2 May 2014
My itinerary for today was simple:
By foot and or public transport. I thought I’d like to see if I would be able to survive in Jakarta independently. Yesterday, I attempted to go to Jakarta Cathedral but was unsuccessful. This time, I made sure I would be able to go so, I could offer my courtesy call to my Maker, thank him for another opportunity to explore. I walked back there, crossed the street and Tadah, I reached my first destination alive.
Oops, the church door was closed. I walked back and forth but there’s nobody for me to ask. Suddenly, someone called me <bah?>, I looked back and saw a big black luxurious-looking car. I went to the couple and they pointed to me the proper way to get into the Cathedral. It was actually through the side doors, not the main ones.
After I prayed, they were still outside. They once again opened the window of their car and asked me where I was from. They were surprised to know that I was alone and touring myself around. The hubby then asked me to take down his number and message him if something bad happens to me. I said, I hope none. He said, I will pray for you. Nice.:)
I went out of the Cathedral. I wanted to try to take ojek, their motorbike taxi, so, there I was, riding on someone’s motorbike, heading to MONAS. He initially charged me Rs20,000 which I agreed to take. I knew he overcharged me but I didn’t want to haggle anymore, I thought, as long as it wouldn’t exceed Rs20,000 (accdg to some reads), it should be ok.
I could see MONAS. The ojek driver stopped, I alighted and paid him Rs20,000, as we agreed upon. He suddenly returned Rs5,000 to me. Another shock. Clueless about why he did that, he gestured “go in and don’t mention it”. Ok, so I went in.
One good deed, after another. 🙂 Cool.
I went into the MONAS complex and a tour guide approached me and offered me his packages. I wasn’t very keen hence I declined. I purchased my ticket to go up the tower at Rs15,000 then queued up for a long time. View from up there was hazy and honestly, a bit disappointing.
I went down and this tower employee suddenly came up to me and conversed with me. He informed me that I had to go to basement 1. Ok, I followed him, despite I was a little bit skeptical of why he was bringing me in to a dark hall, I told myself, “relax, you’re a lot bigger than him”. He said that the Indonesia’s Proclamation of Independence chamber would open soon. Hall was dark, and I was alone in the huge hall. I sat down and waited. Suddenly, the chamber opened and the voice of Sukarno echoed around the hall. It was a short declaration, therefore, after about 2minutes, the chamber closed back again.
The personnel came down and helped me take some photos. He’s another angel. I planned to go to Kota Tua via ojek again because I enjoyed it a lot. I came out and the guide who initially approached me at the entrance came up to me again, this time, not to sell anything, but just to chit-chat. He actually is a tour guide who guides and arranges tours for people not only within Jakarta, but also outside.
I told him my plan of getting to Kota Tua by ojek and he discouraged me again. He said, why not take bus. He instructed me “to exit from the gate near the President’s palace, turn left until I see the bus stop at the center of the street, take the bus from there, last stop would be Kota Tua.” (another angel) I thanked him and I asked him for his contact details just in case I’ve friends who want to take packages around Java.:)
Near the President’s palace, I witnessed a peaceful Labor Day (they celebrate it 1-2May) demonstration too. I went to the bus stop and tried my first bus ride. Paid Rs3,500, then waited….waited….and waited for 45-60minute, until the very crowded bus came. I took my chance and squeezed myself in. The good thing about taking the bus was that, there’s less jam because of the bus way. The jam would only start to occur closer to the stops.
Tadah, I reached Kota Tua, the last stop. Few meters from the terminal was the Bank of Indonesia Museum, which I decided to check out. Further into the street was a main complex, old buildings and museums, the old town. I couldn’t get my eyes off the bikes for rent. They made the old town looked oozing with vibrance.
It was past 3pm already, I was so hungry because I actually planned to take lunch in a famous restaurant, Cafe Batavia at Kota Tua. I ordered Nasi Campur Meneer and finished it like a hungry dog. After the meal, I decided to walk around more and witness a campaign (looked like it) which I couldn’t understand.
After Kota Tua, I crossed the street and went back to the terminal. I think it’s worth mentioning that in crossing the streets, I had to wait for locals for me to tag along with before I could do it. It was so scary. So I would wait and follow them like a stalker while deep inside, laughing to myself for being so ‘duh’ about crossing the roads.
Ok, waited for 1hr for the bus back to MONAS and when it finally arrived, all the buses heading for the same direction came one after the other, about 5-6 of them. I’m not sure if that’s the way it’s supposed to be, (same time out and in for all the buses heading towards the same direction) or it was just my plain (bad) luck.
I could see MONAS, I walked towards there and thought I wanted to check where Gambir Station was because the next day, I was going to Bandung. I subsequently had my dinner around the area also, baso spesial urat komplit.
My question to myself while heading home “Am I ready to make Jakarta my next home?”
Highlighted texts were the good deeds I experienced just in a day. I just always feel blessed when things like these happen.
Andy, the guide I was telling you about, gave me his contact: +6281315138342 ; website: http://www.oden.wordpress.com