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Monday, March 31, 2008

Jakarta Day 2 : Jakarta Pusat, Toko Sarinah, Monas Monument, Cengkareng Airport

Woke up and took our bath. We made our own breakfast (hot cup noodles with egg), as we didn’t include breakfast for two when we booked for this room (rasa rugi sebab tak tau makanan camne kan…). Again, it wasn’t delicious but enough to keep the hunger away. We dressed up and packed unused things so that we have enough time to go out and come back, and head to the airport later. From our hotel room, cars started to line up, bumper to bumper.
“Kita nak gi mana arini?” I asked hubby.

“Naik bajai patu suh dia bawak round-round Jakarta je la”.We actually wanted to go to Mangga Dua and WTC, the famous shopping complex in Jakarta Pusat but we were advised to stay around that area, Ibis Mangga Dua, easy to go around town. (Sudah salah Ibis la…no wonder this Ibis Kemayoran that we stayed, tak happening! Rupanya Ibis Mangga Dua yang tempatnyer happening! Cehhhh!).
So we stopped a bajai and kowtim with him on the charges to take us around town. We had asked the hotel staff on where to get fridge magnets (ni Skin nyer pasal la niaku pun dah addicted!) and they suggested us to go to Toko Sarinah (ha I remembered who she is, the princess of Kraton Palace in Jogja that open shopping outlets to help locals selling their kerjatangan). We noticed that Jakarta Pusat didn’t have cheap pasar or street market like what they have in Jogja. Or maybe we had come to the wrong area…maybe.
Along the way to Toko Sarinah,

“Mak aih! Jam gile!” we were so shocked looking at all types of transportations (cars, buses, cabs, lorries, motorcycles, bajai, you name it!) came from all directions! And there was a guy who shouted to all cars on the road, acted like a powerful police traffic who directed here and there. (Anyway, if he wasn’t the one who shouted and directed, the cars weren’t moving…).
Where’s the police traffic anyway?
We arrived at Toko Sarinah and shopped what we need. Travel habit, both of us must HAVE t-shirt and fridge magnet that stated the place name. Not only that, we managed to buy plaque and astray stated Bali and Jogjakarta. Yeay! Afraid of short of Rupiah, I used my credit card to pay all the goods (advisable to pay cash because when the credit card statement comes, you will see that Rupiah is being converted to RM and yet, you pay higher that it should be). This place actually sells variety of items and for those who have no time to shop around, this will be the best place to go. Anything. Everything. The price? Affordable.

“Where to?”
Monas Monument la ek…tu je yang rasa dekat…” I looked at our special edition ‘A Tour Cookbook’, which mentioned that Monas was said to be the last erection of Suharto.
We stopped a bajai again and asked him to bring us to Monas Monument. He amazed us with his way of cilok/rempit in between cars! And both of us were smiled and laughed, inhaled CO2 from other cars around us, while looking at a 3-tyres vehicle that might threw you away on the road, if it’s unlocked. The traffic was SO bad but the bajai guy said it’s normal. It even worst than KL man! Macet deh! Macet! (Macet is traffic jamm). To actually go to Monas, we have to make a u-turn at one junction which was few hundred meters away, but due to macet, it felt like ages, just to reach there. LUCKY we took bajai and we managed to skip and squeeze in at any space available.
We later reached Monas…but from the back road. Haha! Anyway, we just snapped some pictures with Monas at the background. We also took pictures with bajai and then we made our move to putar-putar around town. There was an interesting road sign, where we can actually find it in Malaysia, but slightly bigger or a lot bigger than what you see here.

“Ayang, amik gambar tu ayang! Kahkahkahkah! Gemuk cam Bigfoot!” I laughed. It was a man-crossing-road sign…but it was portrayed as a FAT man.
Enough with CO2 for today, we headed back to hotel. We took our packed luggage and checked out from the hotel. We called the yesterday coupon taxi and waited for him at the lobby. We waited………..waited………….and waited…………but the taxi still didn’t arrive.
“Haiiiihhhh…lamanyeeeeee…kita naik blue cab je la”.
And so we took the risk to ride the blue cab a.k.a the argo cab a.k.a the meter cab. It was the time to try the argo now! Our heart and the meter were pumping as one. Every km counted…and the traffic was terribly bad. It started from the first toll to the second toll (the spot where the water park was on the right and Mangga Dua, WTC were on the left). The taxi driver told that there was a fire below the bridge last night (the highway to the airport is actually a long flyover and there were houses below it). They had to close the most left lane because the bottom part of the bridge was destroyed.
We can’t take off our eyes of the meter…as it kept on increasing and increasing. But we were quite lucky when we reached the Cengkareng Airport, for the charge was almost the same as the coupon taxi! Thank god! We paid and took off our luggage, and headed to the International Departure. (Sempat lagi amik gambar atas trolley…hahaha!) We walked around and checked our departure time.

“Huh??? Delayed lagi ke???”
Nice to meet you, Pak DELAY Wijoyo.
Dinner was taken somewhere in the airport. Opened my purse, I had few thousands left and I had to spend it off! We walked into the souvenirs shop and try to look for any items that equivalent to what I had. I ended up with buying two non-framed printed paintings (one of it was being re-printed in different sizes due to its popularity).
To kill the time, hubby took some pictures of salt water aquarium and flat escalator (like what we have in KLIA). The announcer then called all the passengers to the waiting area coz its time to boarding.

Malaysia...we are backkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bali Day 5 & Jakarta Day 1 : Ngurah Rai Airport, Cengkareng Airport, Jakarta Pusat, Mangga Dua, Ibis Kemayoran Hotel

Usual routine, we woke up and took our breakfast (owh goddddddddd! Still the same menu!!!) and went for swimming at the pool. I had few trials on synchronized swimming, hand stand, and dive, challenged hubby to do so but he was so funny in that action. He can’t even dive deeper and kept on floated again and again. Hehe! And so, he channeled his interest to the fountain that came out from a big black frog statue (believe me, that katak also wore black and white kain pelikat a.k.a sacred sarong.) And the hotel staff, as her everyday job, will carry a talam that full of offerings to be put all over the hotel areas.
Later, few Japanese guys jumped in and join us (it was only two of us who came to swim that morning and those Japanese guys REALLY jumped into the pool!). They played water polo among them and started to get more attentions, once three Japanese chicks came and JUMPED into the pool with two pieces bikini (ya allah memang diorang ni childish tul…cute gile). As seen on Jadorama, these kawaii Japanese chicks really had sweet faces with sweet voices…so cute! Nonetheless, the Japanese guys started to attract them and PURPOSELY threw the ball out of their group area, which later went into the Japanese chicks area (note that we were at the middle of these two groups and they in fact, give a ‘shhh’ sign to me for not hinted those Japanese chicks on what they were trying to do…comel sangat!).

Guess what? The trick did work! Two of the Japanese chicks started to giggle at them and threw back the ball. One of the Japanese guys started to make a move by introducing himself and had a quick chit chat with one of the Japanese chick. Which later, they had some refreshment at the water pool bar and sipped some fruit juices (mahal gile ok, selamba je minum kat situ..).

Two hoteliers started to occupy the pool benches with their ‘sleeping dictionary’. (You know what it is………………..right? D’uh…foreigners with Balinese……..for the purpose of getting around Bali without any problems…….? And…and…and entertainment? Bukannya cantik mana pun pompuan tu…). Many mat saleh did this to ease them in dealing with locals, for instance, buying thing or food, renting scooter or surfboard, including their leisure. We did see drunken foreigner dragged his ‘sleeping dictionary’ with his left hand hold a bottle (even other Ozzees at one of the street club saw this and waggled their head). She must get f**ked hardly that night. Oh god…but they didn’t bother, for they were not Muslim, and it is OK to do this for money (fast but not so easy money, I guess…at least this include breakfast, lunch and dinner though…).

Done with the swimming, we started to pack our things and by this day, we already had 1 extra luggage (t-shirts and non-fragile souvenirs) and 1 hand-paper bag (fragile souvenirs). Looking at the flight details, we should make our move to the airport. Hubby handed the room key and we waited for the hotel MPV at the lobby (sempat amik gambar…hehe). Along the Legian Road, we snapped our last pictures of surfing brands outlets. Going out from Kuta, hubby managed to snap the statue of kesatria fighting with another kesatria in his gladiator-horse-cart at the roundabout that we’ve tried so many times to capture it on the day before. Kudos to hubby!
We leisurely walk to the domestic departure and grabbed a trolley. Wandering around to have our lunch…I said,
“Hmmm…please, no more nasi padang!”

We saw a restaurant’s menu that served bakso tenis (soup with tennis-ball-size of meat balls) but doubted of the halal-ity of it, we passed (Bali, the island of mix-food…babi and ikan can be displayed side by side…haha!). At last, we choose KFC (with halal chop on it). It was not as what we expected, for the chickens (particularly drumstick) were quite small (does this mean our chickens in Malaysia terlebih makan or terlebih suntik?). Plus, they served it with rice…but we didn’t go for it lah. The price, of course, cheaper than Malaysia. It’s being said that locals who eat fast food, must be in average income and upwards, because most of them will home-cook. So, you hardly see locals (except for Jakarta peps) eat outside.

“Delayed lagi???!!!” hubby sighed.

“Sejam plak tu…bodoh tul…” I added.
We waited at the waiting area and stepped into souvenirs shop in between times. Nothing much to buy, as all items were pricey, twice or triple expensive than what we can get back on the street. Once we started boarding, we felt so sad but yet happy (mix felling lah kiranya…).
“Bye-bye Bali…” we waved the bandara.

A good thing that I found in Lion Air aircraft (compared to Air Asia), they take an account of customer’s belief. A pamphlet of doa-doa perjalanan (invocation card) was placed in front of your pocket seat; regardless you are Islam, Buddhist, Protestant, Catholic or Hindu…(agama lain, cari sendri…hahahaha). Started to recite our doa, the flight also simultaneously started to take off. I managed to snap few pictures of Ngurah Rai Airport, there was one soldier statue came into view. I tried to zoom in but I admitted, the result wasn’t so good. Hik! Same goes to seaside that I took from above. But the sunset, darn beautiful! It shadowed in between of thick clouds…masyaAllahcantik sangat.

Jakarta Pusat (Jakarta Central) was lively from the top. Packed and lively, full of road lights (but again, my shaking hand and short-sighted eyes didn’t project great pictures…sorry). We landed at Cengkareng Airport around 9pm and looked for taxi. There was a counter that sell taxi coupon and listed out the places for you to choose. The good part, you won’t be fooled by the taxi driver as the price was fixed. The bad part, you can actually get a cheaper taxi out there, at your own risk.
“Nak naik apa ni?” I asked hubby.

“Tengok harga coupon tu, ok kot ni…kang kena tipu lak kat luar nanti…like this one, dah fixed” hubby spoke based on what he had read from the travel blog where some bloggers got ripped off by cab driver.

Suddenly few locals came to us and offered their taxi.

“Yang argo mas, mbak, ngak pa pa…bla bla blab bla… ” he confided us.

(Argo? What the hell is that?) I faced hubby. They must have mistaken us again as local…fineeee, I answered with clueless,
“Ngak mau, makasih ya”.

Gosh! Jakarta people’s jargon was harder to understand compared to Jogjian and Balinese. And they spoke fast! We later decided to go with the coupon system and were required to pay for toll fee on our way (twice). We passed by a water theme park, Mangga Dua (the famous shopping complex) and few noted buildings. The taxi driver informed us few tips on cabbies in Jakarta. They will try to charge this and that even though they were using argo.

“Yah argo itu apa yam as?” I enter-prem la kata orang.

“Itu yang meter itu…naik ajja udah Rp5000. Nanti di pusing sana di pusing sini, nah, diminta lagi ongkosnya untuk tol” he replied.

Got it! Argo is meter! Like what we have in Malaysia ar...naik-naik je dah RM2.00. Now I wonder whether we should take the meter cab who offered us earlier, or this, coupon taxi…because based on the distance, it was not really far la. Never mind, we will try to use argo cab tomorrow.

We later reached our hotel, Ibis Kemayoran, and it was a modern typed hotel (I would prefer themed hotel like Bali typed, Japanese typed, or kampung typed…with garden…). We checked in and ‘inspected’ the room. I personally liked the Kenzo flower printed toiletries. Cute! We unpacked few things and went out for dinner. We walked out from the hotel and headed to the right; saw few street stalls, but not selling foods. And guess what, no food stalls or restaurant nearby! We were told that there was a shopping complex at the end of the road, and thinking of the ‘good’ food, we decided to head off to the said complex.

“Naik tut-tut tu nak? Eh bajai…” hubby suggested. (Even the spelling is bajaj, they pronounce it as bajai).

We stopped a bajai and negotiated the price to go to the complex. When we arrived, both of us stood in front of the gate.

“Laaaaaaaaaaa…Giant keeeeeeeeeee” we shouted and laughed.

What a waste! We came so far from Malaysia to Indonesia, plus it was Jakarta, the capital city, and yet ended up at GIANT! (Baik gi Giant Kinrara…lagi best). And so we went in and looked for food court. Sure halal lah! We browsed thru the menu and,

“Bakso…Nasi padang…ayang nak makan apa?”

“Nasi ayam ke…tengok apa ada…” Hubby replied.

“Tu dia! Ada babi la!” I shouted.

It’s true! Non-halal food was served together with halal food! Camne nak makan? So, NEVER EVER think that all food courts in Indonesia are serving halal food! Malaysia is way better than this.

So we went to the supermarket area and bought 4 hot cup noodles with 2 fresh eggs (two for each of us) and headed back to the hotel with bajai. We poured in hot water in the hot cup noodles and added in egg. We waited for more than 15 minutes but the egg has not got cooked! But the noodles dah kembang…hahaha! (Kira half boiled egg la…). We later ate our dinner and watched tv. Can’t wait for tomorrow! 

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bali Day 4 : Pantai Kuta, Nusa Dua

We woke up and had our breakfast (yeah, you can guess what we had for breakfast today…) and walked out straight from the hotel. We met the guy who offered the smuggled shades and t-shirts earlier. We browsed around and yeah, it looked original but I guessed it was not original. We did go to branded boutiques and compared the price, and roughly we knew the range for fake and original products. We walked thru the shortcut that we found yesterday and the view was totally changed from soundless and scary to lively and hectic. Along the way, it packed with souvenirs shops and motorbike for rent. Topless foreigners (don’t be too happy, it was men only) riding motorbike with surf board in hand, riding towards Kuta beach, while cars, horse carts taking turn to use the route.

I’ve tried to ask around on few souvenirs’ prices, just to know the price range and as expectedly, it was way cheaper back in Jogja, even Ubud. So I didn’t buy anything in Bali, except for fridge magnets and t-shirts (come on, enough with shopping spree at Jogja…). We then arrived at Kuta beach and lots of people pleasuring along the beach. Sun bathing, local foods eating, lepaking, and surfers tried to surf over the wave but they seemed hopeless…coz no big wave at all! It was much better in Parangtritis beach in Jogja! And hubby never thought that Kuta beach was…like…that’s it?! Plus, too many locals offered to nail polished, dreadlocked, tattooed along the seaside! Sooooo not comfortable when people were tailing you all the time, one after another, and kept on offering this and that till they stand right in front of your beach-view!

We were hungry and tried to look for any Muslim foods nearby, and there was few ‘bakso’ stalls right in front of us…but unfortunately, due to irrelevant price of it, we cancelled our plan to get some (Rp3000 for one ‘bakso’ has been marked up to Rp10,000…COME ON!). We walked back to the hotel to pick up the car. Time to explore on the Bali sea spots today!

Crossing the road to our hotel, few other hotel agents were wandering around looking for you, but don’t get fooled, it was like scratch & win contest! Hubby scratched one and I didn’t remember what was it (but it was not a good prize la) but me, I scratched one and got USD300! I can claim for the prize WITH ONE CONDITION, attend some introductory talk at their hotel…HUH! GOTCHA! We won’t be fooled by you, ulat! (We live in Malaysia…helloooo! We have lots of people who get victimized by this kind of contest). We skipped the talk and took our car.

We drove to Nusa Dua and headed to a private beach. Few topless foreigners (ha, this time, feeeeeemale…but old folks! Hahaha!) got their back massaged by locals. The sea was very privacy, beautiful, clean and the most important was no locals at all. We decided to swim and enjoy ourselves at the sea, ultimately (even that we knew we didn’t bring any clothes to change). We took off our sandals and jumped into the sea…had fun till I got a very bad sun tanned. Then there was a group of students or factory workers wearing blue t-shirts started to play around our spot and killed our joy. Afraid of loosing our things, we made a move to our car and drove back to town.

Along the way to Kuta, we stopped at few surf factory outlets but the outlet that we intended to shop was closed! So we HAVE to shop next door where hubby and I bought a pair of Ripcurl, each (the closed shop actually offered more discount compared to this shop). We also asked them what time they closed, as we need to rush back for dinner (romantic dinner for two sponsored by hotel). With wet shorts and t-shirts, we wetted the car seats and headed to hotel. And, I got the chance to jump into the hotel pool before we get ready for the dinner. Hehe! (Now only I noticed how dark I am sebab sun burned!) After we get ourselves ready, we walked to the hotel restaurant and ordered for foods.

“Ah? Ayam? Mana boleh ni, mesti tak halal…tukar la…” I whispered to hubby.

“Tak boleh, diorang dah set, ni dalam package…” hubby calmed me down.

“La, takkan la tak bleh tukar…mesti boleh nyer…tanya la dulu…” I forced hubby to ask the waiter.

Hubby didn’t manage to convince the waiter to change the menu but I was not satisfied with the effort (ha masa ni sungguh la marah dekat hubby!). There must be a way to change the menu! 

“Biar I tanya reception!” I walked to the reception and asked. “Maaf ya, bisa ngak menu nya ditukar?”

“Ngak bisa mbak, setnya memang ayam, sayur dan nasi ajja” he explained.
“Gini ya, kita ya orang Islam, ngak bisa makan ayam ato daging yang ngak disembelih, tapi ikan bisa mas …bisa ngak?” I convinced him. He later called the kitchen and advised to change the menu to fish. YES! (See hubby…when there’s a will, there’s a way…sayang I tak? I rather eat ‘bakso’ again and again than eat non-halal food).

The waiter then served us the food and said “Ya ini ikannya ya mas, mbak…tadi udah diberitau mas mbak ngak bisa makan ayam kerna alergi…” We both looked at each other and smiled…till he went off, we laughed! (Haha! Bila masa plak allergic niiii?!) The food was ok and we later decided to have our last minute shopping! We drove to the surf factory outlets that we saw for the past few days. We were there at one outlet; from 8.30pm to 10.30pm (we were the last customers that still trying some outfits at 10.29pm, especially me. I didn’t have time to walk into and walk out from the fitting room, so I just sarung je depan diorang…hehe!). The slider went half down, the air-cond was off, but we still at the cashier, paying for our goods. I grabbed a Roxy body hugging and a Quicksilver baby t-shirt, while hubby grabbed a Volcom t-shirt. We went back to the hotel and had a good sleep for tomorrow’s trip.

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