Indonesia - Java Times and Best Street Food in the World
So i arrive in Jakarta, get my visa all sorted and get the local bus to my train station Gambur. I then get a moto taxi to my hostel, I tell him the street I'm staying on Jalan Cikini Raya and the blokes all like 'oh yes Texas Chicken' which is the fake KFC that is next door to my hostel. It makes me laugh that he finds things based on crap fast food. I check in to my hostel, I end up with a single room as no dorms left woo hoo. Absolutely buzzing as it's been ages since I had my own room. It's a teeny little room but clean and I have real blankets woo hoo. and of course I am lucky I have aircon which is nice as Jakarta is hot hot hot. It's really hot, sweaty heat here. I head for some food as of course I am starving, it takes me approximately 8 minutes to gain the courage to cross the road. It's as mental as Ho Chi Minh City. Its just insane here. Jakarta is hugely over populated and its the 3rd biggest city in the world or something like that so no wonder it's so busy to be fair. It is pretty late at night too. I end up at a street food place where they have a sheet thing advertsing nasi goreng to block you off from the road its sweet little place and people with guitars come past constantly and play a song or two for the diners which is nice. Of course despite the advert there is no nasi or mie goreng available. So I have chicken and rice which is called Ayam Goreng here, it comes with a delicious home made (obviously) chilli sauce which burns your mouth off but is just beautiful. The guy who is working there is a really lovely guy and asks if i want to try more local treats that he sells. so of course I say hell yes. He brings me some fried tofu, which is interesting...aka awful but I eat it anyways with more chilli sauce to wash it down. Then this other thing arrives it looks like a hash brown made of rice maybe. I literally don't have a clue what it is but it is just wow its so fragrant. Kind of Indian tasting maybe. Anyways it was lush but of course I have never seen anything like it since so it's to be one of those once in a lifetime only treats I imagine. So after I pay for dinner the guy walks me back across the road as he saw my fail when I came over haha bless him. He essentially teaches me to just walk and not look and all will be fine.
So I head to the 7/11 I bloody love those places, they are your one stop shop for basically everything in the world you will ever need. I get a Bintang beer for the walk back to my hostel (all 100 metres of it) a hostel is cool its ran by an Irish guy, his Sumatran wife, her twin and her Hubby from Harrogate who I rename DJ Harrogate as he just sits up stairs on their rooftop bar type thing pumping hardcore tunes out all night quite randomly. He never speaks just DJ's. It's actually hilarious to watch. They are all pretty cool and really lovely the Irish manager is of course a drunken monkey and that night there is a good crowd up there from the hostel drinking beers so we have a good old night. It's still absolutely boiling and then eventually its starts to piss it down its absolutely lush. The rooftop bar also has a weird bed area undercover so all the girls retreat there to keep dry but just getting there a metre away gets us drenched that's how mental the rain is here. Full on monsoon baby. There is also a Vietnamese girl at the hostel who is travelling and is heading to Australia next, it's so rare to meet people from SE Asia travelling.
The next day I plan my trip to Borneo, I was gonna go to Sumatra as I actually didn't realise Borneo was even closer and getting there was even easier. So woo hoo it made me pretty happy to sort as I have always wanted to go to Borneo and always thought it was out of my reach and too expensive to get to bus it turns out it's affordable to get to from Java! I love it when a plan works out. So I book my flights at this nice travel agents next door to my hostel and I then realise if I'm gonna trek through the jungle my Havanianas might not cut it due to evil leeches and thing like that so I look up cheap shopping places in my trusty photocopied lonely planet (god bless the fake book market in Asia) I finally manage to get a moto driver to this shopping place. For some reason a few people refuse to take me despite the fact I know how to say what it is in Indonesian and I have it written down for them but nevermind I get there in the end. It's kinda like the Grainger Market to the extreme it's awesome and on so many floors. There is also a Wendy's which I end up going to haha. It's amazing and the only other white person in the whole shopping place turns up there too which is funny, there is a food court in there that I did plan on going to but after about 30 mins of looking for it, it's not even busy and the food looks s*** so I don't bother and head for a burger instead. It is a complicated building to navigate with floors, half floors and never finding your way back to the start it feels like a game. I fear at one point I will never make it out alive. I of course find the cheapest pair of fake converse trainers ever. $2.50. What a steal.
So I head back home and no tuk tuks will take me, like a million of them stop and then refuse to take me a million more don't even stop for me, they are the worst tuk tuk guys ever. Eventually a tuk tuk driver lets me inside and I head home for a bargain price. He does get lost and we get stuck in a major traffic jam. Meanwhile there is a million people on the side of the road trying to sell the most random things ever. Such as the world Atlas, blow up matresses, popadums, wooden statue things and other really random objects. Also a man in another tuk tuk next to me is asking for my phone number and tells me he wants to take me out tonight. He is from Nigeria and I like 'please get away from this mad man' to the tuk tuk driver who thinks it's great and is now encouraging the love and passing me this guys phone so I can give him my number. Erm no not gonna happen, I tell him I don't own a phone haha. So we finally escape then after the whole being lost in Jakarta for a while we end up back at the 7/11 where I live so I get a beer to walk back myself as I can't take any more. I then spend the day catching up on emails and facebook messages and sort my stuff out for my trip of a lifetime. I go for dinner at a different street food venue where I get Nasi Goreng Ayam which is chicken fried rice essentially, it is out of this world. Literally the best Nasi Goreng I ever have my whole time in Indonesia. So impressed with it and the guys in there are also lovely and there is also the Sunderland Match on inside which is funny as you often see Newcastle matches on in places round the world but not Sunderland.
So far in Indo I have encountered a lot of really rude behaviour from the locals, they just stare and laugh at me, do not want to help me, they have shouted things at me repeatedly not in a nice way. I have never been made to feel so uncomfortable in any country in my life it is just horrible. The tuk tuk guys will not accept my custom as they don't like how I am a woman who is clearly not Indonesian travelling around solo. They cannot deal with my independence as the women are basically treated like slaves over here. The men dominate everything here it is a completely different world to most Asian countries. The men are all in charge of street food stalls whereas usually it's a good mix of men and women. But basically that's how its explained to me they just don't know how to react to people like me and I think it unnerves them almost. But still absolutely no need to be so rude and treat people like that. It really makes me not want to spend time in Java anymore.
The next day I ask one of the twins who runs my hostel to call a hotel for me in Borneo as I need to book a room there and I have no phone. She refuses and tells me to buy a sim card. So I go on a Sim card hunt which is an absolute disaster and again reinforces just how horribly rude the Javan people are towards me. The 7/11 don't have any and apparently have no idea in the world where I can get one. I ask a million people in random shops and everyone is super rude. I end up going to a market type area and I finally find a guy there who sells them which is a happy day for me as I need to check out and head to the airport asap. So he sets me all up on my phone I get data and everything so I am happy. The woman at the hostel will still not call the hotel for me. What a b****. She then tells me I am going to be late for my flight so I will need to get a taxi as Jakarta traffic is insane so I get a taxi only to get there in 30 mins about an hour early for like 5 times the price of the bus so I am more pissed off as I clearly did not need a taxi. The driver also drops me off absolutely nowhere near my gate so again no Javans will help me find my way to the correct check in area so I'm just bombing round with all my s*** in the horrible hot sweaty heat with no help from anywhere! I finally find it after some nice ladies help me and my flight is considerably delayed. Great. So now I'm in the departure lounge with no cash for drinks and no food and there is no food available inside and I'm starving. I have one teeny pack of tiger engery biscuits from Cambodia in my bag still thank god. The only nice part of today so far was when the guy who checks me in tells me I am beautiful haha small victories have to be taken sometimes!!
So I of course do make it to Borneo I get a small meal on the plane which I am buzzing about as I am so hungry I meet a nice lady from Indo who tells me I will love seeing the Orangutans. Finally sounds like I'm going to have a nice time!! xxxxxxxxx