After a 16 hour trip, consisting of two flights and a cab ride, we arrived at our first destination! The car ride of 23 km luckily only took a full hour. It isn’t that long, especially not if you can look outside and take in the surrounding. However, in Jakarta, the sun is already down by 6PM. Only the lights of the vehicles and the shops near the street shone enough light to allow us to get a first impression. Jakarta is exactly what you expect it to be: Chaotic. The scooters are everywhere, and rules don’t seem to excist. A two-lane road is perfectly suitable for three cars next to each other. Even honking works differently around here. Whereas Dutch people honk when other people are not paying attention or should move aside, the people here honk to acknowledge that they have seen you and you can go ahead. They also honk for attention, either to get you in their cab or because they want to see a non-Asian person wave at them.
This morning, we left to find the city centre of busy Jakarta. Confidently, we searched for the local bus to take us there, but after crossing three streets, walking 15 min and seeing one of those busses, we decided to take a cab. The ride to the Monumen Nasional (Monas) costed 40,000 IDR, being €2,55. Taking the public bus in Jakarta is no longer in our plans. As soon as we walk onto the square on which the monument is situated, a couple of girls start following us. The word Selfie is definitely known around here. However, blonde and especially red hair is not so common. After taking a picture with the girls we became a tourist attraction ourselves as the rest of their friends come running for a selfie too.
After taking in the entire square we walk towards the train station to buy our tickets for Jogjakarta in advance. This didn’t go that smooth since neither of us speaks, reads nor writes Indonesian. Luckily the friendly people from Customer service were willing to help. After we reserved our tickets there, we had to pay for them at a local supermarket so after that we could go to the check-in automaton to print our tickets. Very inefficient, but we’ve got them!
Today was also the day on which I tragically lost my first item. Already. The sweet people at our hostel changed the beds of all the guests that had left and were kind enough to remake my bed as well. In the process, my white pillowcase was taken to the laundry store and disappeared. Goodbye pillowcase, hello clean new white case that the hostel gave me to keep as a replacement. Like I said, very tragic 😉 The hostel has everything one needs. Breakfast includes toast with peanut butter and chocolate spread, the main room has a complete kitchen, tables and couches, a guitar and a pool table. The showers are clean, but very quiet. It’s not like we’re prohibited the talk, it’s just that the water smells like egg and tastes nothing like that. The dorms are cosy and each bed has its own locker, lights and socket. BONUS: it’s the same socket type we have in the Netherlands. Oh and best maybe; we have quite fast free WiFi.