Here I am sitting in a warung at Borobudur with Ibu Valentina while we wait for the rest of the staff from SMKN 29 Jakarta who are still quite a distance from here. They are coming by bus while we arrived last night by plane so that we could meet Pak Nyoman and Pak Bun (APBIPA) before they returned to Bali this morning. We are both so relieved we had such a good excuse to get here early. They are still on the bus (it is 9am) after getting away several hours later than scheduled while they waited for the principal who was late returning after this latest work trip. Whereas we had a restful nights sleep in a hotel where we could shower, Bu Valentina could do her evening prayers, I feel so sorry for the others who have yet to eat breakfast or shower and probably did not sleep that well on the bus. Bu Valentina is now searching for a good excuse for us both to fly back as well.
One of the many bonuses about flying yesterday included a long taxi ride to the airport via the city centre of Jakarta. We left school about 10:30am for a 2pm flight mainly because with Jakarta traffic you never know whether it will take one hour or 5. So, as we are passing through the centre of the city and the traffic isn’t too bad, Bu Valentina asked the driver to take me past the various famous parts of Jakarta. My first destination was Monas which is an abbreviation for ‘Monumen Nasional’ the national monument.
Monas was built by Sukarno in 1947, just after they became independent. The top flame shape is solid gold to represent the richness of the Indonesian nation. Apparently the gold was almost sold during the recession and replaced with an imitation flame but the outcry was so huge it didn’t happen.
We also passed a huge catholic cathedral:
According to Wikipedia the
Jakarta Cathedral (Gereja Katedral Jakarta) is a Roman Catholic Cathedral, and is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jakarta, currently Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo. Its official name is ‘Gereja Santa Maria Pelindung Diangkat Ke Surga’ from the Dutch, De Kerk van Onze Lieve Vrouwe ten Hemelopneming, (The Church of Our Lady of Assumption). The Jakarta Cathedral was consecrated in 1901 and built in the neo-gothic style. The Jakarta Cathedral is right in the front of Istiqlal Mosque.
Istiqlal Mosque; the largest mosque in IndonesiaSouth East Asia.
a famous statue welcoming visitors
Istana Merdeka (The Palace of Independence)
the view of Jakarta through the taxi window
The most inner lane is a dedicated bus lane and this is the only place in Indonesia that I have seen such a lane that no other traffic uses. This lane is only for the transjakarta bus line and it has special bus stops which are quite high off the ground. Most cities seem to have these new bus services now, Bali too.
Here are some general street photos to finish up with!