The weekend was a blast! We left early on Saturday morning and didn't get home till 9pm on Monday night. Three very exhausting days! We walked, and walked and walked the malls. And since we didn't want to waste any time on naps, we took turns carrying Aaron, now 15kgs, while walking whenever he needed a nap. WHY did I leave his stroller in Brisbane???
I'd call the weekend a "shallow getaway" because we did no research on Jakarta and didn't really plan to visit much (or any) of the city. The only plan we had was the vague idea that we wanted to spend the weekend shopping and eating.
I read in the papers recently that Jakarta was home to some mega malls. I wanted to see what that was all about. They were big and shiny but very similar to the malls in Kuala Lumpur. The first couple of deserted floors are full of luxury brands, then as you move upwards, you have your more affordable ones. We ended up focusing on the top two floors where all the food was. Believe it or not, we had 9 meals (medium sized ones) between 10am Saturday to 8pm Sunday! The only thing that disappointed me was that the famous line "We're out of the xxx" was as frequently used in Jakarta as it is in Palembang. Almost every time we go to a restaurant, we inevitably pick something on the menu that they don't have. I thought this was just a Palembang "specialty" but I'm now wondering if its something that afflicts all Indonesian restaurants.
This isn't the best photo of Aaron and I but it shows you just how shiny the place was. All the photos were full of reflections.
We window shopped at the mega malls but we did our actual shopping at a very different place. It was more of a bazaar than a mall and that is where we found plenty of bargains. I think there were 6 packed floors of clothes, shoes, bags, watches, DVDs and some electronic stuff. The clothes and shoes were mostly "normal" goods but the bags and DVDs were all fakes and pirated versions.
And here's a photo of the "bazaar". In the background, there is a man in a blue shirt. Behind him, you'll see a pile of "stuff". Those were all bottles of perfumes. I don't know if they were real or imitation ones but they were all the "branded" perfumes and there were 4 little hills of them there. The people started yelling at us not to take any photos as soon as Richard got the camera out so, this was the best we could manage.
Contrary to all the warnings of horrendous traffic jams in Jakarta, we were lucky. Even on Monday afternoon, when it was raining heavily, we managed to get to the airport without any delays. The delay came after we got to the airport with our flight delayed an hour.
So in the end, we had a fun weekend. Jakarta is definitely a diverse place that I'd like to explore more of in the future but I'm glad that we live in a smaller city like Palembang, even if there is nothing to do on weekends here.