I beg to differ when Jay-Z and Alicia Keys sings how New York is the city where dreams are made of, when in fact mine is only 4 hours away from Manila. Out of all the city I’ve been so far, Jakarta is the dearest to my heart. After all, I spent 3 years on this country and learned a thing or two about life.
Yes it’s true, Jakarta is like any other SouthEast Asian metropolis where you get the mix of shopping malls, traffic jam and pollution but what makes it special for me are the people I’ve met. I know, I’m supposed to tell you where to go and what to eat but for me it is more than just another backpacker destination. Struggling to make ends meet back home, this city was my first overseas job location and offers a chance to attain some of my life-long dreams. Working overseas is not all about the technicality of the job but more of a psychological journey, it could have been hard for me but surrounded by collegue, friends – I survived (sentimental huh?). I am forever grateful for the wisdom imparted to me by the wives of my fellow engineers, the Sunday church that keeps me grounded, the late night coffee and J-Co donuts with friends at Cilandak Town Square, the shopping spree at Mal Ambassador combined with hunger feast at Bakmi GM and the Indonesians from all walks of life who will welcome you with an open arms.
When I first started this blog, my first thought of place I should write about is this city. But there is one problem – I don’t have any photo of the places to visit. All the picture I have are those moments where we gather to either celebrate my boss wedding, end of Ramadan, Christmas or Birthday. Since I make a rule that no picture will be uploaded showing the face of my collegues- friends- families, I still managed to find some shots when all of us decided to have a weekend getaway at Pulau Ayer (good times!)
Some tips for you: To move around town, hop into the Transit Jakarta (best for mall hopping) or don’t be afraid to take the Mikrolet. To see a glimpse of Indonesia’ provinces, head to Taman Mini. For some souvenir shopping go to Pasaraya or if you want bargain shawls and batik duster (which my mother still wear these days) go to the neraby market at Blok M. If you have a spare weekend, visit Taman Safari or hop into the train and go to Bandung for some cooler air and endless factory sale shopping.