Hanging out in malls is part of the affluent Jakarta teens' lifestyle. They have an acronym for every popular malls, such as PS for Plaza Senayan, PIM for Pondok Indah Mall, and so on. These teens usually just sit around in the food court and people watch, which is something I also loved to do in my teenage years and I have to admit it was quite fun.
Busy, young professionals have also taken up this lifestyle, although they tend to hang out in trendy cafes while sipping their lattes to unwind with their friends after a long day's work.
Being the capital city of the country with the largest muslim population in the world, naturally Jakarta is dominated by Muslims. But, that doesn't stop Jakartans to practice other religions peacefully.
There are tons of mosques in Jakarta, tucked in every corner of the city, but other worship places are abundant. Churces in different sizes and styles for Catholics and Protestants alike, Hindu temples, Bhuddist's Vihara, even traditional Chinese worship places.
Although the recent crisis brought rifts and frictions to the harmonious condition of Indonesians' religious life, Jakartans can still practice their religions fairly peacefully. This is witnessed in the celebration of Christmas or Chinese New Year, which in recent years were celebrated as vibrant as the Lebaran, the biggest Muslim holiday.
Fondest memory: The harmony in Jakartans' religious life can be seen from the location of the biggest mosque and church in the city. Istiqlal, southeast asia's biggest mosque, is located in a complex just across from the Catholic Cathedral. Moreover, during Christmas Eve Mass, worshippers can park their cars on the Mosque's parking lot and vice versa during the Lebaran.
Being Indonesia's capital city, Jakarta is the hub of the country's business, political, and industry. This has attracted countless people from many parts of the country. The Betawis and its culture, the real locals of Jakarta, has been slowly supplanted by the arrival of these other cultures.
Thumbs up to the local government who urge the preservation of the Betawi culture. Condet, an area in South East Jakarta has been designated as the center for the preservation of the Betawi culture.
The Betawis has a very rich culture and is reflected through many art forms such as the Tari Topeng (Mask Dance), Ondel-Ondel (three-meter tall masked puppet), and the Lenong Betawi (comedy play) to name a few. These and other Betawi arts make frequent appearance in many Jakarta's celebration.
It's not about favorite thing to do or explore about Jakarta, but I want to say about something in common among VTers who visit me in Jakarta. Like Hanna or Nick and the Jakartans VTers themselves. Finally we find ummm an Indonesian-English among us. As Hanna (VTer tabatha) told me, "We enjoy to put the word "ya" in the end of the sentences, isn't?" Then I learn about .. yes, that's happened. Maybe (yes b --ala VTer NickIng), it's taken from the word "ya" in Indonesian lingo to finish a complete word. Like this; "Nanti kuberi tahu, ya." or "Sepertinya tidak begitu, ya?" when this "ya" adopted into English, we can hear like this "Let me tell you something, ya. Bladibladibla." or "As ever happened in the last trip, ya." I think, it's become a new character in our vocab in the future, ya :)
Fondest memory: Use the ending word "ya" make us close to each other, ya :)
The city at night is amazing. There a video screens on the sides of buildings and many buildings have a very futuristic look, especially when lit up. At the same time there are many carved archways and buldings with traditional red roof tlies.
Fondest memory: It is city of hustle and bustle but you can relax too. My foundest memory, believe it or not, was going to a mall in Jakarta! It had very different stores then our malls do and they sold alot of local items. It was very interesting.
Go to the outskirts, enter the kampungs, and meet the happy smiling people. Picture the scene: elfin children flying kites, goats and chickens outside red-roofed cottages, bougainvillea and frangipani... a paradise indeed.
Fondest memory: I miss the supremely friendly and beautiful people.
Favorite thing: The suburbs near the old harbour and on the street from the airport to the centre give different impressions and show where probably most of 9 milion of people live.These houses are built close to a river, a river that easily spread its water around during the rain season.
ask someone to take you to Pasar Raya Blok M (a shopping complex). Don't waste your time in the building. Go behind into the traditional markets that are set up on weekends. It will be a hot, crowded and sometimes 'fragrant' experience. Don't take your valuables and definitely don't keep your wallet in your hip pocket.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Jakarta is a matter strictly between me and my confessor.
My second fondest memory of Jakarta involves roaming the traditional markets and neighborhoods well away from areas where 'bules' (local slang term for light-skinned foreigners) would normally be expected. Even in a big city, Indonesians are very friendly, gracious people. It will add tremendously to your experience if you can speak the language. If you can't, get a local guide/translator and head for the 'kampung' (village, but in the context of Jakarta, traditional neighborhood).
shopping...at Block M
batek crafts and others
Fondest memory: well..i went there to attend a close friends' wedding ceremony which was very much done in traditional ways of royal jawa style....(raden). It is very interesting and full of rituals and custom and so colourful. other than that we went to so many shopping malls and some sightseeing.
Favorite thing: The small market in the national monument area.An area really full of people, walking people something really hard to find in Jakarta sometime.