Jakarta

It’s been almost a week since we arrived in Jakarta now, after a week at home which was largely dominated by preparations for the trip, and the very occasional beer, it was soon time for us to head off again. This being the case come Monday morning Robbie and I were at the beginning of an epic journey which would see us arriving at Jakarta international airport, Via Dubai (where the firstattempt at this blog post was undertaken over a £7.50, yes £7.50!, pint of Guinness), almost 25 hours after we left.
Our first flight, the 7 hour jaunt over to Dubai, was my first experience flying Emirates and they definitely left a good first impression. After futile attempts to play the ‘weworkforarsenalyousponsorarsenalputusinfirstclass’ card we boarded the plane where our excitement at heading to Indonesia was (almost) matched by the range of our in-flight entertainment! After watching the delightful ‘Our Idiot Brother’ and the classic ‘Bugs life’ there was just enough time to catch a few episodes of Peep Show, fall in love with an air stewardess (who, by the way, gave me an extra packet of biscuits, obviously feeling the same way) and play a couple of games of Mexican-themed hangman with the girl on our row before arrival at our destination.
Arriving in Dubai with Sean’s (one of the two gappers just returned from Indo, http://www.coachesworldguide.com/?cat=4&paged=3) story of how difficult it was to find the food court fresh in the memory Robbie and I decided on a bold and revolutionary tactic of following the signs which soon led us, unsurprisingly to a veritable cornucopia of fast food outlets, good work lads. After a few overpriced beers followed by an equally overpriced McDonalds we headed to our departure gate to get on the plane out of overpriced Dubai headed to Jakarta! By now the 10 hours travelling had started to take their toll and the majority of this journey was spent in various states of sleep before waking up and catching two new sitcoms on the in-flight entertainment. New Girl, in which Zooey Deschanel and a cast of likeable actors combine to produce a reasonably funny, eminently watchable sitcom, and ‘Two Broke Girls’ in which two pretty mediocre actress (the aforementioned ‘Broke Girls’) combine to produce a show which would have been more accurately entitled ‘One Crap Sitcom’. B this point, with just over an hour left on the plane we were buzzing that we would soon be arriving at our home for the next 3 months! Upon arrival our excitement was somewhat blunted by the huge lines at immigration, the Indonesian authorities having decided to only have two people checking passports, however after about 45 minutes we were ushered to another line which took next to no time and we were soon out and ready to see what Jakarta had to offer!
After getting through passport control we were greeted by Ivan and Irfan, Ivan is one of the two drivers employed by SSI (Soccer Schools Indonesia) whilst Irfan is part of the admin staff and the man who has been given the duty of looking after us whilst we are here, a role which he has so far fulfilled with aplomb! After putting our bags into the car we headed off to check out our new home, two hours away. When we arrived we were both very pleasantly surprised at the size of the bungalow which, along with our two bedrooms, a kitchen, two living rooms and bathroom even has a spare room! The one downside is our very traditional bathroom, containing a ‘squat’ toilet and a ‘shower’ involving two bucket of water and a tap (which I’ve actually become quite accustomed to now) After dropping our bags in our rooms and freshening up we headed back out to a local shopping mall called Chitos for dinner, confronted with a huge range of restuarants and cuisines we told Irfan we wanted to try traditional Indonesian food and so he took us to what he assured us was the best place for Nasi Goreng, a fried rice dish, around. Not having had it before I couldn’t make a judgement on his claim but all I can say is that it was delicious and was definitely the best Nasi Goreng I’d ever had! After dinner Irfan took us to a bar located within the same mall where we were introduced to Bintang, an Indonesian beer made famous by Sean’s blog, and had a few games of pool before the travelling finally caught up with us and we headed home to go to bed.
After arriving in the early afternoon on Tuesday we were given the next day off to acclimatise with our new surroundings and, most importantly, the sheer heat and humidity of Jakarta which is far worse than India, it seems to be the same temperature at 3am as it is during the middle of the day which has made sleeping pretty hard so far and it’s always, always humid. For our day of rest we headed back to Chitos for a lunch of more Nasi Goreng, this time with Bebek (duck), which was even better than the one we had the night before after which we killed some time at the arcade before heading to the cinema to watch 21 Jump Street, one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a long time, and getting some dinner at an American-style diner. It’s safe to say Chitos is a good place to go but a hard place to leave, so far we’ve had lunch and dinner there without leaving twice and we’ve only been here 5 days!

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