This part of my trip was great – totally great. My old friend Rilwan allowed us to stay at his apt which was more than what we thought. Super modern. Super cool. I wish I could own one like that in my town. There were all I want: a modern kitchen, a cozy bedroom, little fun living room. We appreciated his offer so much.
I did not stay in Jakarta long enough to have any comment if I love it or not. Just knowing that it was like Saigon but full of cars, instead of motorbike. I felt overwhelmed and disoriented. I did not know where to go or locate myself.
I arrived in Jakarta (JKT) at mid-night and Rilwan was so nice that he waited us at the apt and showed us around. After sleeping for a couple of hours, I woke up and made a home-made breakfast with bread and scrambled eggs. Then, I went to MONAS to meet up with Matt, one of my best friends’ brother, living and working in JKT. He is very friendly and a real expat in JKT. He is knowledgeable and he can give any info if I ask. He invited us to an Indonesia wedding party/reception later that day. However, we could not wear jean or tee there, lol :D. I decided to shop a bit and I found a pretty cute dress. No shoes though. Yet, I felt confident on the dress and wearing my sneakers. I looked cute – like a teenager, darn!
After meeting up with Matt, we walked a bit to see Rilwan and his son for lunch. His son is so fun and energetic and he is a good kid. I love him 🙂 He can speak Indonesian and English. Sometimes, he mixed them and I hardly understood what he meant. He loved cartoon, ice-cream, pizza,ect. just like other kids. I was glad to have him around. Rilwan took us to an Indonesian restaurant where we had a super yummy lunch with nasi, chicken sate, salad, Indonesian-style mango salad (which is as spicy as Thai-style one) and some other food. So delicious!! Dessert was ice-cream. No more than enough. I appreciated for what he did to us. He is so nice. After for 2 years, he still remembered how we met up and our stories. Definitely I will take him to a Vietnamese food place for his real Vietnamese food experience 🙂
The wedding is one of the most significant events in my trip. I joined a super simple wedding reception in Yangon, Burma. Here, 100% different. It took place in Ritz-Carlton Mega Kuningan (The Ritz-Carlton is a brand of luxury hotel and resort with 71 properties located in major cities and resorts in 23 countries worldwide. On Friday 17 July 2009 at 07:47 a.m Jakarta time, a bomb exploded in the The Ritz-Carlton Mega Kuningan, Jakarta, Indonesia which destroyed the first floor of the hotel. The explosion occurred 2 minutes after the explosion at the nearby J.W. Marriott. The hotel was going to accommodate the Manchester United football club on a visit to Indonesia for their Asia Tour, but the visit canceled due to the bombing. Nine people including two suicide bombers were killed). Oh well, it happened almost 1 year ago and I did not know about this fact but after I left the hotel. That made all sense for many security gates as if I had been in the airport.
Guests: People told me there were around 2000 (two thousand) or a bit more guests being invited to the wedding reception. The wedding ceremony was celebrated 1-2 days ago at home (I missed those parts of course). While waiting for Matt and his friends, I watched video clips of their wedding ceremony which was so complicated and traditional. Guests came to the reception in many beautiful dresses and suits, Western-style and Indonesian style. Women looked so pretty and smelled good. Men looked very formal and funny sometimes. Children were so cute on their own dresses.
Food: too many food, served as buffet. They started around 7PM until mid-night. Simple rule for the reception: no guests leave the party with empty stomach, I guess. Whenever food was gone, they refill them. Duck, beef, lamps, seafood, salad, nasi, noodle, soup, apperitif, and dessert. I noticed that they just serve cold water, no alcohol – a very interesting point. I love the dessert room where there were chocolate fountain, chocolate cakes, tiramisu, chocolate ice-cream, fruits, ect. There was tea 🙂 Everyone at the party was full, from guests, to security guards, to waiters and waitress, from cameramen to chefs.
Greetings: the bride and the broom and their parents sat in the main stage and guests took turn to come saying congrats and wish them all the best. They kissed on cheeks. Everyone took pix with the couple and their parents and of course all were filmed.
Music: live music of course – English and Indonesia music. The most popular Indonesian boyband (I forgot their name) was invited as well.
I was overwhelmed. I met new friends. I met a Vietnamese. I had fun. I saw so many new things and new info about Indonesia. I will come back later to explore it slowly 🙂
MONAS (The National Monument (Indonesian: Monumen Nasional (Monas)) is a 422 ft (128.7 m) tower in Central Jakarta, symbolizing the fight for Indonesia‘s independence. Construction began in 1961 under the direction of President Sukarno and the monument was opened to the public in 1975. It is topped by a flame covered with gold foil)