We arrived in Jakarta really late Friday night, 11:55pm, and of course our plane had electrical problems and they couldn’t open the door! We had to sit on the plane in the dark for about 20 minutes before we could get off!
Meza and her sister met us at the airport when we landed. We all drove back to Meza’s house, which is gorgeous and chatted for a while but it was pretty late and we were all tired and Meza had to wake up at 5 am for work!
We got to sleep in which was nice! Of course we slept much longer than everyone else, they all work up at 5am to pray for an hour before sunrise, and the electricity and hot water was shut off by the time we took our showers. But it felt so good to take a cold shower because it was so hot already! It was 93 degrees today!
When we got up Meza’s mom was waiting for us downstairs with a full meal prepared. Her mom speaks very little English but sat with us and Meza’s sister who had to do a lot of translating, and chatted for a while. There was literally a feast on the table when we sat down. She served us soup with meatballs, which was ok but not my favorite breakfast food to say the least. There was also rice, noodles. Vegetables, fish, chicken, bread with chocolate chips which was really good but too sweet for breakfast - served with butter and chocolate sprinkles on the side. I opted for tea, which was the best tea I’ve ever had, and fruit. We had mango and salak (snake fruit). It’s native to Indonesia and grows on a species of palm tree. It tasted kind of like bubble gum!
Since Meza had to work, her sister and her sister’s friend took us around the city all day. It was nice having them to show us all around and their driver came with us too and chauffeured us everywhere we went. He came with us too, to all the different things we did but kept his distance most of time. He was really nice and pointed things out and explained stuff to us too, even though he didn’t speak English and Meza’s sister had to translate everything for us!
We went to the National Museum, which I thought was really cool. Then we went to Monas, the “landmark” of Jakarta. I is a 132 meter high statue with a gold flame on the top that was built by their first President in the 60’s. We got a private tour from a tour guide trainee. His English wasn’t that great but we just went along with it anyways. After we headed over to the mall, which is also huge. We had lunch and frozen yogurt. I think that was my favorite part! It’s called Smooch and you get a bowl and fill it with as much ice cream as you want - there were 8 different flavors to choose from- then you put on the toppings yourself too. It was great, I had mango and vanilla frozen yogurt topped with lots of fruit!
Katie and I in front of the National Museum
A traditional Indonesian Mask
We drove to the old part of town that was settled by the Dutch, called Kota Tua. The museums were already closed but the sun was setting and we walked around the plaza, and it was beautiful. There were people everywhere, hanging out, some praying, and lots of street vendors. It took us a while to get around because there is so much traffic here! That’s something else we’ve seem to have encountered a lot of on this trip!
For dinner we went to a pick your own seafood restaurant. Those seem to be really popular in Southeast Asia because someone I met this summer told me it was something I must do when I was in Bangkok! We had a feast and it only cost $10 each! The restaurant was right on the water and we got to sit outside, it was great! We had salmon, crab, calamari, veggies, rice, and I tried two types of clams for the first time, razor clam and another small clam, I’m not sure what it was though! I liked both, but the sauce on the small clams was too spicy for me! Everything was cooked in lots of sauce, but otherwise it was really good and fresh! Katie even got her drink served in a coconut! We had do much food so we decided to invite the driver to join us and I think he really appreciated it.