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


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.

 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 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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