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Last Two Days in Jakarta

Monday, January 16, 2017

The day after Christmas was back to the daily grind for Daddy at the hospital. We all had breakfast then he had to go.

I decided to go to nearby Sarinah Thamrin Plaza to look for pasalubong. We took a taxi because Via was tired of walking. Sarinah is a good place to shop for souvenirs. There we got gourmet rock sugar which Via thought was candy, biscotti and tea. We also got local brand (Wardah) lipsticks. There were lots of batik on the top floor.

 From there we walked to Taman Menteng. A park I wanted to go to. Jakarta is a lot like Manila. People look the same, traffic, the heat but the roads are wider, the overpass for pedestrians are well made, sidewalks are even and some even have benches to sit when you’re tired walking and there were a lot of parks. So I was really keen on going to Taman Menteng and Tama Suropati which was nearby. 

It turned out to be quite a long walk although we passed through a residential neighborhood with old trees lining the sidewalk, much like New Manila. Taman Menteng had a fountain in the middle, two playgrounds and two soccer fields. Via headed straight for the swings. There were benches covered with trellis around the soccer fields. It was a nice place to while away the afternoon.

The next day after breakfast we went to Monas. Again we walked because it was very near. Turned out only one gate was open and it was on the other side of where we were so we had to walk all around. We went through Gambir Station which was nice. It’s a train station with shops, so it’s like a mini mall. Via got a Krispy Kreme to munch on while walking. It was a lot more walking than I bargained for but I reached 13,000+ steps that day because of it. Yay!

Monas is a symbol of Indonesia’s independence so it always attracts lots of visitors. There was a long line to get tickets to go inside the monument and another long line for the tram to go around the park. It was really hot so I decided that we can just walk around among the trees and enjoy the breeze. Then we started our trek back to the hotel.

Daddy arrived early evening. He wanted to shop for pasalubong and other stuff for us to bring home but it was late and malls would be closing. We had dinner at this famous place that serves Nasi Goreng Kambing Kebon Sirih which I found on Travel Advisor. It had super reviews. So we went. The food was super as advertised but it was really dirty. It was outdoors on the sidewalk with long tables and benches. I saw Daddy and, especially Via, look dismayed. But we were already there and we didn’t have time to look for another place. It was expensive too! Now I know why most of the reviews, although raving, mentioned that they ate in their car or bought take out.

After dinner which was already around 9:00 pm, we went to Batavia Old Town. It was very crowded especially in Fatahillah Square. Many people were sitting in groups chatting. We found an empty spot and sat down as well. Daddy asked for my bag. He lay down, put the bag under his head and promptly lay fell asleep. Via, seeing what Daddy did, lay down as well and went to sleep. I just sat there soaking in the local scene. Would have been nice to see the museums.

Back at the hotel, Via asked me what day it was. I said Tuesday. She was surprised and said the week just went by so fast. She was sad to be leaving the next day. I was too. As we did not have time to go shopping, Daddy gave me money in the morning before he left, to shop for what we liked at the airport. I got pasalubong for my officemates and Via, to her surprise, found Stampy’s book (Stampycat is Via's favorite Youtuber and he makes videos about Minecraft) and it was the last copy! She was so happy! Thus ended our Jakarta Holiday adventure.


Obnoxious Girl Update

Monday, January 9, 2017

On weekends, our rule is to spend it with family and mostly staying home. Yesterday afternoon (Sunday), Via and I were playing Frozen Snowball fight on the xbox when there was a loud knock on the door. Via opened it and in burst obnoxious girl who went straight the little chair in front of the xbox. I heard the Ate say to obnoxious girl, “Dito ka muna.” I immediately said that we were going out in a short while. Via said, “Why did you lie?” in a loud voice which they heard of course. I stuck to what I said and made of show of looking for Tita (who I knew was not there). Via said we are already done with church and shopping. I said, “Well I am going out!” No matter that Via repeated again that I was lying, I stuck to it and they eventually left. “Halika na aalis sila.”

When they left, I talked to Via and explained why I lied which is completely opposite to my teaching her not to lie. I had to explain. So I said that she knew how I felt about obnoxious girl and I did not want her in our home ever again. She can play with obnoxious girl once in a while which will teach her how to deal with obnoxious people. I said she was not welcome and I did not like her but I did not want to hurt her feelings because she is a child after all and to behave like that, something is very wrong. Hence, the lie. Via understood. Then I asked her if she wanted obnoxious girl to stay to play and she said not really. That when obnoxious girl was there one time, she grabbed the remote from Via and tuned in to what she wanted to watch which is why Via watched on her ipad.

Tita later said that the Ate texted her but she did not reply. She again received text late afternoon when she was already home and replied to the Ate that she needed to go to Starmall, Alabang.

I just remembered one conversation with obnoxious girl at the lobby. She said that grade 3 was hard and nobody really likes you. Now I know why she said that. I pity her actually but it has been my rule never to meddle with other people’s children unless they will hurt themselves or others. And I’m just not willing to go through the aggravation.


An Aggravating Four Days

The next day after getting back from Jakarta, Via’s schoolmate in pre-school and grade school came over to play. She lives in the same building. We see her with her Mom from time to time in the lobby and in the elevator from to time but this is the first time I’ve been with her for an extended period of time. I usually play a little bit with my daughter’s friends because ….. I like playing with them :) 

This one though, I found overly familiar and obnoxious. I hear her say or rather scream, “What’s wrong with you?”, “Don’t do that!” and other similar expressions a lot, in her whiny voice. At dinner, she got food first. The I said to Via, me next. Via said why? I said because I’m the Mommy. (I am trying to teach Via let older people go first to show respect and courtesy.) Obnoxious girl said why did she get to go first. I said she was a guest and guests go first again as courtesy and to show hospitality. She said Via should be next and grabbed my had to stop me from getting food. Seriously aggravating behavior!  So I sighed with relief when she left with her Ate.

The next day was Saturday and we were waiting for the elevator when out came obnoxious girl’s Mom. She was would be in their beauty clinic all day and could obnoxious girl come play in the afternoon? I said okay, I can endure one more afternoon. When she got there, she went straight to the bedroom and got on the bed beside me. It went downhill from there for me. I heard her complain and whine and scream when she games didn’t go her way. She is what is called pikon. Then Via came to me and said obnoxious girl wanted pizza (I had pizza delivered the day before). Since I wanted pizza myself, I ordered again. She grabbed her share of pizza as and continued playing on Via’s new xbox getting the controller really greasy. I heard Via tell her to wipe the controller and stop playing while she was eating. This was also when I discovered that the xbox app on my phone could control the xbox because I accidentally changed the game they were playing to something else. She howled with anger at being interrupted in her game. Tita, (she’s our relative who takes care of Via and obnoxious girl’s Ate is her friend) later told me that she threw a pillow from the sofa on the floor. I was getting tired of obnoxious girl and was really relieved when she finally went home. I thought that was it because the next day was New Year’s Eve.

At 3:00 pm on New Year’s Eve, there was a knock on the door and guess who it is? I had to really reign my temper and calm myself. It was more of the same, plus when we went up to the rooftop to light up the sparklers, she was so fussy, acting scared of the sparklers (no one forced her to get one!). Then she liked the colored ones and told me why I didn’t buy more, that I should buy more of those. Once all the sparklers were gone we went back down and her Mom just got there to pick her up. Hallelujah! Finally some peace and quiet! But the next day she was back!

At 3:00 pm, I opened the door to a loud knock. Who would it be but obnoxious girl and her Ate. I was speechless that I turned my back and left the door open. Of course she came in. This time I have had it and did not bother to hide it. I let Tita see how dark my face is everytime that girl came near me. And she stays so long way past Via’s bedtime. This time by 7:00 pm, I called Via to take a bath even if that girl was still there. We were in the bathroom taking a shower, taking our time, playing with the water and the soap, when I heard a knock. I let the knocking continue until Tita, who was in her room heard it and opened the door. It was the Ate picking up obnoxious girl. Finally! That’s it! There were more bad behavior that I have not added to this post. I hope to never see her again.


Christmas Day 2016

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Daddy caught up on his sleep and we all had a leisurely breakfast. He still had to go to the hospital for morning rounds but came back around lunch time. After a short nap, we went to Taman Mini.

According to Wikipedia, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah or "Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park" is a culture-based recreational area located in East Jakarta, Indonesia. It has an area of about 250 acres.
If you have limited time to stay in Indonesia, a visit to Taman Mini is best. It should give you an idea of the whole country, its customs and traditions.

We got there around 2:00 pm and the place was packed. Getting near the entrance to the park almost took an hour. We walked from the entrance. Since we had limited time and lines were long, we opted to take the cable car ride around Taman Mini to see everything. We waited in line for 1 hour but it was worth it. We were able to choose what to do next which was to go on the boat ride on Indonesian Archipelago lake. That was another 30 minute wait for out turn.

View of the Indonesian Archipelago Lake from the Cable Car

After the boat ride it was already late afternoon and we decided to head back to our hotel. It was already jammed getting out of the park so we walked through the back entrance where we got a ride to take us to the busway station. There we got an Uber.


Jakarta - The Next Two Days

The next day, Via and I were on our own again. Daddy got to the hotel the night before around 11:00 pm but had to go back to the hospital at 5:00 am in the morning to continue the operation which was halted as the patient was not stable. Plus, there was one other major operation that day. Via was really looking forward to spending time with her Daddy and kept on saying, “I came here to be with Daddy!” Sigh!

Anyway, I looked forward to breakfast. The highlight of every hotel stay for me is the breakfast buffet. I read in Travel Advisor beforehand that there were not many food choices so I was not expecting much variety. Still, I was very happy with what was available and went crazy with the nasi goreng and beef sausages and breads and pastries.

After breakfast, I texted Daddy where we could go that’s near as I did not want to spend money on taxis. Besides, the best way to get to know a place is to walk everywhere. He said there’s a nearby mall called Plaza Atrium. I looked it up in Google Map and saw that it was a 10 minute walk. We had to careful though and remember to look right first then left. Opposite of the rule in Manila. When we neared Plaza Atrium, the overpass for pedestrians was a little further away. It was very hot and I was not keen on walking the extra few meters. So when we saw a few people cross where we were (jaywalking actually), we followed suit J

There was really nothing special, it was a mid-sized mall like Robinson’s Galleria in Manila. We looked at the shops and the grocery. In every country we travel, a visit to the grocery is a must! After buying mostly coffee and ready mix packets for nasi goreng, beef rendang, and chicken curry, we went back to the hotel. We took a taxi as Via was tired from all the walking and it was very hot.

As the objective of this trip was really to spend time with Daddy, we didn’t go out much preferring to wait in the hotel in case he finishes work early.

We spent the afternoon in the pool and soaking in the outdoor Jacuzzi. I told Via the Jacuzzi was my happy place in Jakarta. We had dinner again at KFC Tugu Tani and quickly went back to the hotel. We turned in early, tired from our activities.

Daddy came around 11:30 pm with a BIG plastic bag. He said this is Via’s gift. So I tried to wake Via, but she was really tired and sleepy and hardly stirred. I could tell Daddy was disappointed because I know he was looking forward to Via’s reaction to his gift. He also gave me my gift but since Via cannot open hers yet, I put mine back and we hid both gifts in the closet.

The next day Daddy left early again but was able to come back around lunchtime. He gave Via his gift and as expected Via was transported with happiness. It was what she’s been longing for, for almost two years. Xbox! And he got the latest and it was limited edition. Via kept going on and on about it being limited edition and thanked Daddy over and over and over. I was happy with my gift too and very touched. It's a Samsung Gear Fit2. Every gift I received from him showed that he paid attention to my interests and what I liked


Our Jakarta Adventure - The Beginning

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

It started badly.

While waiting for our Philippine Airlines flight, I decided to sit at the farthest end of the terminal, which was near Gate 1, so that there would be fewer people going to the toilet. We were going to board at Gate 7. It’s end to end but I was not worried. I listened to every announcement to be sure it wasn’t our flight. When it was almost time to board, I told Via that I wanted to go one more time to the toilet. We had 10 minutes to spare, after all our boarding time was 8:50 am. Imagine my anxiety while waiting in line, I heard an announcement that it was “Last passengers for Jakarta flight 539.” In my head was, “What?! But there was no announcement that flight was already boarding!” So I told myself (as people rationalize a situation to fit their understanding of it), they were calling for passengers for the last row. I told Via, we have time and we’re almost there, only 5 more people in line ahead of us.

We finally finished our business at the toilet and just as we were exiting, I heard another announcement. Last 4 passengers for flight 539 to Jakarta. Passenger A, Passenger B, Passenger Marie, and Passenger Via. I was like (realization dawning on me), “What?! So the announcement earlier WAS calling for last passengers.”

Via! That’s us! We have to run! So we ran from one end of the terminal to the other end. When we reached Gate 7, the two other passengers got there just ahead of us. They were an old couple, a grandfather and a grandmother. Slow walkers. Understandable that they were late. Us? We had no excuse. But, I attempted to complain that there was NO announcement. However, as we ran from Gate 1 to Gate 7, I was terribly out of breath and there was still the long distance from the gate to the tube and onto the plane. I gave up complaining and just walked on trying to catch my breath.

The flight was uneventful. Food was served about an hour into the flight. We had a choice of beef stew or fried fish with tomato sauce. Via had the beef and I had the fish. There was also macaroni salad and crema dessert. Let me just say that I enjoy airline food. I always look forward to the meals being served and I always eat EVERYTHING including Via’s leftovers. She only eats the main meal not the sides. The flight attendant also gave me a whole can of coke. Yay! Usually it’s given in a cup and if you want more, you have to ask. Four hours passed quickly and we arrived in Jakarta 15 minutes early.

After getting through immigration, I debated whether to withdraw money at the ATM at the airport but since I found some Rupiah at home, I decided against it thinking the Rupiah I had would be enough for the taxi. Daddy would not be able to meet us because he was performing an operation. He said he would send Uber for us but then I couldn’t say our exact location at the airport so we decided to just take the Bluebird Taxi which was the most reliable and safe in Jakarta. Before finding a taxi, I counted my Rupiah again. It wasn’t as much as I thought I had. All the zeroes confused me. Still, I thought IDR86,000 was enough. I read in an online travel forum that taxi fare from Soekarno-Hatta Airport to the Central Jakarta is about IDR40,000. We got in a taxi and were on our way to Hotel Aryaduta in Central Jakarta.

I was watching the meter closely since I had limited IDR with me and looking at the fare rising steadily with the city nowhere in sight was making me anxious. Finally, the meter read IDR70,000 with us still in the expressway and the toll coming up. The driver said toll was IDR16,000. Gosh! That’s all my money and we’re not yet in the city. After getting through the toll, I told the driver if we could find my bank’s ATM before proceeding to the hotel. He said that there was an ATM at Hotel Aryaduta. I mulled that over in my head. My bank’s ATM. At the hotel. But I looked up all my bank’s ATM locations beforehand and there was none at the hotel. So I asked him again if we could stop by my bank. After going back and forth, I showed him all the IDR I had which was not enough to pay the cab fare. He FINALLY understood I did not have enough money to pay him. HA-HA-HA!

We soon drove up to my bank and I withdrew from the ATM. I know. I know. It’s dangerous to let the driver know that I had money to get just like that. But I trust Bluebird taxi. We arrived safely at Hotel Aryaduta and I gave him a IDR40,000 tip (which is about P150). Wow that was generous of me!

Check in was fast. The booking was in Daddy’s name but he notified the hotel that Via and I would be checking in without him. Soon we were in our room. Via checked out everything and found the room to her satisfaction. Do you know that she asked Daddy if the hotel was five star and what kind of room was booked?

For dinner we walked to the nearby KFC Tugu Tani. Once we had our food, I was looking for spoons and forks and remembered they don’t have it. We eat with our hands and there’s no gravy. Still we were very hungry and did not mind. All’s well that ends well.

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