So, when it was time for us to travel yet again to Jakarta… I had mixed feelings. It seemed that everyone I asked about Jakarta had the same response: “…the traffic is horrible” or “…be prepared to spend 5 or more hours in traffic”. Already not too eager to leave my beloved Bali and dreading the unavoidable Jakarta-traffic, left me less than thrilled to visit the concrete jungle.
Hearing all of the horror stories also has it's ups! I was able to find many reasons to be optimistic! Such as: Having the chance to see where Estelle grew up; being able to meet some of Estelle’s awesome friends; having the chance to attend one of her best friends weddings; and after all it was a NEW Adventure! I needed to remember the most basic rule of happiness: carry no expectations and be present in all life’s precious moments.
Okay, Jakarta… ready or not here I come!
We only had a few days in Jakarta but managed to cram in some great stuff. We flew in around midnight and took a cab to Estelle’s friends place where we would stay for our first couple of nights. What’s cool is that Jill is actually (get ready for this) Estelle’s teacher from middle school and high-school. They managed to become close friends and maintain their relationship 10 years after she graduated! (Note: I always find myself amazed at Estelle’s uncanny ability to not only make genuine friends – but to truly maintain strong friendships for many years even without seeing that person for years!)
What Did We Do In Jakarta?
Our first full day in Jakarta started by going to one of the one million shopping malls that the city has to offer. Estelle brought me to a salon to have my first Cream Bath. Okay, for my non-Indo friends - its not what you think! It’s really just getting an awesome head massage and having some natural ingredients rubbed into your scalp: in my case Aloe Vera! From what Estelle tells me... it is very common and many dudes get it done - so I haven't lost my man-card.
Afterward the relaxing head rub, we boarded a cab for my first experience of Jakarta's traffic! Estelle was sure to check that we had some food for the potentially long cab ride. A whirlwind of watching "The Intern" (a film we've been to see and a must watch), meeting Estelle’s friend for dinner and finally catching up with her cousin, Ersan for a late night coffee.
|(EVENING COFFEE WITH ESTELLE'S COUSIN ERSAN)|
Our last day before heading of to Puncak for her friend Martini’s Indonesian Wedding Reception, we connected with Estelle’s former boss for dinner and an adventure nonetheless! He is a dynamo of a guy – non stop energy – and 100% hilarious! I have no idea how many businesses he owns/runs but lets just say he is uber successful. After a most entertaining dinner – we had to grab our bags and then continue onward to more of Estelles’ close Jakarta friends for drinks. We took a Bajaj from Jill’s to the bar – what a rush!
|(POST DINNER PHOTO WITH ESTELLE'S FORMER BOSS AND HIS GIRLFRIEND)|
|(ON ROUTE IN OUR BAJAJ!)|
|(TURNS OUT BAJAJ'S AREN'T ALL THAT ROOMY FOR 6' 4" GUYS!)|
After hanging with the Jakarta crew for a bit we were off again! We got picked up and rode with the wedding party (Martini and David) for the 2+ hour drive to Puncak.
We stayed 2 nights at a resort on top of the mountain and it was great! The area is known for the tea which is grown EVERYWHERE. While there, we went on 2 “unofficial” Tea Tours and really just relaxed and hung with the awesome newly weds.
|(GETTING A DEMO IN A HOLISTIC HEALING TECHNIQUE CALLED "TOUCH FOR LIFE" FROM THE BRIDE'S FATHER -- I AM A BELIEVER)|
We had heard the traffic was horrific and I must say until that Sunday when we were headed to the airport I really didn’t think much of the Jakarta traffic… Oh, but I was mistaken. Because our 2 hour car ride turned into 6 hours and we MISSED our flight! Errr…
But, it so happened that Estelle’s best friend Christina, who is a airmen for the U.S Navy was still in Jakarta for one more night. And so the universe realigned our route to allow the girls to get more bestie time in as i myself made a new furry friend!
|(I HAD TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY ATM STOP BEFORE WE LEFT FOR THE AIRPORT AND THIS FINE YOUNG MAN DROVE ME IN THE JAKARTA TRAFFIC ON HIS SCOOTER -- SOMEHOW IT WORKED)|