We landed in Jakarta Indonesia on a Sunday in the afternoon. And it was a grueling journey. We started off from Karachi at the stroke of midnight the previous day. Landed in Bangkok, Thailand five hours later at dawn because there’s no direct flight from Karachi to Jakarta. Had a one hour layover, which was spent scurrying from one terminal to the other, trying to find the damn gate from which we were to take the next flight.
And the task was all the more daunting considering the fact that the Bangkok airport is a huge airport. No, make it humungous. It’s nothing short of a small city itself.
At last we were able to find the damn gate, located at the far end of where we had landed. There we sat dozing off in between as the sun rose majestically from behind the clutter of planes.
The flight from Bangkok to Jakarta is a 3 hour flight, and this flight was more enjoyable than the previous one, which was largely due to a newer aircraft with more modern amenities like the entertainment console which was sadly missing from the Karachi flight.
I reckon Thai airways doesn’t have enough confidence in Pakistanis to send their newer aircraft to this part of the world. It’s a sure thing they did it deliberately because the same pattern was repeated by Thai Airways on the return flight as well.
Coming back to the first day in Jakarta, Indonesia, by the time we were through the immigration and all, we were totally exhausted, not to mention hungry. We got the currency changed at the airport itself and then we were off to the hotel.
We stayed at the Century Park hotel in Jakarta, which is a four star hotel in the business district. Lucky for us there’s a shopping mall right next to the century hotel. Like I’ve mentioned in the previous article, Nagasaki was in hospitality mode right from the outset and took upon himself to give us a guided tour of Jakarta.
Unfortunately, it was confined to hopping from one shopping mall to the other, something which I’ve become tired of, having lived in UAE and spent an inordinate amount of time in pretty much all the malls that exist there.
So we all got to see of Jakarta Indonesia throughout the length of this tour was the cityscape brimming with malls, great and small.
We had lunch that day at the mall next door, and although there were quite a few international food chains present there, Nagasaki chose a restaurant that served Indonesian food. And so started our love-hate relationship with Indonesian cuisine.
It’s quite unique and at the same time similar to Pakistani cuisine in that there are a lot of curries and that also spicy. But the taste was nothing we’ve tasted before in Pakistan.
While it was ok as far as I was concerned, always game for trying out something new, most of the other members weren’t exactly thrilled at having their taste buds taken on a rollercoaster ride. When we came across a Pakistani restaurant in Bangkok Thailand in the second leg of the tour, these guys pounced upon that grub as if they hadn’t eaten in years. Strange beings.
Here’s a look at what I consumed for the very first time from Indonesian cuisine. Can’t remember the name, and this I regret the most from this tour, that I didn’t jot down the names of the dishes that I ate.
After we ate, it was then off to the mall tour, which lasted till late evening. By the time we returned to the hotel, fatigue had sent in. Although we promised to meet back in an hour’s time for dinner at the mall, that hour never finished that night. The next thing we remember, it was morning.