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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jakarta trip with my Secret Indonesian Lover

"How hard it is, sometimes, to trust the evidence of one's senses! How reluctantly the mind consents to reality." - Norman Douglas

***

Jakarta trip with my Secret Indonesian Lover
Day 1 - ???


At some point in the past this year, I was in Jakarta for a short trip to see my Secret Indonesian Lover. Obviously, since my Lover is Secret, I can't give away too many details for fear of compromising his/her identity.

One of the few good things about Jakarta (besides my Secret Indonesian Lover) is A&W. Unfortunately, the A&W outlet at the airport that I patronised didn't seem to have Curly Fries, but only the Root Beer Float. Later I discovered that the outlet outside did, but the staff member who served me hadn't managed to communicate this to me (he just pointed in a vague direction). Grr.

We had dinner at a restaurant where there wasn't a menu - the staff just brought all the dishes round and we said what we wanted.




Our food selection - 2 chicken and 2 vegetable dishes. One of the latter was Chinese style and the other was probably bamboo - sayur something.


This keropok was not like keropok in appearance or taste. Instead it reminded me of something else:

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Pork Rinds


Area with all the food


Dessert


"Enzyplex, Koran Tempo" - I wouldn't want to consume such a health supplement

Some younger Indonesians like to walk around in zipup hoodies. Maybe the air-conditioning in the malls is too cold for them.


Pharmacy: "Intimate Care" (notice the condoms). "Feminine Care" is already an annoying-enough euphemism for sanitary products, but this one makes no sense.


I didn't know what salt crystals in the toilet were for. Someone told me it was to throw into the bath water.

Day 2 - ???


I was very gratified to see, at breakfast, that they had PORK Bacon (in a separate corner). Nothing but the best!

There were very much fewer women in tudungs than Singapore - and even somewhat less than Jogjakarta. This was probably because it was a bigger city.


McDonalds Motorsikal-thru


I can't remember why I took this - perhaps because they didn't bother redoing the ad campaign using local actors (like they would in insecure Malaysia)


"Creambath + Blow Variasi"
It's one thing to advertise a Creambath, and another to advertise a Blow Variasi, but both at the same time...


"I ♥ Indonesia"
A T-shirt I will never buy, let alone wear

There seemed to be a lot of A&Ws. My impression was that each mall had one.


Street Food


Half of the overhead bridge was filled with hawkers

A lot of places advertised that they had hair extensions, then I saw a girl with hair until halfway down her thigh - maybe she'd gone for it.


Haram carving


This was either a haram dress or a huge apron


CMI lightup crooked arrows - I've never seen crooked lightup arrows, let alone such crooked ones.

Before going I had noted down the locations of the 3 Krispy Kremes in Jakarta (and Indonesia as a whole) so we went to Plasa Senayan in order to hunt for its outlet.


Notice one flag is upside down.


Risoles. Inside was potato salad and chicken strips.


Nasi Goreng Java


Indonesian versions of famous European foods: "Fried Calamary & Tar Tar Sauce", "Gordon Blue Parmigiana" , "Turkey ConFunghi". Too bad there was no "Weiner Snitzel".


There was a Din Tai Fung in the shopping centre. Although I dreaded what I knew I would probably find, I took a closer look:


"Xiao Long Bao isi Ayam, Xiao Long Bao isi Kepiting & Ayam, Shao Mai isi Udang & Ayam, Jiao Ze isi Udang & Ayam, Jiao Ze isi Sayuran & Ayam, Jiao Ze isi Sayuran"
What a disgrace


Spectacle in Shopping Centre - witness the (pointless and ugly) ostentation


The symbol for the female toilet looks like a man wearing a skirt - maybe it's a toilet for crossdressers.

When we got to where the Krispy Kreme outlet was supposed to be, I found nothing, and was told it had closed down a few months ago. Grr.

There was a Breadtalk in the shopping centre near where the Krispy Kreme used to be. I thought of asking about their meat floss, but I'd had enough shocks for the day.

We then walked around the atas (and expensive) supermarket. From the prices and the selection, we knew it catered to Indonesian Chinese. Indeed, we saw many more Chinese in the mall than the rest of Jakarta.


Delicatessen. The pork section was bigger than both the non-pork deli and the raw beef section.


"UHT & Adult Milk"
Maybe grown Indonesians don't drink UHT milk.


Notice the amount of soy milk - the people who come here are very rich.


Oregon Fruit Products - we don't even have this in Singapore


They didn't segregate the Babi from the non-Babi cans - as I'd seen in Jogja


"Fascinating, Awesome, Breath-taking and Inspiring... This is The World Heritage"


Trees in Bitumen plots sunk into the road


Ang Moh in tudung promoting some telecoms card. Hah.


I was amused by this contraption to prevent the marble being scratched.


I went out to buy some supper after returning to my lodgings. I asked them for Indomee Goreng but I got it non-goreng. Grr. But it was still nice, with the Teh Botol. And I even got vegetables!


Usually they sell cocktails, but here the only alcohol was wine by the glass. The gaping hole in the menu was filled by Shaved Ice drinks. Hah.

Jakarta trip with my Secret Indonesian Lover
Day 3 - ???


This day I got to fly back to Singapore. I was very happy - even though I had to say goodbye to my Secret Indonesian Lover.


"Parfum Center. Prices Less Than Down Town Market. What to Think More? Buy Here NOW !!!"
Apparently super hard sell works on Indonesians.


Gamelan Orchestra. Notice the security guard playing. The woman was singing Bengawan Solo, ugh.

At the airport, I also finally got to have my A&W.


Menu


A&W Counter


This cost me 41,000 Rupiah. !@#$. The fries alone were 18,000 (I bought more to takeaway - just before a new batch came out).

There was an airport souvenir shop which amused me to no end because:

1) The prices were in US Dollars
2) They advertised that they had Imported Condoms. Maybe Indonesian ones break easily (which is why they are the 4th most populous country in the world)
3) They had these products in a special cabinet:


"女人催情劑
壯陽"
Only in Traditional Chinese characters, to boot.

[Translation: sex stimulant used by females
testerone booster]

I asked the shop girl and she just said they were for ladies. I don't know why there's always such a taboo about items or activities involving the female bits (there's a similar taboo about sanitary pads and tampons). In any case, US$25 Cialis does not sound like a good deal to me.


"Buy any 5 get 1 free. Any combination of chocolates, candies, cookies, puddings, dried fruits or nuts (Except European brands)"
You can get anything free - except kualiti. IIRC there weren't any Japanese brands either.


Buddha


CIMB's Epic Fail: "A common element in the flags of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand: red stripes. No one knows Southeast Asia like we do"
This seems to be an imitation of HSBC's "the world's local bank" ad campaign, but whereas you need to do token research online to find out the facts that HSBC prides itself on knowing (that the number 888 is lucky in China, while 4 and 13 are unlucky in Japan and the UK respectively, and that "Football" means different things in the US, UK and Australia), anyone who isn't blind can match CIMB.


"Disable person lift". I don't want to ride in this.
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