Jakarta Part II: "I'm not very good at the slides"

Trip Start Jan 16, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Ok, day 2 in Jakarta. And already I know I won't want to leave tomorrow.

So we really don't want to waste our 2nd day here like we did most of our time in Bali. The words "I wish we hadn't stayed so long in Kuta" were thought many times, yet uttered only once or twice. So we got up early enough, and jumped on an express bus headed for Ancol. There's an Aquarium there, a water park, a fun fair, a market, another zoo type affair, and loads of other stuff. It's a bit like a Disney World type thing, but with no people parading around dressed up as a certain annoying mouse.

After 3 buses and 45 mins travel time, we were 5 minutes walk from our hotel, but one more change of bus and we were on our way to Ancol. Woo hoo! And we got there. 4,000 Rp to get in? Are you sure? Sweet. Free bus to the attractions we want? Sweet. 40,000Rp to get into the attraction. Aaah, now I see.

Attraction 1: Seaworld Indonesia. Cam you say you've been there? (Rob and Carla excluded) I can! And it was quite good. Like a really small version of Sydney Water Zoo (as it is now officially known). They had a shark feeding show, to which the sharks seemed very nonchalant, if not apathetic, or just plain indifferent. I think 1 shark felt sorry for the guy d\feeding them so took a piece of fish off him to save face. "Watch the feeding frenzy as we drop the rest of the fish in the water" exclaims the MC. I half expected a "LLLLLLLLet's get ready to RRRumbllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllle" but it never came. The feeding frenzy was the funniest thing ever. Lots of pieces of fish hitting rather uninterested sharks about the head, and one hugely uncomfortable MC: "Usually they eat more than this" he meekly whimpers as all but 1 piece of fish finds it's way slowly to the floor. Highly amusing and well worth the entry fee. Poor guy.

So we pottered around and saw some cool aquarian things (for want of a better word). And then left after a while. Ooh I did see the biggest stingray in the world I swear. It looked about 7 foot across through the glass as it swum over us in the tunnel. Slightly amazed at the size of it I followed it around. Then I see a sign "Due to the curvature of the 6cms of reinforced glass of the tunnel, the fish you see are actually around 1.5times the size they look. so this stingray is what, 11ft across. That's pretty damn big.

Anyway I digress. Then we went to the water park. And it started raining. What happened? A tumult of locals flee from the water park as though Attilla the Hun were there weilding his, whatever weapon he used. People, you're in a water park; you're supposed to get wet. I never will understand this in people. So we had a basically empty water park for our 50,000Rp entrance fee. And they had cool slides. I thought so more than Rob. Remember when you were little and you went on water slides there was always a 6 year old fat girl with glasses who you ran into half way down the slide cos she'd stopped? That was Rob. I didn't think I'd have to coach a 22 year old man the technique for water slides. But I came travelling for new experiences so...

Well it was good.

Then the cable cars. I haven't been on a cable car since mum used to take me and me brother to The Heights of Abraham at Matlock Bath, so I quite enjoyed this. Wasn't in any way high but it was still nice. Got off at the other end and got lost again. So let's just get a taxi huh? We're all hungry so Carla comes up with a gem. There's an all you can eat Japanese restaurant she knows in one of the malls. Sold.

There was a divergence of expectation to reality. And a positive one at that.
Expectation: the Manchester style 5quid all you can eat MSG pre-cooked blandness that I'm used to.
Reality: Hole in the table with a hot-plate, a huge electric powered soup basin on the table, a huge buffet of different kinds of raw beef, raw unshelled prawns, raw tuna and other fish steaks, that pink and white seafood roll things you get in seafood soup over here, all the veg you could want to put in a soup, rice, noodles, everything. This place is amazing. So we took it slow and ate for a couple hours, and ate a lot, and ate desert, and drunk a few cups of tea, and iced tea, and 7up, and Pepsi, and Orange Juice, and ate more. And it cost... 5 quid! In England this would be around 50 quid.

And there you have it. My 2 days in Jakarta. All that's left to tell is that it only takes half an hour to get to the airport at 6.30 am, not the 3 hours we had planned it to take. Result: Long wait at the airport.

Bangkok here I come...
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