Daily journal in Jakarta — Day 3

Today I played tourist!


The morning started out with cleaning and after a filling breakfast, i prepared to wait for Chandra and her family to pick me up. While waiting, Ayu went to buy kentongprak (which is like gado-gado) and my goodness, how yummy it was.


When Chandra and her family come, i brought them around the house, showed them where the classrooms are and told them briefly about what I did as a volunteer. They also met Ayu and Adit. Chandra’s husband, Chahyu, was impressed and said the house is so clean!


by the time we left it was already almost 1pm. they took me first to cempaka mas, where all the clothes are sold for cheap. it’s likeJakarta’s version of KL’s berjaya times square – only better!


I went on an unthinking spree and before i knew it, i left the building with 11 pieces of clothing. The only saving grace is that half of them were for friends back home inSingapore. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that shopping is my Achilles heel.



After that, they took me to kelapa gading mall. a great spacious mall where i had my first cuppa (ice caramel coffee) in 5 days! There was starbucks, but we chose to drink at a local cafe right next to it instead. For almost the same price, we got almost double the amount of coffee we would have had at starbucks.


Then we went to gramedia, which is equivalent to spore’s Popular bookstore (only Gramedia’s way better) and i bought some sharpeners for the center. There were some great sharpeners donated to us a few days ago but they were all gone.


I bought a sheila on 7 and anggun CD as a personal souvenir for myself.


Then we went to the monument, which is a mandatory pit stop for all tourists inJakarta. When we arrived, the weather was perfect. it was evening time, super windy with cool temperatures. Children were running about with kites, couples were picnicking and families were gathered. It was so spacious!


Finally it was time for dinner – seafood! Without a doubt, the best spread I ever had, and food enough for 3 adults for S$35. Unbelievable!


We took away some of the salted egg prawns for the rest at the centre and also bought them martabak manis (they call it apam balik inSingapore-Jakarta’s being nicer OF COURSE).


We were back a bit later than expected, and I was getting anxious because I didn’t want Ade, Joko and Ayu to worry. Luckily, they were not angry and we managed to sit down for about 15 minutes in front of the Telly, eating the food i brought them and telling them about my day.


tomorrow, it’s holiday for some schools and workplaces but for IHF, we resume lessons. I’m looking forward to teaching again. i learnt so many new colloquial bahasa Indonesia phrases. I also spoke so much malay and bahasa with Chandra and her family – our discussions spanning normal everyday matters right up to politics and world issues. I feel my malay is untouchable now!


It’s been yet another fulfilling though more tiring day – but oh so very worth it. I feel blessed.


-Written by Yasmin


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