Sunday, September 6, 2009
I keep hearing how awful the traffic is in Jakarta--from others who have visited, from the guidebook, from my hosts. I have yet to experience the traffic, because I have only been here on the weekend. Hopefully I won't have to experience the traffic. My acquaintances here are duly cautious of it, and practically refuse to go out in it at all.
We did manage to get out and about a little yesterday, being Sunday. There is a church supply store here, which we only spent a little while at, because it closes early enough in the afternoon. The products are certainly inexpensive, although there was not quite the selection of things that I had been expecting based on reports from others who had visited before me. There is a huge selection of crucifixes, and while I suppose one can't have too many crucifixes, I'm not sure how many I really need to pick up at this point.
Kota is the old colonial center of the city, a large plaza with a few buildings originally used by Dutch rules, such as the governor's office and courthouse. The buildings are various states of disrepair, although a few house museums. One building that is restored similar to its 1930s appearance houses the Cafe Batavia, a coffeehouse, restaurant, and bar with high ceilings, polished wood decor, and portraits of various figures, some famous and some not, some in risque poses or dress, covering most of the wall area. Huge shutters adorn large framed windows, which now remain permanently closed thanks to the air conditioning.
I ate dim sum while I was there. It was decent, although I've had better.
We managed to get to a couple different malls, too. Sunday is a shopping day for many people, again, because of the traffic on other days of the week. I picked up a few necessities since my own suitcase had only made it as far as Detroit. I also found a few souvenirs.
The first photo is the plaza at Kota. The second is the bar in Cafe Batavia, and the third is the restroom--pictures even there.