Jakarta… You so crazy. I’m thankful I don’t have to visit on a regular basis and deal with your disgusting air, choking traffic, and your unseeingly organized chaos.
I visit only when I’m in the mood for a shit show. Show me your crazies; your women dressed in cocktail dresses and 5 inch heals to go out to lunch, your bedazzled cartoon iPhone cases, tiaras, and offensive signage. You’re so beyond help at this point that I visit you only to use you and leave. Give me your international food and chains. I’ll shop. But then I’ll leave. And be so thankful I can.
Seth spoiled me for Mother’s Day (weekend). Eliana spent the night at a friend’s house and we spent an evening out in Jakarta. This may sound strange to spend the night away from my child on the eve of Mother’s Day, but it was actually precisely what we as a couple needed.
After checking into our hotel room, we started the night having dinner at Marche, then Seth bought me a stunning white dress at Mango (picture Greek goddess). We arrived at Dragonfly (the nightclub) around 11:00 and had a few (or four) glasses of wine. The club decor and people were incredibly beautiful, so the two hours of time killing flew by with all the eye candy.
Kaskade started around 1:00 am. By then we had claimed a nice space on raised dance floor, above a private party of Ukrainian models and their promoters/managers. They had countless bottles of liquor on their table and we had empty glasses. So naturally, we placed our glasses on their table. Lo and behold, a few minutes later, the glasses were magically filled, so we picked them back up as slyly as possible. Their reaction? A smile and a thumbs up. We repeated this 4 times with a total of 5 free drinks! Score!
Kaskade played for almost three hours! This is quite a long set for a DJ, and we were thrilled with his choices, although a bit surprised with how much dubstep he included. Excellent show nonetheless. To get an idea of his music, here is our favorite song …
We heard the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were coming to Jakarta months ago, and bought tickets a few weeks ago. How could we resist? We’re huge fans, had never seen them before, and they were coming to us in Jakarta!
They played in Love Garage, an outdoor festival about “love and music in the fresh outdoors”, in the middle of Jakarta. You can imagine how fresh it was. Or let me paint a picture of an equal part Indonesian and Bule fanbase sweating their body weight and rocking out.
Karen Oh put on an amazing show. “Oh Oh. Oh Oh. Oh oh. Oh oh. Wuh oh.” Is forever stuck in my head. And I got the concert tee to prove it!
Between going out last weekend and the concert last night, I think that after six months of being here, we finally have an idea of what the Jakartan night life is like.
It’s… Sweaty. Hot. Crazy. And a lot of fun!
Check out the technology charging stations (last picture of chords strapped to a woman). Fascinating or appalling??
Between debates, a student and I snuck down to the street festival to get some cotton candy, a treat that really lifted our spirits. The day was long and grueling: I left at 8:00am and was home at 10:00pm. We won 4 motions and lost 2, which isn’t bad. We return tomorrow. (Update: two out of three teams moved on to the quarterfinals to debate on a fifth motion, but lost by a small margin.)
Meanwhile in Bali; Seth, Ellie, Ed and Marlene had a packed day buying textiles and carved wood in Sukawati and Ubud. Traditional wear was a priority for the wedding they’ll be attending on Friday. Here are a few pictures he shared from the Monkey Forest and the traditional markets. Love the batik shirt!
Residents of Jakarta voted on Thursday and it was just announced that Jokowi won! This is great news, as Jokowi’s campaign focused on clean change, without corruption or entitlement. Jokowi’s successful experience of being the Mayor of Surakarta and his campaigning strategy of using social media is, what I think, gave him what he needed to win. Let’s hope he can bring the necessary change to Jakarta.
In the meantime, check out a parody his campaign supporters put together, which includes a focus on Jakarta’s issues like corruption, slum conditions, and traffic. So clever! (And I found the lyrics in English here!)
Only about 30 minutes from Bogor, lies the base of Mount Salak and a ton of beautiful waterfalls. We trekked for another 30 minutes to find this little pool and fall. The water was cold and refreshing, and the physical reaction to it was fun to experience. As soon as you’re submerged, or under the fall, your breath quickens uncontrollably. The second you step out, your breath is back to normal.
It was really nice to get out of Bogor for the day. The goal is to trek and be surrounded by nature, but in Indonesia, that means you’re also surrounded by a ton of other adventure-seekers and warungs along the path. After a while you get used to it, and maybe even succumb to the tempting fruit tea along the way.
These treks are every where and what you get to experience is so much more than a hike through Forest Park. There are trumpet flowers as big as your head, monkeys running up and down the hillside, and give it 3..2…1… you have an instant friend wanting to take your picture and contact you on Facebook.
We’re celebrities. And you can call me J-Roo. We’ve finally accepted this practice [of getting our picture taken by random people] and have begun to play with it. Some guy from Jakarta has a picture of me with a giant carrot hanging out of my mouth and my arms flexing like Popeye.