Saturday, 24 August 2013

Cost of living Jakarta 2013

I have provided for your information a list of commodities which will hopefully help you when working out the cost of living in Jakarta. The prices are taken from actual shopping receipts, prices from various supermarkets and local stores and my experience The prices are reflective and maybe not be correct tomorrow, next week or this afternoon.
You can I am sure, find things in this list cheaper or more expensive, depending where you go in the city.

Please note that this is a comparison chart for those that come here and say 'oooh how much is that in my currency' a lot so things can be compared.

I have updated the bananas.....

The exchange rates I took from Google this morning so the prices are accurate as I feel is required for this chart, because it is a guide to help you nothing more.

Have a great day

Friday, 9 August 2013

Sightseeing in Jakarta

For as little as 3,500 or 40 cents or 25p you can tour the entire city by bus so long as you dont step on the from the Buway system. If you do then there are many places to see and places to go. Despite is being understood that Jakarta lacks many things including Tourist spots/information/guides/marketing etc there are, if you can be bothered to look and make the effort lots of places to see and go.

I travelled by bus to Pasar Baru or Baroe and took a walk through the market streets which comprise of stalls selling belts and watches and shoes etc with shops and stores in the buildings selling clothes, jewellery and other stuff. Then I headed down so little streets around the area where no tourist would go but should to have a look, ending back up by the Bunga Bunga hotel and then back to the market.

From there I went across the street to where are a lot of portrait painters and their stalls and carried on walking past the main Post Office and the highly renown catholic school for girls, St Ursula's which is next to Jakarta cathedral. I then crossed the road and climbed through a hole in the fence to a sports ground and to the famous monument Pembebasan Irian Barat which is a man breaking chains. It is surrounded by some small gardens and fountains and it is nice and well looked after.

After that I crossed the road and headed towards Gambir Railway station passing some army buildings and the National Art Museum of Indonesiam. There is a great old church next to that but it is under renovation at the moment. Gambir Railway station is a huge 3 or 4 storey place with the trains at the top. It is still green in colour but they have toned the green down. 

Crossing the street again, I went in to the gardens surrounding the Monas which is a huge tower with a gold flame at the top. The park area is big and in the middle it is all open but around that are lots of shady and tree covered areas. There is a small deer park as well you can walk by but not it. 

Leaving the Monas I walked to the Bank of Indonesia and past an amazing statue of some gods riding a chariot.

I could have kept walking then into Thamrin and disappeared into Menteng where there is more things to see, or done the usual thing and took the bus to Glodok and Kota Tua, but I will save that for another day. 

The walk from Pasar Baroe in 30 degree heat to the Bank Indonesia buildings took about an hour all in all but I was stopping and taking photos. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Seeing Jakarta by Bus

With the school closed for the week and the city is emptier than normal because its the end of Ramadan and millions have left Jakarta to go back home to celebrate the end of fasting, it is the ideal time to explore and visit places in the city. So I have.

Today I spent the afternoon on the buses getting from my home to Pasar Baroe to give me something to do and indulge in my interest of exploring and learning more about the city. Pasar Baroe is north heading toward Sunter and other fantastic places and from my house in the south, on a normal day it can take a good hour of more to get across the city and then find somewhere to park. The market is a covered street selling clothes, jewellery and general stuff that you can find everywhere else, but it is very old and historic and fairly well preserved. 
I took the bus for the challenge and the ease of Journey. Also because there are lots of photo opportunities through out the trip which is also fun for me.

I took an ojek from my house to the busway at Pancoran Barat and then changed at Semanggi. To get to the other Semanggi  bus shelter you have to take a very long walk along a walk way. I then took another bus to Harmoni which is the main exchange of all Transjakart Buses and then from there another bus to Pasar Baroe. 3 Buses and only one cost of 3,500 rupiah because you only have to pay to get on the busway system and so as long as you don't exit it then you can ride the bus all day all around the city for next to nothing. 
After Pasar Baroe, I took a walk to the Bank of Indonesia ( yes a very long walk ) and then took the bus to Duku Atas and changed for a bus to Mampang, changed at Kuninghan and then took a final bus to my starting point. Again all for 3,500 rupiah. I was met by a local Ojek who happily took me home.

 A typical busway shelter
Nice when empty but not nice when full
 One of the many bridges you have to cross to get to the busway

 The walk down to the ground

 A bendy bus
 When buses break down you have to walk through one to get to the other

 Rusty roofs of the older buses
A map of the busway, which has most of the routes on it. Though I am sure there are new ones added already.

So for less than 25,000 rupiah I travelled across the city, quickly and simply and with out much fuss. Oh and that photo of crossing through a broken down bus to get to another. Yep that happened today as well and for most bus travellers, its seems the norm. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Saturday Ramadan

Ramadan is drawing to a close. The tins of biscuits are running out in the shops, people are already leaving Jakarta to go back home to celebrate Eid with their families and I am on holiday from school.
The month of Ramadan has been a quick one mainly I think because where I live and the way it works out here and that in school all the teachers have ate more together at 6pm with those that are fasting which has been a fun and enjoyable thing to do. We have been meeting as a group and eating together for a while at lunch and now for breakfasting and this will continue on through the year as it is a fun thing for all to enjoy.

So Ramadan changes the city. It changes the rush hour, the shopping habits, the way people drive and the way people buy food. The shops are full of people buying huge quantities of food which puts the average Christmas shop in England to shame. The streets are busy with food stalls from 4pm to 5.45pm as everyone scrambles to buy the food they want and then get home to celebrate and eat. The restaurants around Pancoran are not open through the day, well not all, and the sellers are out and about through the night and early morning. 

The area around my house is always lively but trying to get to Indomaret and back for beer (essential supplies old boy) at 5pm is a challenge, even more than normal at the moment with twice the amount of bikes and people all scurrying around. Of course the beer is not on sale in Indomaret and so the staff have to go and find it for me. They will still sell it which is more than useful but its another challenge to go and get someone to find it for me. 

Last nights street activity was impressive thats for sure. From 5pm to 5.45pm there were traffic jams, monkey shows, quick unorganized food stalls put out and selling and once everything was sold disappeared again followed by the call to prayer and by 6pm the area was almost empty and quiet. This lasted until 6.30pm and then it started to become a little more busy. From 7pm fireworks were set off and by 8pm arrived, the street became its normal Saturday night affair. 

 The street in both directions with people buying food 

A monkey show outside my house. They asked me for  money.  I refused

At 6pm everyone had gone and the place became deserted

It was a glorious tropical evening, even in down town Jakarta and it is most nights. As for Ramadan well it will be nice for everyone to have it finished for another year and I will be looking forward to seeing what happens on Wednesday when the final break fast happens.