Saturday, June 8, 2013

Batavia in Jakarta Old Town

Our second day in Jakarta was a business day for me. Richard took care of the children and took them out for lunch. He messaged me just before they left saying, "We are off to see the world." And that was that. After I was done, we had dinner together at Shang Palace in the hotel. 

When the children got to sleep, I watched "Wrath of the Titans" on HBO. A small but significant detail, as I rarely have the chance to watch a movie nowadays.

On our last day in Jakarta, we went to Jakarta Old Town for lunch at Cafe Batavia. This is in a historical part of Jakarta and Cafe Batavia itself is housed in a lovely colonial building overlooking Fatahillah Square. Food was average but the restaurant was full of character and old-world charm.

Photo of the ladies' room. Lots of lusty photographs. Heh heh.

After lunch, we wandered around Fatahillah Square. It was a public holiday in Jakarta and there were plenty of people out and about. There were many buskers including these fire-eaters who drew the largest crowd.

Ryan was intrigued enough to squeeze to the front to take a look at them.

There were other, more modest, buskers like this old guy who was getting his puppet band to shake their booties. A little bizarre, actually.

Spongebob Squarepants was there too. Ryan was excited to see him at first but after he got up close, he was not impressed, as you can tell from the photos. He told me, "I want other Spongebobs".

Fatahillah Square is bounded by old historical buildings, many of which have been transformed into museums. Some still look well maintained, while a couple were pretty run down.

The atmosphere around the square was relaxed and casual. People were just milling around, enjoying the good weather and the laidback vibe. Ryan must have felt it too because he started tapping his foot and dancing to an imaginary beat.

Rachel had been asleep all this while but woke up just as we finished exploring the square. We popped back into Cafe Batavia to let her have her lunch. The rest of us had dessert!

We bumped into some Dutch national football personality at the restaurant ... but I don't know who he was, sorry! We suspected that the entire team was somewhere inside the restaurant because there was a small crowd waiting outside with football paraphernalia. (The match between the Netherlands national football team and the Indonesian football team was to take place later that night.) When we exited the restaurant, Ryan paused in front of the crowd, threw a hand up in the air and told everyone, "Here I am!" Hahaha! That got a good chuckle from everyone.

Up till then, we had been pretty lucky with traffic, but I guess if you've been to Jakarta and did not experience the horrendous traffic, then you've not been to Jakarta. We spent more than an hour in the cab back to the hotel, so much so that I was beginning to suspect that the cabbie was taking us for a ride (bad pun, bad pun). Just as I was crafting the best way to bring up the subject, I spotted the hotel from my side of the cab, so that eased my mood.

We decided to leave straightaway for the airport to avoid any more traffic woes. Turned out that traffic to the airport was almost non-existent, and we made it there in half an hour. We were so relieved that we just checked in and completely missed the fact that we could have asked to get on an earlier flight. Aargh. Anyway, did some shopping, had dinner and lounged around in one of the many lounges at the terminal. And that was pretty much the end of our trip.


Subscribe to our feed



(function (tos) { window.setInterval(function () { tos = (function (t) { return t[0] == 50 ? (parseInt(t[1]) + 1) + ':00' : (t[1] || '0') + ':' + (parseInt(t[0]) + 10); })(tos.split(':').reverse()); window.pageTracker ? pageTracker._trackEvent('Time', 'Log', tos) : _gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Time', 'Log', tos]); }, 10000); })('00');