Friday, March 06, 2009

Jakarta and other stuff we did

Here's Daven and some dude, and when I went to take the picture the dude ran to grab his baby so he could be in the pic too. Then the three of us hopped on the back of 3 motorbikes. No helmets. I was f'ing terrified but having so much fun. I rode on the back of a taxi-bike before in Vietnam, but that time Daven was behind me so there was no way I was going to fall off. I seriously visualized myself falling off the back, scraping my skin on the road, and then getting run over by the cars behind us. But then at the same time it felt great to fly so fast with nothing to protect you.

This impoverished country, or whatever, sports some pretty nice taxis!

We also spent a little time at the pool.


Our explorations were limited because, as I said earlier, it's not a walking town. We spent a good deal of time schlepping about in taxis not really knowing where to go. We hit up the markets and they weren't all that great. Just a lot of remote controls. Like, a lot a lot.

We found Chinatown, which was more like China-back-alley but still more of what we expected out of Jakarta.



These teeny streets were bustling with motorbikes and these bajaj (tuk tuks in Thailand, tricycles in the Philippines).

So we hopped in one and told the driver to go to the old Marina... more old Dutch stuff.

But we found no interesting or historical sites. And I'm pretty sure we weren't allowed out there.


Later we saw some fire breathers or fire eaters or whatever these guys are.

Found the expat section of Jakarta, which was really cool. We hung out at a bookstore where they had some live music. We didn't spend much time in this neighborhood but it looked really cute. There was a massive KFC with a music center inside. And a Cold Stone too!

While we're on that topic, I feel like there are more American things available in Jakarta than there are in Hong Kong. I don't know how that works out. Let's do a tally...

Hong Kong:
Burger King -recently in wider release but still only a few
McDonalds - is everywhere. This shouldn't count
KFC -is more popular overseas than it is at home
Pizza Hut - is also everywhere and shouldn't count. However the menu and the pizzas are NOTHING like they are at home
Popeyes - ONLY available at the airport. So, I just about always eat this when I'm at the airport
Fatburger - a recent addition. I only know of one and I've yet to go
CPK - which recently food poisoned me
Ruby Tuesdays - yet to go
Ruth's Chris and Mortons and Lawrys
Outback - yes, it's American and I wonder if the Aussies are pissed
Fridays - been there once. Not my idea. I almost killed myself.
Tony Romas - what?

Then there's stuff like Levi's jeans, Lucky Brand, Juicy, all that. Most labels you're able to get here but there's no stores like Gap, ANF, Express.

And then there's PLENTY of stuff around town claiming to be American or Western and it's completely off.

So now that I put that down it's more than I realized but it's quantity over quality. Where's some decent Mexican food! And yes, we do have Mexican food but it's not that great, it's just ok, and it can get pricey.

Most of the stuff listed above is readily available internationally. I don't know why. So on top of that Jakarta offers: Chili's, The Sizzler, Cold Stone... and yes, I would totally do all three. They also have Forever 21 there, which would really help me out since I cannot afford HK and definitely not their fashions.

I'm hungry :(

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