21.02.2012 - 23.02.2012
We landed on new soil, the first time in my life I have ever crossed the equator, in Jakarta, Indonesia. After the usual boarder inspections and paying for our visa we gathered our bags and headed via taxi to Jalan Jaksa, the travellers hangout in Jakarta. It has all the cheapest guesthouses and a few bars down a narrow one way road. Once we arrived we spent a little while searching for cheap rooms, all were pretty grimy. Then on a road just off Jalan Jaksa we found a hostel with a nice room, slightly more expensive, but it had everything we needed and was very comfortable. We went out for a little wander quickly and decided to grab a bite to eat. It was already noticeably hotter in Jakarta and we decided to take shelter until it cooled down a little later on.
That evening we met up with Jesse who we originally met in Kuala Lumpur, she was kind enough to come meet us after work and showed us a nice restaurant nearby which was nice. Afterwards we headed to a little bar where an Indonesian Reggae band were playing, they were very impressive, and they looked the part too with their dreadlocks and afros! It surprises me how popular Reggae, and Rastafarian culture is in South-East Asia. A lot of them seem to live a laid back lifestyle, as well as indulging and embracing some other famous Rastafarian cultures!
The following day we went for a walk to have a look at some local landmarks. I'll be honest nothing too impressive, and in fact the day can often expose some of a cities less finer points, as of course a night can. The only issue with Jakarta being it's uncleanliness, especially mixed with it stifling heat. It bodes for a bad impression.
(The Presidencial Palace)
That evening I received some news which I had been anticipating for a while, but was still ecstatic to read in a message from my Brother-in-Law, that my sister had just given birth to a baby boy! Harry was born on the 22nd of Feb, to two very proud parents, and I cannot wait to meet him!
(Recieving the good news! I was just out of the shower, that's why I look a little dishevelled. I havnt taken to walking around with my flies and belt undone, hair unkept and no shirt on!)
(My Nephew Harry on his way home, making a bid for freedom from the Hospital!)5
That evening we decided to treat ourselves to a bit of western living by going to Pizza Hut and then to the Cinema. I'll be honest the Pizza Hut was nothing to write home about, in fact it was a little bit of a disappointment, but I really enjoyed the cinema, I had forgotten what it was like, you cannot beat watching a film there. When the light came up it was bizarre. I could have left the theatre and walked out into the big car park outside the Vue at Westwood Cross, it was a little strange when we didn't. Instead punched in the face by the night heat and smells of the noisy city.
We had read about a water park just outside Jakarta and thought it would be a good laugh, unfortunately the taxi driver took us to the wrong one, it was pretty dire and clearly few westerners go there which was a great shame! That evening we met up again with Jesse, grabbed some street food, Indonesia's famous satay. We had arranged another cinema trip, after all it only cost a few pounds and we met up with Stephanie, Jesse's friend, and fellow English teacher. After the film we said our goodbyes before we headed for Yogyakarta the following day.