(WARNING: This is a loooooooooooooooong post. Dont say I didnt warn you yar!)
Today is 2nd day in Jakarta. Arrived yesterday at around 12noon Malaysia time, or rather to be exact, my plane landed at 12noon and I finally step outside the airport at 1.30pm! Yah, took almost 1.5hrs to get thru the custom! I guess it is really my luck for the day because a few planes from different countries landed at the same time as mine. So, of cos, everyone of us need to go thru the custom.
Imagine hundreds and hundreds of people of different color and language queue at 8 custom counters waiting to be scanned through. Well, okay, not exactly scanned but did had my face taken. So, the Jakarta/Indonesia custom have my face in their database somewhere.
Pity my colleague that is meeting me at the airport to go customer together though. He waited for almost an hour! Anyway, once we got me out of there, went straight for our appointment with the customer. That is where I was informed that everywhere in Jakarta, takes an hour if there is no traffic jam.
I tell you, after seeing the jam in Jakarta, I will never again complaint about our Malaysian jam. Gosh! I take my hat off (if I have one) to all the Jakarta driver! It really amaze me that there is hardly any accident at all! I mean, the way they drive, you would have thought something really seriously bad would have happen right in front of your eyes. I come to the conclusion that Jakarta driver are actually more skilled than us in Malaysia...better drivers!
Let me give you some examples:
1. A small mini van without any door but with small wooden seats inside, suddenly stopped in the middle of the street with cars in all direction and people start coming out from the mini van onto the middle of wherever the mini van parked and casually walked to the side. Again, let me emphasize, MIDDLE of a three lane road! Right where I dont know how many motorbikes and cars are trying to squeeze through.
2. A big huge truck in front of me, painted yellow stopped on the right side of the three lane road, and I see 3 primary school boys climb down and proceed to cross the road to the sidewalk! Again, with lots of cars and bikes squeezing thru each other.
3. Stopped at a traffic light, suddenly see a man with a plastic bottle (like the cola bottle la) going to a big truck in front of us and proceed to open the side gas cover of the truck. I was innocently thinking that the fella is cleaning the gas cover in hope of getting some payment from the driver. Guess what he is actually doing? Stealing gas from the big truck!! The area we are at is actually just a few km from the port. So, imagine how many of those trucks that goes up and down a day. Just a liter from each truck....wah lau. By the way, not much the driver can do because it will turn ugly if he tries to stop them..
4. Parking are hard to come by in Jakarta. So, there is basically not much choice but to park in such a way that the car will blocked other cars that is parked in the parking space. Guess what you are suppose to do if you parked your cars blocking others? Leave your phone number on the windshield so the people will call you to move car? WRONG!! Leave the car in neutral so that if you blocked anyone that wants to leave, they will just push your car away!! HAHA! I heard about it but seeing it in action was really something.
5. At every other traffic light especially those under a flyover, you would see really 'pretty' ladies shaking a small containers filled with coins going from car to car to collect coins. I understand from my colleague that it is better to just give the few rupiah than trying to do anything..
6. At almost every traffic light, there will be people selling something, mineral water, newspaper, magazine, keropok and so on. Also, really pitiful to see, at one traffic light, pregnant mother and a little boy (I think no more than 10y.o) carrying a baby walking from car to car begging for money.
7. Understand that kids/children also sit on top of the train (no need to pay bah) to get from place to place. Previously, some of them were really badly injured but there is not much can be done because even after the security tried to stop them, they will climb on the train the moment their backs are turned.
Really eye opener and makes me appreciate what I have more. I understand those lower income group earn only around RM300-400 per month. If I only earn that, I really dont know how to survive. I must be thankful for what I have and dont grumble too much about difficulties at work. (But that does not mean that I will not look for better opportunities la)
Of cos, there are wonder things to say about Jakarta as well. The people that I have met so far, really really polite, gentle and friendly. The place I am staying now, people are super polite. I dont know whether it is because I am a foreign gal travelling alone and hence, they try to make my stay as pleasant as possible. Or maybe it is just how the service of this hotel is. It is a 3-star hotel but the service I got, it felt much better.
Food...gosh...let me tell you about the food. I kinda regret not having thicker skin and just whip out the camera and snap the food! Lunch yesterday was simple noodles with wantan but (and I am sure its difficult to get this in Malaysia), the noodles so so so so delicious because it is mixed with pork oil! HAHA!! Yar yar, anything with pork is good? My colleague had mixed rice which turn out to be crispy pork, char siu and a few more pork meat.
Then dinner, my colleague, his wife and daughter brought me to have nasi uduk which is basically rice wrapped in banana leaf and lots of other food that is wrapped in banana leaf parcel and steamed. My most favourite is the tempe here. It really taste super different than the one we have in Malaysia. If I can, I would really like to buy frozen ones and tapau it back!
Breakfast this morning was in the hotel as breakfast was included as part of the room package (by the way, room is about RM200+). That is pretty normal hotel breakfast. So, no comment.
Lunch was nasi padang. Again, the tempe. 3 of us, 2 plates of rice with tempe, vege and fried whole chicken leg. We shared a packet of deep fried beef skin. I had ice water and the other 2 had orange juice. Total damage = Rp45,000 (which is roughly RM18). Ok considering the portion! By the way, the deep fried beef skin is super addictive. Not as oily as pork deep fried skin. In fact, super light, fluffy and crunchy.
Dinner, I decided after 2 long days, the ppor guy, my colleague need a break from me. So, I told him that I would take care of my own dinner. Frankly speaking, I feel paiseh la because they wont let me pay for anything!
So, after much thought either to go out, eat at the coffee house downstairs or room service, I decided to have dinner at the coffee house. I am glad that I did because for RM48 buffet inclusive of tax & service charge, I have a selection of tender super juicy medium rare beef slices with mushroom sauce, bbq chicken, fish kebab & beef sausage, a variety of local dishes, salad spread, fruits and super rich tiramisu and chocolate cake selection. Back home, this would have cost me easily at least RM55 excluding tax!
So, here I am now, contented & full, almost 11pm Msia-time (10pm Indo-time), comtemplating what I want to do next. Watch one of the 30 channels available, read my book in bed, surf internet some more or sleep.... hehehe.. Dont you envy me? :P Haiyaa..dont lar. Exhausting okay business trip. At least, for vacation, the brain dont have to work much. Business trip is exhausting not just physically but mentally......
Ooops..okay, enough. Really long post already. I must develop really thick skin tomorrow and whip out the camera even in the car and snap more photos. Babe will be laughing because I carry his camera around but only capture photos of the hotel room! HAHA! OKEEE.. NITE NITE!!! MUCKS PPL!