Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Joko's Java Journey - Part One

Me in 1986
Jakarta is called by some "The Big Durian", a fitting description for a big place that's somewhat stinky, not for everyone and at the very least, an acquired taste. I really enjoyed my time living there as a teenager in 1986-87, but Jakarta was just the beginning of my journey; I did not intend to linger there. I hoped that perhaps I'd be able to secure transportation quickly enough to allow me to visit my old neighborhood, but I wasn't optimistic that I'd have time to see much of Jakarta.

The journey started off well. For the first time, I was
Having it my way.
departing through Yangon's brand new international Terminal One. Therein, Myanmar's one and only Burger King restaurant can be found, and I'm a Whopper fan.  It is strange that as it's located in the departure lounge, you need a ticket out of the country to visit BK.

Torrential rainfall delayed the flight. It was raining so hard that the incoming plane couldn't land and we were 90 minutes late departing. My new arrival time for the transfer in Bangkok was 4:30. The flight to Jakarta began loading at 4:30... It was going to be tight. Serendipity struck as it turned
Once again, I get entrusted with
the emergency exit seat. I exude
competence and a need for extra
leg room.
out that the Jakarta flight was similarly delayed! Yay! I've never cheered a delayed flight before.

After some confusion with my free hotel airport shuttle (I was waiting in front of the wrong information counter), I settled into my hotel near the airport ready to begin calling around to secure a motorbike rental the next morning. As you hear me explain in the video, it didn't work out very well. I ended up having to spend an addition night (last night) in Jakarta. At least the hotel I had planned on staying in in Bogor allowed me to cancel my booking at no charge.

So last night, I got to wander around an area of Jakarta I'd never visited. It's called Cengkareng, and it's an odd little armpit on the edges of the city. Lot's of colonial architecture, which I can't tell if it's actually old or not, lots of unused commercial space and lots and lots of massage parlors and karaoke bar.

Again, the first day didn't go as planned, but it least it had a happy ending.

Indonesian food is a happy ending.

Now, I've got to check out from my hotel and still no word from the motorcycle rental guy.

Enjoy the video.


  1. Even if its faux colonial, its probably better than that just random cement.

  2. I feel badly that you had frustrating time, but am glad you had a happy ending! Blessings, Lynn


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