5/28/18: Final Stop In Indonesia: Jakarta

I was really hoping for a better run than my last one, when I really felt like dying.

I started by going south, and then worked my way east. I’d find a quiet road to run on, and when that ended, I’d find another one. I love running in Jogja because there are tons of little side streets that you can just wind your way through.

I did a 4 mile fartlek run– 1 mile warm up, 2 miles of switching between surging for a few hundred meters then recovering for a few hundred meters, 1 mile cool down. Much better than last time.

When I got back, it was just past 7 am. I showered, packed up the rest of my stuff, and went outside for breakfast. This morning was dragonfruit pancakes with papaya, watermelon, and melon. The prettiest one yet! For $5 a night, this hostel (Good Karma) has some seriously good breakfasts.

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I called a Grab and left for the train station at 8.

Once we were at the station, my next mission was to find some food to eat on the train.

I walked across the street, but didn’t see anything. I walked back over to the same side of the street as the station, walked a bit farther west, and spotted a small restaurant. They had gudeg (jackfruit), tempeh, and some veggies. Perfect! I pointed at what I wanted and the lady packed it all up for me. It cost me 17,000, about $1.30.

I walked into the station, but still had about 40 minutes to kill. I found a cafe with WiFi and ordered the “chilly lemon ginger” juice. It turned out to be fizzy water with some fresh lemon and ginger mixed in. It was pretty good!

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Looked so healthy

The train rolled in at 9 am. I found my seat and got settled.

God, this train ride was boring. It was 8 hours but felt endless. The only podcast episodes in my library were ones that I had been putting off because they seemed boring (mostly old TED Radio Hour, Fresh Air, and TAL episodes), so even my podcast queue didn’t excite me. I otherwise occupied my time by blogging, sleeping, eating, and staring out the window.

I felt like an asshole when I whipped out my lunch. It was Ramadan, so no one else was drinking a sip of water, let alone eating full meals. I knew they were probably hungry, but what could I do? There wasn’t really a “non-observing people’s area” for me to eat.

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Sambal, greens, tempeh, gudeg

At 5 pm we were finally in Jakarta.

I was, of course, immediately bombarded by taxi drivers wanting to give me a ride. I knew Grab would be much cheaper– I just needed to find WiFi.

I walked out of the station and turned right. I walked past a bunch of street stalls selling jewelry, electronics, and other random crap.

This area was dirty and rundown. I walked by electronic stores, repair shops, small local restaurants. It didn’t look like I would find WiFi at any of these places.

I walked through a big market selling food, fish in water-filled plastic bags, and cats & rabbits & hamsters in cages. That was really sad to see. The animals were clearly sedated and it was honestly a bit horrifying to witness.

I was just starting to give up hope when I spotted a big mall up ahead. It had a sign for Starbucks, so I knew I would find WiFi there. I guess I just needed a bit of patience.

My Grab showed up within seconds– only 30,000 IDR ($2) as opposed to the 100,000+ I would have had to pay back at the station– and we were on our way.

This city is the most modern I’ve seen in Indonesia. Lots of skyscrapers, malls, and big apartment buildings. Yet it still had the normal food stalls, markets, & warungs that you find in the rest of the country.

It took about 30 minutes to get to my hostel, Wonderloft. I checked in and dropped my stuff off in my room. I needed food ASAP.

I walked down to the lobby and walked over to reception to ask if there were any good restaurants nearby. There was a guy there waiting for the receptionist’s attention, who was on the phone. He asked me where I’m from, and I told him America.

“Oh, what part?”
“Maryland. And you?”
“I’m from New Jersey.”

He was Chinese-American. He was like a fish out of water, even though he’s Asian. It seemed like this was his first trip out of the country.

We had a similar story, though. He graduated college, worked for a year in the finance industry, and quit his job to travel. He’d been on the road for a few months now.

I saw a menu for a local warung on the front desk. I asked if it was nearby. The receptionist told me I could order food here and they would bring it over to me. Sweet! I got vegetables with rice and a mango smoothie.

Mike, the Asian guy, and I chatted a bit more. He was leaving for Yogyakarta tonight with a few others from the hostel.

We said bye, and a few minutes later my food arrived. It came packaged in paper, and looked like a sub with its cylindrical shape.

I unpackaged it, and inside was a generous portion of rice with some cabbage, eggplant, and sambal. The mango smoothie was so good as well. Such a nice way to wash down the food!

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I washed my dishes and went back up to my room. I was really looking forward to sleeping tonight. I hadn’t gotten more than 6 or 7 hours of sleep in the past few days. I didn’t need to set an alarm or anything– I could just close my eyes and sleep for however long my body wanted.

 


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