Before leaving the city, I arranged lunch with an old friend who has been on the move around the world. Trying to catch him is like playing Bingo. I see him about once a year in some random city, otherwise it’d be in Singapore when he comes in on work trips. His current office in Jakarta is pretty near my hotel, so he has offered to walk over. But for variety, I rather head to another hotel that is near his office. It’s all at the infamous roundabout.
After lunch, he was going to put me in a cab back to the hotel. I was like, “No need! I walked here and I can walk back. I cut across that roundabout” It was just a 10-minute walk. Nothing impossible or out of the way. He was kinda shocked that I walked. “With all that traffic?” Hey hey, I was trained on the streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City!
“Don’t try this at night. It’s not safe.” He admonished. Aye. I wouldn’t walk the streets at night alone anyway. I’d just get the hotel driver to take me places. But once in a bit, I want to get out there to see the city. Cocooned away in my hotel and the malls, all that I’m seeing feels surreal. This isn’t exactly Dubai where I wouldn’t be surprised by anything the city does or proclaims to be. I've too little time here to see the other facets of Jakarta. I haven't gone to the east, west or south. This is a city that is a conundrum.