A quick trip to Jakarta

In April 2014, my work took me to Jakarta. This city was not on my list of “must visit” places, and yet I was glad I visited this part of the world.

Here are a few observations, unless otherwise explicitly mentioned, compared with Hyderabad, India.

A brief travelogue for you all!

Jakarta is a big city, and that was evident as soon as I stepped out of the airport. Infrastructure (read buildings, skyscrappers, roads, pavements, public transportion, etc.) is really impressive!

I observed some interesting aspects about two wheelers during my couple of weeks stay and commute in the city.
i) Rider and pillion, both wear helmets – good! I think it’s required by law.
ii) I found it strange that the lights were turned on during the day time time too. Just bikes, not cars and other vehicles, though.
iii) This was a whole new surprise to me – they have two wheeler taxis! They’re everywhere, carry one passenger and price is negotiable.

In general, traffic is very disciplined. The traffic is heavy but still runs smooth – everyone respects traffic rules, follow lane system and policemen are seen at many junctions to keep a check. No unnecessary honking even if the traffic slows down at junctions or narrow entrances.

Food is good. It would be a treat for people who enjoy non vegetarian dishes – a lot of variety and cuisines are served. While I hogged on a lot of chicken and sea food varieties only, beef is the default meat there. I had to mention not to include beef every time I ordered non veg dishes. Pure vegetarian visitors will need an extra effort to find places to eat comfortably.

While Jakarta is an International business destination and is one of the most densely populated asian cities, the locals are not very comfortable with any language other than theirs. I had tough time conversing with everyone around in English. Some people can’t speak beyond Yes and No. I ended up learning a few commonly used words to deal with the cab drivers.

Another interesting experience was currency. Do you know I was a millionaire for a while? With a conversion rate of about 1 Indian Rupee = 190 Indonesian rupiah, the few hundred US dollars I carried for my travel expenses showed balances on travel card beyond my expectations!

But again, I paid 35,000 for Fried Rice, 1,98,000 for a six pack of beer and what not! I was poor again in no time.

Jakarta has some really impressive malls. I visited a few just to roam around and get a feel of the massive shopping arrangement. Except TVs, everything else was priced higher than the commodities in India. After dividing the prices by 190 a few times, for which I needed calculator, I moved on to division by 200 in my head. 🙂

I had a long weekend during my visit which also gave me an opportunity to cover some places around the city. With three other colleagues, all from India, we visited a hot spring, a strawberry farm, an inactive volcano and a quick stop in tea gardens on the way.

Here are a few more pictures from the visit (following pages). Click on the thumbnails to see full size images. All images clicked using Nokia Lumia 820.

In Pictures: Ganesh Utsav 2013 – Hyderabad | DreamHawks

We spent the last Saturday Ganesh Pandal hopping and it was a good experience indeed! Between Chicken Biryani at Bawarchi, fruit ice-creams at Moazzam Jahi Market, it was fun to roam on a bike around the city and capture some pictures. Check out the 50+ pictures posted here.

In Pictures: Ganesh Utsav 2013 – Hyderabad | DreamHawks.

Ganesh idol at Lalbagh.
Ganesh idol at Lalbagh.

Infinite Photograph – As Seen On Earth

Check out this interesting, infinite photograph!

Copy-paste from the NGC site: What makes up our world? Dive into this photo-mosaic portrait of the Earth to see it through the eyes of users like you. It’s made up of hundreds of photos of the natural world, each submitted by users to My Shot. (Submit a photo) Move the yellow square over an area you would like to explore, click, and go. Double-click on an image to see more information about it. Keep clicking—and diving deeper into the Infinite Photograph—to get a truly boundless picture of Earth.

Click here to explore the Infinite Photograph!

Wallpaper for October 2009

Goa, baby!

That was the theme and spirit which kept us going throughout the trip. Due to the heavy rains, floods and many other encounters in between, our pleasure trip has become an adventure trip. Neverthless, we had our fun and returned home safe.

More on the adventures in the posts to come. For now, have the Goa beach on your desktop. I clicked this view of Anjuna (?) beach from atop the Aguada Fort (remember the scenes in Dil Chahta Hai?)


P.S.: Check out the ships in the far end!



As per Ravi’s comments below, the beach is Vagator Beach and the Fort is Chapora.