Sunday, February 24, 2013

In Indonesia (Feb 2013) (Jakarta City)

Indonesia
This year during Chinese New Year break I went to Indonesia for five days! My classmates in Chinese class actually inspired me to go because most of them are from Indonesia. This country is just north of Australia and as you can see it's made up of a bunch of islands. I went to Java and Bali islands. You can see a map of Java in the picture below:
Java
First I went to Jakarta, the Capitol, then to Yogyakarta to see some famous temples and then Bali is the island to the right of Java. Indonesia has too much history for me to talk about but it's been colonized by the Dutch; they speak Bahasa Indonesia there; Buddhism, Islam and Christianity are popular on Java while Hinduism is major in Bali.

So let me talk to you about Jakarta! On arriving there was some confusion about what car to take to get to the hotel. Bluebird is the only taxi company that is safe in Indonesia so we were looking for that. Long story short, a guy pretnding to be Bluebird tricked us into taking a random black car to the hotel. At first he said $270,000 rupiah (US $27) but when we got in he said $100,000 more to take the highway). Well, since we were already in the car and Jakarta is famous for traffic jams we took the scam so we could get to the hotel asap.
PS- you have to pay to get into and leave the country by the way...
It was a few hours before dinner when we arrived so we decided to go to one of the famous shopping malls: Grand Indonesia. They had a Forever 21 and lots of neat Indonesian inspired jewelry so I splurged a little bit. It was totally worth it though!
Interesting sculpture in the department store...
While window-shopping we found Krispy Kremes! (They don't have that in Taiwan, btw)

Then we went to the hotel for a buffet dinner. I figure, since we don't know how or what to order here, we can get a good idea of what we like by trying the buffet.


 
I discovered some really cool fruits they don't have in Taiwan: snakeskin fruit for example. It's shaped like a tear-drop and the outside has a thin, brittle layer of brown skin that looks like snake skin. Inside it has two or three pieces of the fruit with a stone pit inside. It's hard to describe the taste... sweet... a little like guava or Buddha's head fruit. I loved it! There was also a special type of passion fruit that seriously looked rotten. IT'S NOT, don't worry! Instead of being purple on the outside and yellow on the inside, it was yellow on the outside and pale white on the inside. Tasted the same except it wasn't as sour as regular passion fruit. There was also another fruit that was a lot like longgan, but instead of one ball of fruit inside the shell, it had five sections of clear fruit with seeds inside.
 


 
 

 
The dinner was all really good and I ate until I felt kinda sick. I never do that, so that means it was seriously really good! Then retired for the evening...

The next day was kindof a failure all around. I wanted to see the National Museum because it's supposed to be really famous. I got to speak to the taxi driver (bluebird this time) in Bahasa Indonesia. I told him to take us to MONAS, the national monument because it's within walking distance from the museum. 


It's in the middle of a large park and people had a small market going on at the sidewalk. I saw a few vendors selling rabbits. Some were just lying on top of the cage and it was sad because they were so hot they couldn't move.

There were also lots of horse drawn carts you could ride.


I opted out of climbing the monument because I wanted to get started on the museum so there'd be time to go to the local market for cheap clothes. On the walk there I met some really cute kids. They said, "Hello mister," and I asked them in Bahasa if I could take their picture.
When we got to the museum it looked like they were rennovating the whole thing... So no getting in. :(
The next stop was Mangga Dua, the cheap clothes market. Unfortunately, I didn't buy anything but I liked looking around! Ate at the food court upstairs.






Then we went to the famous Antik Market, or the flea market. Turns out it's mostly for tourists. Lots of neat statues, woodcarvings and old things. Way over-priced!






Then went back to the hotel to get ready for the flight to Yogyakarta! It's the rainy season so it thunderstormed a little, but we chilled out with some ice cream... and ate dinner at the airport.

The domestic flights are so insane to me! You have to walk outside and climb up steps to board the plane! I felt like Elizabeth Taylor or something! So after about an hour we arrived in Yogyakarta and turned in for the night!

Dinner
PPS- Every since the terrorist bombing in Bali, security has been pretty strict in Indonesia. For example, going in and our of malls and driving up to the hotels.

Tune in next time for Borobudur!!!!

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