable car sky-lift to go for a ‘sky’ tour of the whole Taman Mini Indonesia.


Beautiful mini landscape of Indonesia
Hurt, I saw only the mini Borobudur, how I wish I can fly to central Java and visit this UNESCO historical place.

Borobudur
 Sweat, hot, sticky, but awesome fun! Love the culture, amazingly the Indonesian culture is almost the same as Malaysian, as I told Tarra some of the traditional cultures are similar with those at Malaysia.

Okay, here is the best part. We went into the Indonesia museum, and I found this interesting story of the Ramayana. As the legend of the Ramayana was popular, the Java people will perform a dance to express the whole story of the Ramayana. I performed my dance with them, they are: the evil Ravana, the lovely beautiful Sita, the brave the Ramayana and his twin brother Lakshmana, and the monkey look-alike Hanuman. Somehow, Bharata is not in the museum.



My performance:




Ramayana and Hanuman
Lakshmana, Sita, and red face demon Ravana
Errr...Addicted to be like them?
Okay, after my ‘performance’, we cycled (actually Tarra did most of the cycling) back to the entrance, and thought of walking back to the transport museum. (Tarra was tired, you know why right?)alas, under construction; and you know many places in Taman Mini Indonesia are closed on Monday, so bad luck bit, but at least we did explored the main traditional cultures. So we were hungry again, and we went to the cafes near to the entrance. Do you know there is a lot of CFC (California Fried Chicken) in Taman Mini Indonesia? There is no fried chicken at California even!

4pm ends the whole exploration. We sat down and ordered Soto Kudus – roasted garlic, coriander seeds, gingers, and bean sprouts. (I told the guy not to cook the chicken for my soup as I don’t eat chicken, and I am not weirdo)

I want you, Soto Kudus!
 I love this, and for your info, most of the food at Jakarta, they will serve you along with lemon and spicy chili sauces. You can eat with rice or choose not to, oh man, I have to repeat this again, I really love this. We walked out from Taman Mini Indonesia, and wanted to go back to the shelter at Pinang Ranti. Surprisingly, none of the taxi drivers at Taman Mini Indonesia want to drop us to there. Ya, thanks to you guys who do not want to earn bit better than nothing, talking about choosing customers who only located far from Taman Mini Indonesia? Puff.

So we took the bus and reached Plaza Semanggi at 5.10pm, to get ready for the Couchsurfing dinner gathering at the sky dining area on 10th floor. There are lots of restaurants, and the prices of the food and drinks are just around the same, so it really depends on the interior design that you like and what cuisine they served. We had the Peranakan cuisine at Radja Ketjil, serving different kind of Gado-gado (the famous Indonesia food) and many other choices of food. Some CS from Couchsurfing arrived finally! We talked, exchanged opinion, and we did get to know each other by meeting everyone finally. At this moment, I feel that I am blessed with good friendly people around me.






CS gathering
10pm was our final call, as many people needed to work the following day. I took a cab approximately 10 minutes to go back Dharmawangsa Hotel. Another tiring but happy day…




*****

Hey ya! Thanks for dropping by....do you have any comments or thoughts after reading my blog? I always love 2-way communication, do leave a comment in the comment box below, alright? Thanks!

Enjoy Life in Good Ways,
Suki Jezz

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