Monday 31 October 2016

Day 3 in Jakarta, 23rd October 2016

3rd day... My flight was really late at 5 plus.
I was feeling really lazy and didn't like the idea of venturing out.
Hence, I went to the Gym and breakfast in the hotel.
Then, I lazed around in my room and checked out close to 11a.m.
I got bored of sticking around in my room...

Took the cab to Gambir Railway Station.
Had lunch there...
Mie Ayam with Bakso
Didn't enjoy it but heck! My last meal!

After lunch, I had so much time to kill, I went for foot reflexology which cost only 100K rupiah for 1 hour. It was raining when I left the hotel so I thought spending some time at Gambir might turn the rain to a drizzle when I'm ready to leave. I was so wrong... It didn't turn into a drizzle. Neither was it a heavy downpour. I then went to buy a Red Bean Taiyaki so I can get a plastic bag to cover my head with. It was yummy... Hot and oh-so-comforting on a rainy day. If only I was in a villa in Puncak while this took place... Anyway, I went to Damri ticket booth which is within a short walking distance when I exit the Railway entrance. Bought my ticket to Soekarno Hatta Airport.
It wasn't crowded so I managed to have an empty seat beside me which I promptly made use of by putting my bag there. Journey took an hour.

Checked in and guess what I do with all the spare time on hand? Eat lah!
This was Tom Yum Soup. Pathetic.

Ended up reading a book - Room.

To summarize, I couldn't cover all that I planned to. I didn't go to Glodok, Kota Tua and Taman Mini.
I plan to make another trip to Jakarta come Christmas this year and visit the places I missed this trip.
I am so looking forward...
Overall, I LOVE Jakarta!
The food are spicy which I like.
The people are so friendly despite the language barrier. I find that body language gets me by easily.
I really enjoyed my stay...
After the 2nd trip, I'm going to Indonesia again come June next year. I made a promise to visit S in her hometown during Hari Raya and climb a few small mountains.
Can't wait... I'm sure I'm going to love it just as much!
Why oh why wouldn't the government allow foreigners to buy land there?!?!?! Bummer...

Till next time...

Dreamy C

Day 2 in Jakarta, 22nd October 2016

Day 2. I was up bright and early! 6 plus local time...
I went for my breakfast at the hotel. The spread was basic. Not much variety but will do for me...

After breakfast, I went to Monas.
Saw the first statue.

There was some event going on, Anniversary for some schools.
I had a hard time walking around searching for the ticket booth.
Asking the locals gave me some issues. Language barrier becomes more obvious but they are really friendly people. Hence, it didn't really bother me.

Another statue.
It might look like it's going to rain but I assure you it ain't the case at all.
It was really bright and sunny.
Jakarta is hotter than back home.
Soon enough, I have beads of sweat dripping down the sides of my face.
I like Jakarta all the same.

I must say that the night view of it is much more magnificent.
Next time round, I'll make sure to stay in a room which has a clear view of the entire structure!

I finally managed to locate the ticket booth.
It was in B1.
Before reaching the ticket booth, there are security guards checking your bags.
As I didn't bring any bag, I cleared that very quickly.
Ticket cost me 30K rupiah but amount on my ticket states 20K rupiah.
Corruption? I don't know really...
This picture is what I saw after having purchased my ticket and walking for a bit.
I have no idea what it depicts.

I reached a place which is the base of Monas where it tells the history of Indonesia, back to the time before Japanese Occupation. It was good knowledge.
Here, photo shows a bunch of school kids. All wanting to buy cold drinks from a vending machine.

Finally reached the top of Monas.
That's Istiqal Mosque there.
It was really windy.
There were grills on the 3rd floor and none on the 2nd.
Obviously, in terms of view, 3rd floor is so much better than the 2nd.

That's Gambir Railway Station.

Another part which I saw when I exit

Another statue

I had wanted to proceed to Istiqal Mosque but my tummy began to rumble.
Time for lunch!
Ice Tea which is really good for the hot weather.

Sate again. Why?
I was walking around searching for food.
I went in to a shop only to find out that they only sell Ice Cream. That explains the crowd.
I then went to another shop and settled for this.
A guy was right outside the shop, cooking sate with charcoal so I thought why not?
Even though Sate is the last thing I want to eat since I've eaten it last night.
However, to comfort myself, last night was Sate Padang and this was Sate.
The sauce is different and I must say I very much preferred this.

Not satisfied and I thought of going to Glodok to get my food later during the day.
I ended up NOT going to Glodok as I found this under the railway track!
It's just a bunch of push cart stalls selling Ketoprak, Mie Ayam etc.
This is Ketoprak. I really enjoyed this one. Yummy...
There's lots of beansprouts, some bee hoon like noodles, lots of crackers, tofu etc. It's just a bit of a few things. I ordered it spicy and it was delicious! If I remember it right, this only cost 15K rupiah!

Istiqal Mosque
Long story here but in the end, I didn't get to walk around the entire building.
Did not have a good experience.

On another note, saw a really beautiful kitty in the mosque.
Could not stop stroking him/her.

Gereja Katedral Jakarta

My lucky day - a wedding being held.
There were real birds in this church.
A wedding going on with birds chirping, what a lovely sight.

Walked back to Istiqal Mosque to catch a bus back to the hotel.
I could have walked but it was really hot and the weather tire me.
Saw some cotton candy along the way. Did not buy it for fear of the sweetness of it.

This is how a Transjakarta bus stop looked like.
The system there looked like the system of the MRT back home.
This happen to be the stop named Bank Indonesia which is near the hotel I stayed in.

Later at night, after a Body Scrub (which was really good btw...), I went to Sarinah Thamrin where I got some peanuts for J. There were lots of street food there and I was really excited!
This here, my friend is Pecel Lele. It's fried catfish with some cucumbers, cabbage and tofu.
The chilli which comes along with it? Oh my... Best!
The catfish was really crispy and the meat really soft. If I can, I'll order another portion but I really need to keep my tummy space for other food.

Walked back to the hotel and on the way, I saw BBQ Banana.
No luck as it was closed. Bummer!
Settled for Bakso. The bakso in Jakarta is different from the one in Padang.
I very much preferred the one in Padang. The big ball you see there has mince meat in the middle.
Didn't fancy the big ball. The small ones are more enjoyable in my opinion.
Soup was salty. Didn't quite enjoy this one. At least I've tried.

That about sums up my 2nd day in Jakarta and I dreaded to leave the next day...

Dreamy C

Day 1 in Jakarta, 21st October 2016

J flew to Italy for business.
Only bring me for short business trips. Long ones don't have my share. Hmph!
Oh well... let me fly to Jakarta and experience my 1st solo trip then!

I've never travelled alone.
I've never been to Jakarta.
My flight (Airasia) got delayed which is a blessing in disguise.
Why? 'Cos I underestimated travelling time by MRT.
By the time I got to the airport, I barely have time for dinner!
Luckily, I was told by the counter staff that the flight got delayed by an hour!
I passed through immigration, collected my pocket wifi from Changi Recommend and had a distasteful Laksa at Owl Eating Place.

By the time I reach Soekarno Hatta airport, it was 10 plus at night, local time.
I then took the Airport Bus to Gambir Railway Station.
Just exit from Arrival, turn left and walk all the way down. There's signs though...
Damri ticket counter is very easy to locate. I bought my ticket at 40K rupiah which works out to be around SGD4.30. The rate I got was 1 SGD = 9,300 rupiah.
Just stick around. There'll be a person shouting Gambir. Only then do you go board the bus.
Damri also offers bus services to other locations other than Gambir. Else, there's an announcement every single time. You can't miss it. Don't understand Bahasa? Well, I don't too and I managed just fine...

The journey took around 45 minutes. I read on some blogs that it might take 1 - 1.5 hrs. I guess timing of arrival matters. It does not just travel straight to Gambir Railway Station.
There's a few times where the bus stopped for passengers on board to alight.
If in doubt, just ask the people sitting around you. Jakartans are very friendly people.

By the time I got to Gambir Railway Station, it was 11 plus. I tried looking for Indomart so I can buy the card where I can take Transjakarta buses but due to language barrier, I was unsuccessful. I wasted some time going to and fro. In the end, I gave up and took a taxi from Gambir to the hotel - Mercure Sabang Jakarta. It cost me 40K rupiah. I tried to bargain as the distance was real short but since it's so late at night, I guess I was the loser that day. I did take a taxi from the hotel to Gambir when I checked out and it only cost me 20K rupiah. Depending on the time you arrive, decide in your discretion. For me, I wasn't afraid to walk but I was really tired. I was carrying a backpack you see...

I checked in and it was midnight already. Since I didn't have lotsa time in Jakarta, I decided to venture out for food even though I wasn't hungry. You might be saying - What were you thinking?! So late on a Friday night and you being a female, wanna venture out for food?!
Yes and venture I did! I exit the hotel and turned left. Within a few minutes of walking, I reached the traffic light. There's no green man or red man. I later learned that if you don't know how to cross the road, just look at the side. If the cards stopped, just walk.

Walk I did and before long, I saw a bunch of Black. There's easily 10 of them. They talked really loud, sounding like they are having a disagreement. I must admit that I was concerned and started walking faster. My heart wasn't thumping hard like I'm afraid but it's a situation I would like to get out of FAST! Soon enough, I saw a whole stretch of 'stalls'. They looked like push carts.
I also spotted Indomart shortly and went to buy a card where I can use on Transjakarta buses.

I had my first meal - Sate Padang. It was just outside Indomart.
I had this years back when I visited Padang. Didn't like it then but thought I wanna give it another try to recap exactly why I didn't like it. It's all down to the sauce. Just not used to the texture of it.

After my meal, I went back to the hotel as it was getting a bit too late and I've got to get up early the next day. The next time I visit Jakarta again, I'll definitely be staying at Mercure Sabang again!
Such convenience! 5 mins walk to Monas and 5 mins walk to Street Food.

Day 2 coming right up...!

Dreamy C

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Horlick - The Love of My Life

I have been treating myself well these days.
Having lots of Japanese food and enjoying them, bought myself a few workout attire from Adidas and dreaming of holidays amongst other things...

Having Horlick around meant that the tendency of me travelling is kept to the minimum.
He has been staying with me for close to 6 weeks now.
He's still meowing for me outside my door every morning, sometimes TOO early.
When I got out, he shuts up. He wants nothing but just to see me.
He's not even clingy towards me when I resurfaced from my room. He simply wants to see me.

His bald area at his back is getting bigger. I've decided to let it be and stop applying cream for him.
It's stress related and there's nothing I can do except try my best to make him happy.
This boy of mine is afraid of thunder and lightning. Rainy days are not his best days. Lol...
Update: After weeks later, his bald area is going through a season of Spring. Meaning, there's some 'hair' growing in small little patches.

I'm happy that he's getting closer to me and listens to me more often.
I guess time spent together really is the essence here.

I love him dearly. I started to have the habit of letting him see/smell my meals before I devour them.
If it's something which he approved, he would lick his mouth.
I've come to realize that he's not a veggie boy. Neither is he a fruits boy.
I'm glad he drinks plenty and goes to the toilet often.
He's still not used to the kids being around.
I know because the second they are out of the house for good, Horlick plays with his branch.
His appetite also came back IMMEDIATELY. Ha! My boy...
Update: After 2 months plus with the boys over for the weekend, Horlick has now grown used to their existence. He now eats when the kiddos are around.

I talk about him with pride, lots of pride. He's my bundle of joy and I'm glad God puts him in my life.
Just yesterday, J had a bout of really bad back pain and I've to attend to him.
Horlick managed to sneak into the room.
Before I know it, he jumped up and was right outside of the window. There are slopping tiles there.
DANGER! I quickly got him out and told him that it's dangerous.
Had I been later to find out, I fear that might be the end of him, 9 lives or not.

Look at me now... All talk about him. Ha ha... I'm loving it!

Dreamy C