Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweet Corn vs. Cap

9pm, after having dinner at 7-11, on the way back to the hotel, I passed by this sweet corn pushcart, a young man was squatting on the roadside. Looking at the steaming corns, my stomach churned, and I bought one, for just Rp.3000 each ($0.36). Really delicious, young and sweet. Like my nephews always said, “Uncle Lee, it is sweet like you.”

The vendor still had 20+ pcs on the steaming basket, would he be able to sell them all off? Deducting the costs, for this tiny earning, how could he survive in this metropolitan? Felt a little guilty for spending USD20 to buy a cap that I don’t really need a while ago.

Jakarta – Batavia & Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa

"Batavia", Jakarta Old Town, has a few Dutch colonial period building remains, was among the recommended sights in Jakarta, not far from Jakarta and easily reached. I didn’t have my Lonely Planet with me. Briefly searched some info online, I was there yesterday.

The small town has several museums, I had only visited the small Museum Sejarah Jakarta (Jakarta History Museum). Entrance fee was cheap Rp.2000 ($0.24). The artifacts were not really interesting. Tourists were busy taking photos among each other instead of appreciating the displays. The old Dutch buildings were looking good, but a few were left unattended.

I was recommended the Pelabuhan (harbour) Sunda Kelapa a short walking distance away. Hot like in the sauna, my sweat drained out profusely. What I saw was a fleet of pinisi (a traditional two masted wooden sailing ship) compactly lined up and berthed at the dock, loading and unloading cargoes. Not really scenic for photographing, I didn’t feel/ see the original traditional atmosphere. A few kids performing their diving skill into the water, allowing tourists to snap photos for a few tokens.

This was a nice day, met several friendly locals.
Fruit vendor.
Street artist, building on the background is Dutch colonial style.
Jakarta History Museum, was Municipal Hall formerly.
An effigy, a man was standing inside holding it and hopping around.
Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa accomodates only Panisi.
Cleaning the Panisi.
Funfair on the street.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jakarta – 1st Impression

Out of the airport, it took me 75min to reach downtown. The traffic was horrible, cars were snailing. The city layout was similar to Bangkok. Elevated highways pierced through the city.

I stayed near to Plaza Indonesia area, a posh area for shopping and luxurious hotels. New high-rise buildings studded along Jalan Sudirman but not overly crammed, looks grand and spacious. The smart-dressing shoppers filled the shopping malls. Not far from it, the view changed drastically. The ordinary class people swarmed the roads, small hawkers/ vendors lined the roadsides.

We had a good seafood dinner at Pondok Sedap Malam at Jalan Batu Tulis. Luxurious cars lined up to load/ unload passengers. Across the corner, plenty of restaurants along the street.

To be a rich person in this country is living like a king. Lots of people are willing to kowtow for every instruction given. That’s magic and reality.

Jakarta - Hotel Cry

I booked a hotel in Jakarta yesterday morning via AGODA webpage. I received confirmation and the amount was transacted from my credit card.

When I reached this 3-star hotel, I was told that they did not receive any order from AGODA about my booking, and in fact they had no contract with AGODA! The hotel was full and no room for me. I contacted AGODA online but in vain, I called the customer support hotline but the stupid recorder brought me back to the main menu repeatedly.

So, my boss told me to shift to Gran Melia (5-star) - the security of this hotel was extremely tight. The receptionist told me that all rooms were occupied and the only available cheapest option was deluxe suite for USD560! What the heck! I dared not to take it. She helped me to call several hotels nearby, but all FULL! It must be crazy!

At last, through recommendation, I settled down at a small 1-star hotel (Smart Hotel). The location was strategic, a short distance to shopping area as well as to our partner’s office.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just Out of The Jungle

Went in to the jungle again since last Friday. Just to follow and observe the works of geologists. Not easy, I have to admit, it requires strong physical stamina which obviously has been washed out from me. Our local guides led us penetrating the woods while clearing the obstacles without a hint of tiredness. I had already started to pant after the 1st hill climb. Daily 4-6 hrs trek was strenuous. I think it worth the effort.

Was glad to see a simple guesthouse had been prepared for us, with generator and river water supply. Colleagues prepared all the necessities, and 2 maids were cooking and doing laundry for us. Life was not so bad though we were practically isolated from modern world in these 10 days. No internet, no TV, no radio, no newspaper, mobile signal was hardly available.

Still have lots of things to learn. I have to pay more effort to improve my Indonesian language. Communication is essential.

Our newly constructed guesthouse, basic but I'm more than glad to have it sheltering us.

Giant ant, don't play with it.

Found this huge python near the waterfall, about 2.5m-3m long, but thick.

Rains... the clay stuck on the tires.

Floating toilet and bathroom.

Recycled used tires, become comfortable chairs and coffee tables.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Health Signal

Since 2 weeks, woke up and felt the pressure in my head, not headache. I could feel it almost throughout the day. Lost my concentration easily. I realized the health signal is turning red. I was right, blood pressure escalated to 140/90. This never happened on me.

Doctor diagnosed, blamed me for not continuing the cholesterol medication earlier. I was given strong advice to follow strictly the medication course, or I may have stroke anytime anywhere. From now on, I should avoid heavy cardiac exercise, no badminton, no squash… no any stressful games. I should consume less fried foods, high cholesterol meals… Oh no… what a life… always thought I’m still young and healthy, but the fact proved otherwise.


Yes, I know,  I know I have not updated this blog for long. Just couldn’t find mood and idea to write :) laziness is a part of it too.

Workload is getting heavier… too many questions but hardly found someone to give me a clear straight guide and answer. Receiving bits and pieces from here and there, subsequently filtering the info/ data which is telling the truth. Feel like being blindfolded and dumped in an unknown space. Quite helpless sometimes. Am glad the team at home office is supportive and understanding, not feeling isolated.

Soon the physical work at site will commence, my jungle life is expecting to commence soon too.