[ travel ] jakarta, my love & hate relationship

I went back to Jakarta couple weeks ago with my two children.  Though I wasn’t born in Jakarta but grew up there so I still called Jakarta my home-town.  It was nice to be back again, I try to go once a year if it’s possible.

However, we didn’t really enjoy the flight though. I always dislike the flights to and from Jakarta, it’s always at the odd hours.  Initially our flight was at 2.20 am then I got text message that said it had been delayed to 3.20 am, and when we got to the airport the screen showed it won’t fly until 4.20am…..arrgghhh!  To make it more miserable both of my Boys were not feeling that flash at that time. One had bad croup and the other had really bad cough and high temperature.   So, I really didn’t appreciate had to spend couple hours waiting at the airport with two sick boys.  Honestly I actually almost turned back and cancelled my trip!  I felt so stressed and sorry for my kids.   When we finally on the plane, one boy slept the 4.5 hours flight (thanks God!) while the other one was so restless and didn’t close his eyes at all!  When we finally landed at around 8am Jakarta’s time we felt like and looked like a zombie!

Jakarta is always busy and hectic.  The city is really never sleeps, even at midnight the traffic jam is still crazy! Things that I hate about Jakarta are; the traffic, it’s really getting worse and unbearable every time I come to visit.  I had to endure 2.5 hours sitting in the car on our way back from Ancol to Kuningan.  Some people in Jakarta had to get up by 5 in the morning to be at work by 8 am!  When I was still living and working in Jakarta, in the peaks hour we could go through back alleys or shortcuts to avoid the traffic jam. But today the taxi driver told me there’s no alley or shortcut that you can go through, peak or  not busy hours, cars and motor cycles  jammed together side by side not moving at all.  I really think that the government should do something with the public transport system.

Secondly, I hate that Jakarta is lack of park and play ground for children.  They build so many shopping malls and yes one or two of those shopping malls may have children entertainment area or indoor playground but that’s all. Plus the fee is not that cheap either to leave your children in one of that indoor playground.  The lack of outdoor space for children, green area and parks probably because so many high-rise offices, malls, and residential building keep growing and growing.

Next hate is the pedestrian walk.  There’s no way that we can walk safely and comfortably around Jakarta, especially with young children.  Road works, building constructions, vehicles, make it impossible and unsafe.

The most I love about Jakarta is the pampering.  From massage to hair spa, body scrub and any other beauty treatments that you can name it, Jakarta has it all for a very good price too, way cheaper than in western country.  Won’t you love when you spend 2 hours massage and body scrub that cost you just around A$25???

The other thing that I love in Jakarta is the food for sure.  Eating out is cheaper, not to mention your mother’s home cook too.  Also, there are always food 24/7 be it in the fancy posh restaurant, small little restaurant along the street, or even in the street in front of your house; from morning to midnight they will push their little cart and yell what they are selling ( teee….for satay, for example ).  You will never go hungry in Jakarta for sure 🙂

Shopping is also number one activity for the shopaholic. From expensive designer brands to  the copy cat of them you can find it in this crazy city pretty easy.  Least but not last is the night life! For clubbers and party goers Jakarta is the city that you can party on all night long and hang out with so much fun and style.

My wishes for Jakarta is to solve the crazy mad traffic jam and for the government to stop granting permit for new malls and apartments. The city is getting too much pollution from the million numbers of cars and please have green parks than more shopping malls and high-rise apartments.

2 responses to “[ travel ] jakarta, my love & hate relationship”

  1. Welldone Ri, love the writing. I’ve thinking to go there cos I have so many friends I want to catch up but I’ve heard that the traffic jam is worst than when I used to live there in 1996 to 1998.

    What I miss in Jakarta such as foods, luxury lifestyle. Go to five stars restaurants in five stars hotels every once or twice a week.

    But if we scale them between good and bad, still I prefer to live here. At least in here I can still see the blue sky and beautiful wild birds park in my backyard. Unlike in Jakarta, the sky is just covered by pollution and if there is a bird, I bet in just 2 minutes gone and become burung goreng


  2. Hi Winda…thanks for reading 🙂
    Yes, Jakarta is getting worse and worse every year I visit it…the traffic jam is soo bad! You’re right, food and the pampering stuff is so good and so cheap too compare to western country. Where is in here we can get 2 hours massage + body scrub that cost less than $50??
    But, I won’t change the blue sky, no traffic jam, and fresh air here for that 🙂 People always complain that Perth is ‘dead city’ ‘too quiet’ ‘not exciting’…..but for me personally I still love living here than in Jakarta. It’s great to visit, but I don’t think I could handle the crazy traffic jam and the unhealthy lifestyle :))


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