Monday, 17 June 2013

Down my road part 2

I thought that from my last post I would share some more pictures if Mampang and Pancoran with you to help illustrate some more of what life is like away from the apartment lifestyle or leafy suburbs of Jakarta.

 Busy street, motorbike helmets are not considered as a priority around these streets
Taking a break from pushing his toy barrow around the streets and he is sat with a fruit seller
 Plants in odd pots often hide the open drains
 Discarded logs
 Broken and vandalized phone booth
 A small cemetery between houses
 Over piling rubbish is often seen
 Dirty brown rivers are common through the city
Another Toy vendor
 A big mosque 5 minutes from my house
 Another mosque with a canopy for the overspill at prayer time
This street heads towards a very busy road
 Small local store
A man selling Tofu
Sunday afternoon traffic heading into the city
 Garbage collectors waiting for the Rubbish truck to arrive
However the garbage truck had broken down
 An empty side of the road eaterie
 Some random housing
This view is looking toward my house with a mosque, clinic and all sorts in view
At the corner from my house (far left)
 He sells nothing I want
DVD and Fruit stalls

And for my dad...

 yesterdays prices of fuel from Shell. Super is just over 60p a litre where as Pertamina subsidised fuel is 30p

Please feel free to comment and I will reply as soon as I can. Thank you

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Down My road

Living where I do in Pancoran Barat, which is in the south of the city and in a densely populated part of the city, I am subjected to, albeit in a positive way, to real living in Jakarta.

I don't live in a guarded or gated complex which is sterile and full of trees and birds and drivers washing their cars at 6am but rather I am in a full on area where the noise and motorbikes, food sellers and mosques never stop, yet there is also a lot of peace and calm as well.

You get to see more of the culture and diversity of people and behaviours which allow you to understand less about the people than before. Being the only 'bule' on the block, the stares remain but they lessen as I have been living here now for over 6 months however the people who still stare are comical to watch.

I am and am continuing to adapt to life in this area so much so I have started to compile a list of the oddities and the things I encounter through the day.

I am pretty sure this will get updated ...

1. No Gallon water bottles for sale on occasion. This time the area has run out because the truck driver has gone to his home town and so shops have run dry.
2. Weddings. Weddings happen frequently around me. If next to the house we get fed if not we are still treated to the music from midday to midnight.
3. Funerals. Someone dies then there are mass prayers said in front or in the persons house.
4. Food. Everything is available in terms of Indonesian fare. If you want rendang you have to buy it before 5pm as the restaurant will sell out.
5. The new food seller in the area sells corn and has a horn to announce his arrival
6. You can get food 24 hours a day because there is always someone open.
7. Indomaret sells Beer. Alfamart does not.
Hooray for Indomaret
8. The Mandiri ATM in Indomaret has been out of service for the past 6 months.
9. The coconut stall gets 3 deliveries of coconuts a week. A delivery being a small truck load

Coconuts and Ice

10. The next door neighbour washes her bike at 2am
11. The night watchmen patrol the streets (when they are not sat smoking cigarettes) and bang lamp posts at certain time intervals to let each other know all is well
12. Cooking oil, sugar and eggs are cheaper in the small stores than in the supermarket. Eggs are bought by the kilo and are just pure chicken eggs with no added anything.
13. Every small store sells Magnum ice creams

Local Shops

14. There are 2 mosques I can here and see. Both start up at 3.30am
15. Local petrol is 20,000 a bottle
16. The bike shop opposite charge 3,000 for air
17. The local barbers is 10,000 and the local salon is 50,000 for hair wash and massage
18. Blocks of ice can be ordered as the ice man comes round twice a day
19. The plants we put outside the house to stop parking have not been destroyed by the locals rather have been left to grow
20. The roads flood 50 metres either side of the house in the rain but within 20 minutes of it stopping it all disappears

This is just down the road from me (courtesty of
21. The local bike wash is also 10,000 a wash
22. There are at least 10 small stores selling phone cards and accessories
23. By motorbike I am 5 minutes from the main road and the busway
24. It costs 2,000 rupiah to take the small mini bus to Giant which is about 2 km away but also 2000 to go 100 meters
25. Taxis wont come to the house at 8am as all the roads are jammed tight with people trying to get to work

Fried Rice

Monday, 10 June 2013

Jakarta by Bus

Thursday was a national holiday so that meant a day off and a chance to relax. Indonesia has a lot of public holidays that fall in the week and the closer they are to a weekend the less people in the city. Knowing,  it was time to ride the bus.

I am not a fan of the bus but I do take them sometimes as they can be quicker to move around the city and they are cheaper. I only take the TransJakarta buses as I feel they are relatively safe compared to anything else on offer in the city.

To get to the nearest busway shelter, Pancoran Barat, I have to take an Ojek through the backstreets to the main road. It costs 7,000 and takes about 5 minutes.

The pricing of Ojek, Bajai and Mikrolet or Angkot vary hugely wherever you are. I pay 7,000 for the motorbike taxi to get to the Busway. That never changes. I pay 12,000 for the Bajai from Giant to my home, although it can be 10 if with my wife. The blue mini van or bus that rides around the area is 2,000 flat fee regardless of how far you go and it runs from the Zoo to RCTI studios at Mampang. TransJakarta Bus is 3,500 flat fee as well and you can ride all over the city as long as you dont get out from the busway for that price.

So on Thursday we took the bus to Semanggi to do some shopping. The bus took about 20 minutes to get there and the total price for the trip there was 10,500 idr each. The taxi back (because its more complicated getting back) was 30,000 and took 30 minutes.

A rather quick trip on the bus, but the best thing about the busway are the views from the bridges themselves as they offer glimpses into different parts of the city that are not often seen. I must take some more bus trips and take more photos.

 A building site just starting up and the chance to play with cranes and large blocks
 Inside the shelter
 Looking at a local bike accessory store
 A view of Sudirman looking south
 The toll looking west at Semanggi
 The toll looking east
 The unseen waterfall wall at the Crowne hotel
Out front of the hotel is an Electricity sub station garden with plants and 250,000KV

Sunday, 2 June 2013

4 weeks on

Another of random sleeping nights with Jeremy seeming to be settling into a pattern of sleeping for around 3 hours then waking for a feed and then drifting back to sleep again. So thats 8pm, 11pm, 2am, 5am and then around 8am just in time for his bath. 
So that means I awake up around 11pm, go back to sleep about 2.30am, sleep through most of the 5am noise and am up and about before 7, just. 

Jeremy has definitely put on weight and we will know the exact amount this Wednesday when we take him for his monthly check up and jab for something or other. Should be an adventure.

We have taken Jeremy out twice now, first to Epicentrum and today to Kuningham City Mall , where it is still deathly quiet at midday on a Sunday and you get all 4 shop assistants in Mothercare helping you endlessly to choose a t-shirt at the highest cost of course. We bought nail clippers and some more pacifiers. The Mothercare at Puri is better. See how much I am changing!!!

The escalators have signs saying no Prams, which of course are there to be ignored. Going up was easy with Jeremy in the pram, going down not easy. While I am not saying he almost fell out (which therefore must mean the signs actually are there for a reason), but he was carried down the remaining 5 to get to the taxis. The mall, which is shiny new has ramps and lifts which are great and you can smuggle what you like in to the mall if you got a pram because they wont dare search that!

The taxi drivers we have taken seem to change when you put a baby in the car. They slow down, avoid every bump and hole, almost gently roll over the speed bumps and are more helpful. I even had one almost help me get the pram of the boot. The look of  'I want to help, but nah I won't' is impressive and sticks with me. 

More exciting than that is the amount of street entertainers that seem to jingle jangle boom boom boom their way up the street. The Betawi Ondel things wobbling through the area like its a knockout
 or the Banci what ever they maybe walking down the street with their dangdut music and crap makeup refusing to leave you alone unless you pay them to go away and now, 
This and the photo above are not mine, I have simply borrowed them and will replace them with my own, when I am brave enough to take the photos!
 rather today the front of house was the stage for a travelling monkey show (topeng monyet). Sigh, these things are never nice. But, the kids liked it. 10 minutes of loud music and a monkey dressed like Barry Sheen riding a dolls motorbike about dodging the motorbikes and the like that are always in the street. I did ask if I could tell them to get lost but both my wife and the mother in law said no, better leave them alone.  So I did.

On a final note to wrap up the blog, I have been capturing pictures of storms again because we have had some great thunder and lightning storms over the last 2 weeks, so much so that the front part of the balcony roof has broken away. Its not been fixed yet. The landlady appears to be indisposed to deal with such things..