Jakarta-- The Big Durian

Trip Start Jan 27, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Istana Ratu

Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Thursday, March 26, 2009

To me, Bandung looks best in the rear view mirror. I had a series of unfortunate (unlucky) experiences there and was glad to get on the train to Jakarta.

You know you have been traveling in one country for a while when the seasonal fruit begins to change.  Rambutan are about done here, and pineapple and avocado are everywhere.

As soon as I arrived in Jakarta on 22 March, I had an onset of food poisoning symptoms  (Dehli Belly, as the inveterate travelers call it) .  I spent the 24th (yesterday) in bed at the Istana Hotel on Jalan Jaksa.

Jalan Jaksa, or JJ as it is known here, is a mini Ko San Road for those who have been to Bangkok.  Many bars, many restaurants serving bland food cooked for bules, and many bules.  Most of the lodging here were s***holes, as is generally the case on Ko San Rd.

Just as D&D is the notable exception on KSR, so too is the Istana Ratu hotel here.  New, opening with a promotional rate of 250,000 rp, it is wonderful.  First time since Lombok I had a sink, cable TV, hot water, and A/C in the same room.  Free breakfast and daily maid service too.   Outstanding value.

So for 5 days in Jakarta, I am taking a vacation from traveling.  No sightseeing, no wanderings of cultural interest, just sweating out the food poisoning, laying around the hotel watching Cinemax and visiting friends at the Labor Solidarity Center, which is not far from my hotel.  I do plan to go see Barack Obama's pre-school/kindergarten tomorrow - it is about a kilomoeter from the hotel.

Flying to Singapore on 27 March.  Pics have nothing to do with this narrative--if you want more info on what they mean, click on them and I will have a brief boxed caption.  Not feeling witty,expressive, or inquisitive today, just short on electrolytes, feverish, and planning to crawl back in bed.  Hope to be more interesting in Singapore.
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