Friday, 28 December 2012

Celebrating Christmas

This year, like last the decision was made to stay home in Jakarta and have Christmas day in the city. Whilst not ideal it still sounded like a good idea and in fact it was.
However, unlike last year, I did not stay in a hotel for Christmas rather leaving that to a few nights a night later (another post on that to follow, I am sure) and so we settled down to enjoy the festivities er on TV?

Christmas Eve started with lots of hope and expectation and I wanted to enjoy a decent English breakfast so we headed off to Bangers and Mash in Kemang only to find that it was closed, so from there we went to Citos or Cilendak Town Square and ate in a German restaurant which was excellent.
Getting back home in the late afternoon, beer and rubbish TV was the order of the day and whilst I waited for midnight to come and Christmas day to arrive, I decided to follow Santa as he delivered his presents across the world with the Google Santa Tracker app on Android. I had already downloaded the Norad application and with them both running Santa seemed to be going to different places at the same time and then as it neared 11pm or midnight in Bali, Santa had magically delivered all the presents for Indonesia and was off to Singapore. Now as a believer I was stunned to see that clearly someone or thing had forgotten how silly and odd the time zones are in Asia with Bali being on the same time as Singapore but Bangkok is not as it is the same as Jakarta.... Still.

If you look at the bottom right hand corner it says 23.06

Christmas morning was up early and into the presents and it was a great experience and definitely a Christmassy moment in otherwise lacklustre season. Lacklustre because despite the malls and restaurants ramping up the season greetings with trees, music and Santas etc, the streets and mood  around had not moved at all. This was not helped by one of the largest Moslem movements in the country declaring it was 'haram' or forbidden to say happy Christmas or join in in any Christmas celebrations if you were a muslim. What a happy place. Someone commented that it is OK and acceptable to give to Muslims when they are celebrating  Ramadhan etc but not for them to do the same when another faith has a major festival. I am generalising with that statement because despite the information from this governing body, everyone I met regardless of faith was wishing me happy Christmas, so I guess the general population can clearly make its own mind up about what is correct or not to say at Christmas but the overtones about lack of tolerance again is worrying. (Read more by clicking the link)

Presents opened, New shirt on, Yovita and I headed again like last year to Eastern Promise in Kemang for Christmas lunch with some friends.

The lunch was fantastic again like last year. It was also a plated affair not a buffet like the year before. Turkey, gravy, Stuffing, all the beer we could drink and a most splendid afternoon enjoying ourselves whilst outside was thundery and raining very heavily.
The day could not gone any better and it was for me one of the best Christmas days for many a year.
Top menu, top food and a decent price as it  was tax included.

The girls decided that they wanted to go to a mall for 'decent' coffee and so we left EP and headed towards Pacific Place where they could drink coffee in a cafe called Liberica and the boys went to De Burse for more beer and cheer.
This is the one in Central Park, I am told they all look the same
Finally around 9pm we left the bar and headed our separate ways. Mother phoned to wish us all a merry Christmas which was nice and I hopefully was not too drunk talking to her, if I was then it wont have been the first time.

So Christmas Day in Jakarta this year was well spent and was lots of fun. It wass a national holiday here but out in the streets it certainly did not feel like it as well, life goes on.  Next year? well that remains to be seen. I would like to be somewhere else for the day but where, that I don't know yet.
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