Friday, 27 December 2013

Christmas in Jakarta

Having 2 weeks away from work and the fun that that brings is definitely a good idea and so that is what I have done this year .
My school was due to close on the 24th so I took a few extra days and took from the 20th giving me a lot of free time to things. Plus I was also having friends from England staying over Christmas which has been wonderful.
So I have spent my days, shopping and drinking and visiting far too many coffee shops and bars (like thats a problem!) and having a lots of fun in and around the city.

On the Thursday the tree was finally put up, the box room sorted for our guests and everything made nice. Friday was spent shopping and finishing up the bits and pieces that we needed to get, this actually spilled in Saturday but again no worries as it was fun. Saturday night was spent drinking away in the Irish Bar in Arcadia with good friends and it was nice to catch up with everyone.

On Sunday we had the use of the school car so we took advantage of that using it for shopping and things which was very useful because it rained all day. We then went to the airport to pick up some friends.

My friend Helen and her Husband Chris had come out to Bali for their honeymoon/holiday and so they were invited to stay with us for Christmas which would be good fun. I first met Helen in the Cameroon Highlands in Malaysia in 2006 and we travelled about there for a while and kept in touch ever since and so to see her and meet her husband after a good few years was fantastic.
They were promised a tour of Jakarta and so we started with Ya Udhas in Menteng for dinner and then a trip home and from there a tour of the house.
Helen and Chris with Jeremy

Yovita had to work Monday so that left me in charge so we walked to the Busway and then took the bus to Semanngi mall for breakfast and then the bus to Kota Tua. After fighting with the motorbikes riding on the sidewalk (that does piss me off) we wandered through the square and could not visit the museums due to them all being closed on Monday and then headed to the old fishmarket at Sunda Kelapa and from there the old boats and then to the marina. It was  a bit of a walk to be fair especially in the heat and direct sunshine and so by the time we got to the Marina not only were Helen and Chris pretty fed up with me, we were all very thirsty.

Monday Traffic

Big food and drinks later everyone was happy and again and before the rains started in we headed back to find a taxi, however I went straight instead of right from the Marina and we eventually got a taxi outside the Nippon Paint factory near Mangga Dua, so that was yet another very long walk!!

The sky above the Marina

From there we went to Pasar Baroe and wandered through the market looking at silver and belts and stuff before heading to the mosque and cathedral. Following the railway from Juanda we got to Monas where it started to rain and so we walked through there a little quicker and took a taxi at the top of Thamrin and went to the Starbucks next to Yovitas office to wait for her so we could eat together.
The monas

Christmas eve was a trip to Bandung and that is covered in a separate post in detail but we hired a car for the day and set off at 6am and got home at 7pm, tired hot and hungry.

Christmas day came and so after presents and gifts we headed to Liberica coffee in Kemang and then Paasr Raya at Blok M for some shopping. For lunch we went back to the Irish Bar (Mollys) for food and spent a good few hours there eating ok food and in the company of another good friend of ours.
Christmas day was busy but also very quiet. It made a change.
Jeremy with his first Christmas gift

Boxing day again was a lazy affair with some more shopping around the city, watching the rain in the afternoon and then having a big local food feast consisting of Bakso, Goringan, Rendang, Rice and things which was great.

Sadly today Helen and Chris left for Bali to continue their holiday and enjoy some AC in their room as there was none with us but it was a great experience for us all.
Senayan City's Christmas decorations

So Christmas again in Jakarta was a different affair with lots of things done that have not done before. Plus we were given a Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding and some brandy butter. The cake is almost all gone but is great. The pudding will be eaten over the new year.

Christmas Cake from Morrisons no less
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