Friday, October 29, 2010

Singapore round Dua

This is our second trip from Jakarta to Singapore since we have been here and this time we got to spend the entire day hanging out in the city. There is so much to do and see in this public transportation efficient city. It's very refreshing to be in such a beautiful city, even if it is for a short time. Again, we hung out with our friend Zac who is a chiropractor in Singapore and of course we wooped it up, drinking and talking until 3 in the morning. This time I was a little less hungover the next day, so that made for a good day.

Singapore has so much to offer as a city for anyone who is visiting. Along with the effiecient transportation it is also a very walkable city. The only bad thing is you have to walk early or you will be so hot and sweaty after about 5 minutes of walking. There are many sites to see and similar to Indonesia, Singaporians love their statues. I've included some pictures of the interesting statues that we walked by.

The 10th picture up is of what appears to be a spikey, shiny building. This building is called The Esplanade and it's shaped like a Durian. A Durian is known as the "king of fruit" and is rarely seen outside of southeast Asia. Durian in Bahasa (the official Language of Java) means thorny. It almost looks like a very thorny football and it has a very, very foul smell. And when I say foul, I mean like dirty socks combined with a little poo that has been festering for a few weeks. We have yet to try this fruit, which is said to be delicious but I can't get past the foul smell enough to try it. There's your durian lesson for the day. That's what this weird building is shaped after.

The next pic of Jesse is of a new casino built and opened fairly recently. It's called the Sans Resort and Casino. Kelly H is going to LOVE this place! It is the three towers that you see and perched on top of the towers is a what appears to be a cruise ship structure. It has tons of palm trees on top and seems to be a very interesting place. I can't wait to go there either!

The photo of the bird is pretty interesting. It was just standing there with it's head cocked to the side with it's mouth open staring at me. Jesse informed me that they do this to stay cool. I felt like we had a moment.

And the pic of flower row is a bridge lined with Bogenvia's. These are the same flowers Grandma Marcia has at her house in Mexico. It reminded us of her and Paul and our Mexican adventures.

The rest of the pics are snapshots from around the city. I hope you have enjoyed your tour of Singapore as much as we did!! Hopefully you will be seeing more pics of Singapore really, really, really soon. :)

International Fair

Right now in Jakarta at Grand Indonesia (the mall where I spend most of my time), is the International Travel Fair. Every travel company that books trips locally and internationally from here has a booth set up in the mall with special promotions and deals. There is one airline selling flights from here to Singapore (1.5 hr flight) for as little as $5. Yup, $5. I know, it's so cheap! This lady in the pictures is representing the travel to Thailand booth. She is a very beautiful Asian woman painting umbrellas with beautiful scenes. There was one with a giant peacock, a blossoming tree and another decorated with butterflies in flight. She looked very concentrated and meditative while we watched her paint and was very good at her art. It makes me want to go to Thailand and learn to paint umbrellas. They also had some traditional thai treats that were coated with some type of gelatin and had some coconut filling. They were delicious! Hopefully we will be able to visit their country soon.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Greenery in Jakarta

Yesterday, Jesse and I wandered off to a park in a near by neighborhood called Mentang. This is where our friends Robert and Lucy live and they are the ones who showed us this little space of green in Jakarta. This park seems to be a place where musicians like to hang out as there were several people practicing guitar and a group of 7 people practicing their violins. It is nice to see people enjoy the parks of Jakarta as much as we do. There are also two Reflexi L shaped rock beds to walk on. This is a place to walk on and massage your feet, if you can make it very far. The rocks stick up from the cement and sometimes hurt your feet.

The picture on the top is a guy strapping what looks like a large fish tank to this little baijai.

Friday, October 22, 2010

around town

I walked about a three block radius of our house to give you a better idea of what we look at every day. It's very interesting how many people look like they are taking a break or lounging around on the cement sidewalks or napping. They are a very relaxed culture here and nothing is rushed, EVER! The last picture is a Padang restaurant. Very Indonesian and very good. We have only eaten here once because we think it is the culprit in some intestinal issues that we have been having since that day. But the food is phenomenal, if you can get past it making you sick. You take a seat and they just keep bringing you a bunch of different selections. You either eat it or leave it. If you leave it they take it back and bring it out to the next table, if you eat it you buy it. Pretty simple and an easy way to eat way to much food.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Various modes of Transportation

Here in Jakarta there are several different ways of getting around the city. I have tried to take a few pics of these so you get an idea of what we are dealing with here. To start of course, there are taxi's. There are a bunch of shady taxi companies who won't meter you and then charge you a bunch of money but not the one pictured here. It's a group of blue bird taxi's lined up in the front of our building. They are always there and you are guaranteed honest taxi drivers, which is nice when most of the time I have no idea what they are saying to me.

We have, not pictured here, the trans Jakarta bus system which is an inefficient way of getting to where you need to go. They all meet in central Jakarta and go to various places from there so if you need to get anywhere far away you always have to go to the center of Jakarta. It's good for us because we live here but not good for those who live far away. They have their own lanes on the roads, so they can go a little faster in the gridlock traffic.

Next we have an OJEK, which are best described as taxi motorcycles. I've never taken one because I don't have my own helmet but it's a great way to get through the traffic faster and it is usually cheaper than taxi's.

Lastly, pictured are the orange box looking vehicles called Bajai. They are a great, fast, and cheap way to get around the city but after a long ride in one of these you may still be bouncing when you get out. They aren't ideal for long rides because they are open air and very, very loud. We have yet to take a bajai. Maybe when our Bahasa is a little better. Some of these are very nicely painted in bright, pretty, colors and designs and these ones are supposed to be tuned up and better for the enviroment.

There are plenty more ways to get around here that I may have forgotten about but hey, that's ok, I can always add to another post.

The bicycle pictured is just a random I took while wondering around one day. These guys ride around and sell this type of merchandise. Most of it is a breakfast cereal "drink" called Energen. Jesse and I have tried this and love it. It's like drinking hot chocolate with chunks of yummy sugary stuff in it.

Our Arab roommate

DON'T WORRY HE'S NOT A TERRORIST!! Our housemates are back home now and Sara brought her boyfriend Travis back Traditional Arab Head Gear (that's seriously what it said on the package), from her layover in Abu Dhabi. It was his birthday while she was gone visiting the U.S. so she brought him back this as a present. We think we are going to all have to get this getup so we can have an Arab party at our house one night. That's our weird humor and fun.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The cat chronicles

Sadie the cat lives with us. While at times I find her very irritating and annoying because her hair is all over my mostly black wardrobe, she goes and looks so cute like in these pics. I've never in my life seen a cat lay on it's back as much as she does. She really knows how to capture our hearts by looking so darn cute!

The pics are of the city one morning and in one you can clearly see the volcano that is so close to us.

Someone had a birthday!

Jesse had his birthday on October 5th and turned the big 2-9! He's getting up there! We have been busy running around this crazy city trying to find our place here and make it feel like home. Meanwhile, Jesse had his birthday and we went to a premiere showing of Wall Street at Plaza Indonesia. It was a great movie and he had a great time. He said it was his favorite birthday. As most of you know I am not working so I scrounged up some money to buy him a gift. It was a traditional Batik shirt. Batik is traditional garb of Indonesia and other counties around here and he has wanted one for a while. There are so many different types and styles of Batik and most of it is very beautiful while some can be very, very ugly. I also wrapped his gift very creatively with a Jakarta Expat newspaper, he loved it. He said the Jakarta Expat never looked so nice. Ha, ha! I just didn't want to buy wrapping paper, the Expat papers are free!!

We have been having a great time enjoying ourselves in this crazy city. I am very sorry for the delay in bloggin but our internet has been very spotty and so has our computer. Don't fret, I have found a great place with fast internet so the blog post will be more regular. Next post will be about different ways to get around Jakarta. Stay tuned....