25 Things We Love About Living In Jakarta
Admit it: there’s something a little bit addictive about Jakarta lifestyle and living in The Big Durian. Just when you least expect it, you find yourself quietly grinning at those quirky, little things that can only be experienced here in Jakarta.
1. The Makan Mafia – the sausage lady, the cheese lady, the beef man, the bread lady, the wine lady…we could go on but you get the idea. OK so we can’t give away their secrets here but ask your friends the right questions and you’ll be able to conjure up many a treat with the flick of an SMS.
2. Best value, accessible golf courses. Can’t play? This is the best place to start learning.
3. Rp. 80,000 quickie blow-dries (that’s about 8 bucks for you non-Indonesians).
4. Grass-root businesses. The big, global businesses are burgeoning but you can still find the guy on the street who knows how to make “stuff”: the cobbler, the metal worker, the furniture maker.
5. Uncensored radio (oops!).
6. Clubbing. One of the biggest and most dynamic scenes in Asia.
7. Getting your furniture reupholstered in the space of a week.
9. Fireworks for sale in the supermarket (sorry Mum!).
10. The Cream Bath – the spa treatment that will change your life. Honey, once you’ve tried it, there is no giving up. Try Feliz or Mil and Mat, p. +62 21 719 8030.
11. The DVD shops. ‘Nuff said.
12. Anything with satay sauce.
13. Local travel: Living in a hub that allows you access to a hugely diverse range of amazing natural, manmade, and historic attractions: the orangutans of Kalimantan, the temples of Java, volcanoes where you can climb right to the crater’s edge. Indonesia boasts 8 UNESCO world heritage sites with a further 26 sites on the list pending approval.
14. Cheaper long haul flights to both hemispheres compared to other Asian hubs.
15. Inexpensive movies in high quality cinemas – best value family weekend afternoons.
16. Driving your own car at Idul Fitri.
17. In-home reflexology or “refleksi”. Another flick of the smart phone. Voila!
18. Taking the back seat. Yes, the option of a driver means you’ll never have to wash the car, go to a gas station, reverse-park, succumb to road rage, or worry about drink-driving.
19. Spotting the weird stuff. Relating to the previous point: keep your camera poised from the back seat of your car because your friends might not believe you without evidence: a goat riding a motorbike, a family of 8 riding a motorbike, a man balancing 300 chicken eggs… yes, you guessed it…. while riding a motorbike, a dancing monkey mid-intersection (hmmm), a naked man strolling down a five lane road like nobody is watching. Honey, this city has seen it all!
20. Clearing immigration before landing on an inbound flight – thanks Garuda!
21. Sedap Malam – The Indonesian “evening flower” that announces cocktail hour by exuding its seductive scent spot on sunset. And at only Rp. 10,000 per bunch, you can keep a bunch in every room of your house.
22. Getting the breeze in your hair from the back of a Bajaj going flat out through the Jalan Tikus.
23. Outsourcing outsourcing outsourcing. Yes, this should count for three points. Host a party without lifting a finger. Bring in the margarita man, the lamb samosas, the waitstaff and even the plates if you like. Have it all delivered delivered delivered!
24. Ojeks. The freedom of ditching the car and leaving the macet behind.
25. The big Indonesian smile
OK, so that’s just us. What do YOU love about this city?