We arrived into Jakarta with the intention of hanging around for two or three day’s and then catching our flight to Sydney. No such luck, it turns out that there has been a cock-up with our tickets and we are now waitlisted for the 10th and confirmed for the 13th October, which leaves us stuck in Jakarta, which of all the cities we have been to is probably the worst. We have just spent the last 3 days in the F1 hotel. We have a double bed and a bunk bed , the bunk bed is the prize. I managed to nab it for one night and had the best sleep I have had in weeks. Lisa managed to get the next two nights and looks the better for the rest. The kids after 7 months on the road no longer want to sleep on their own and have to start the sleep routine with one or other of us in the bed with them, so when a private perch becomes available it is snapped up. No one wants to be between them, with their tossing and turning and tipping and tapping and grinding of teeth and chattering and murmuring. They wake up fine, bright as buttons but after a night between the pair of them I am usually f**ked.
Being in the hotel here is a bit like being in prison only the bars that keep you in are the appalling traffic jams. You get out for the odd bit of day release but are only too glad to get back behind bars and away from the insanity of the roads of the city and into your cell for a cold one.
I made a foray to get some pizza on our first night and regretted it. I thought I had covered all the bases, I hadn’t. The first thing we did was Google all the Domino’s in the town and ask the concierge which was the nearest and how long it would take to get there. The one we chose was 15 minutes away, Ok, secondly I asked taxi drivers did they know the destination and eventually settled on the third fellah I spoke to who seemed on the ball and said, ‘yes, the Ranch Center, Domino’s, no problem’, big problem. By the time we had driven half way round the world, stopped and asked for directions four times, been to three Pizza Huts, turned back and double backed twice, we eventually found it. I shaved a third off the meter and gave it to him, he didn’t complain. I had said I would be back in an hour and I had taken an hour just to find, not good, the kids were going to be asleep by the time I hunter-gatherered the pizza. I eventually got back about an hour later. I was going to throw the pizza out the window if anyone complained after I explained what happened. No one gave out, they just asked was I ok and why it took so long. I would now have to plan any movements outside the hotel much more carefully.
It is a really difficult city to get around if you are just visiting, one of those places where when you are with young children you end up walking round shopping mall’s and could be anywhere in the world. I did head out to take some photographs and ended up in Glodok. I walked around Petak Sembilan street market, which was raved about in the Lonely Planet. A scruffy open sewer of a place, great for photo’s but not much else.
Seeing as how we were stuck here we decided to get out of Jakarta for a few days. We decided to head out to Tanjung Lesung. We were expecting a journey of about two and a half hours. It took a lot longer, like an hour and a half longer.
We had a brief distraction about three quarters of the way through the journey when there was a little eruption in the back of the taxi. It was one of those wet squishy type of eruptions that you sometimes get when a little girl has an upset tummy and expresses it through a pants explosion. The driver nearly veered off the road, we all gagged and the windows went down in an instant, even though it was pissing rain. We had to make an unscheduled stop at a little warung where the occupants very kindly let us use the toilet in their house to clean the poor little thing up. It was lucky she had been wearing pants as she had been sitting on Lisa’s lap at the moment she decided to let loose.
The taxi driver was a city boy and didn’t seem to sure of the roads. We went from traffic-choked highway to two-lane blacktop to dirt crater ridden roads. We hadn’t booked the place we were heading to. We didn’t even know if the Sailing Club in Tanjung was open. We arrived after dark having driven for over four hours and luckily they were still open for business. This is monsoon time in Java and things often don’t go according to plan. We had gone from a city of 20 million to a resort of eight, us and the four other guests.
It looks OK in the dark, tomorrow will tell all.