Some Like It Hot and Ridiculous

I just capped my first 8 days in Jakarta and I have to say I am enjoying the city and my job. I’m one of the lucky few. My week in pictures:

Number 7 at CFC, the weird Indonesian version of KFC. Those long things are battered chicken strips.

Every day, an invisible newspaper elf (don’t worry, I’ll catch him) leaves a fresh copy of the Jakarta Globe on my desk. I then mark revisions on the paper and scan the ads. Boarding houses for dogs are just ridiculous in a country with so many informal settlers. Lucky dogs.

A rare Starbucks run. This is a chicken with spinach sandwich and an icky cup of cold coffee. My Mom always says the measure of a country’s cost of living is how much a Starbucks coffee costs. Well, it costs about 50,000 or less (P250 or less).

“Bakso” or meatball soup, served at a little cantina near my kost. Bakso is one of the things US President Barack Obama misses from his days living in Jakarta when he was a little boy. Wonder what extra toppings he liked in his soup, and what sort of sauces he liked to put in it.

Oyster sauce for me. Not too many chilis.

The famous Nasi Goreng (fried rice). This came with a big fish cracker, fried egg and seafood with unshelled shrimps. If you buy from the bars on our floor, they deliver your order to your desk!

Roti with Ham. Wasn’t so good. It tasted like bland french toast.

Steak dinner with the Pinoy crew. Garlic butter marble potatoes and spaghetti, while watching action films “Taken” and “The Losers.” Then red wine and koala chocolates for dessert. Haven’t eaten so much in a while!

My Plaza Semanggi heaven. Of course, when I finally conquered my fear of Bahasa ATMs (what if the machine asks me ‘Do you want to renounce all your funds?’ and then I accidentally press yes?), the first thing I bought was superbly practical. Clinique foundation.

When I have spare cash, I head over to the local fruit juice stand to get my 3-Mix, choosing from a range of funky fruits. What the hell is that pink thing? I’ll ask Septy, the fruit juice girl, sometime.

Spicy Squid with Special Sauce and Hainanese rice from Rice Bowl Express. The squid smelled like rotten feet, but if you douse it with sauce, it tastes really good. It helps if you’ve been hungry for 5 days too.

Once in a while, I miss normal food. Like this fish burger with fries from Solaria Sosialita, one of the restaurants on our floor. I like the hefty serving of vegetables with the fish fillet.

These are signs you see when going up the escalators. It really just means you have to watch you head as you go up, but I love it because it’s really profound advice.


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