Diving Right In

Coming back to the developing world has made me very proud to be a Peace Corps volunteer.  It is a affirmation of how much I have learned and grown from that experience.  Navigating local transport, exploring a chaotic city with minimal language skills and not being phased the city’s intensity has meant the ability to dive right into Jakarta.  Friends and co-workers who have been so kind to introduce me to the city definitely pace the introduction and I appreciate it because who knows when I’ll need to be eased into a part of Jakarta life.  However, I can also tell that they are unsure how comfortable I am in this situation and slowly introduce me to local life.  For example, getting to my office and back to the guest house offers three methods of transportation.  There is the taxi ride, most comfortable and takes you right to your destination.  There is the equivalent of a metro, a third lane on the road that buses run from station to station.  Then the is Kopaja, the local bus where you get picked up anywhere and get dropped off anywhere but with takes confidence to know where your destination is and tell the driver you need to get off.  It is very similar to a geli geli, the bush taxi’s in Africa.  My co-worker has suggested that I take the met.  However, being a Returned Peace Corp Volunteer (RPCV), I think I will take the local bus tomorrow, only 2000 IDR, about 20 cents.  Sometime, I will take a picture of the different modes of transportation and you will see the difference.

My second day has been a great experience as I delve right into the life that which is Jakarta.  I’ve experienced transport, eaten street food and hung out at a local ex-pat bar.

Waiting for a friend who was running late for dinner, I decide that it was well past due to try some street food.  Right outside the guest house is a sate stand.  Image

It was delicious.  The chicken sate, was made fresh, and came in a peanut sauce with “lontong,” Indonesian rice cake.  Image

Soon, my friend arrived and introduced me to a bar, “Facebar.”  A very nice venue, with couches to sit, a jazz band playing and people from all around the world.

Overall, a productive day.  Getting a feel for how to navigate the city and where places are relative to the guest house.  Jakarta life is really starting to take-off.  This post is going to have to be short because it’s late and I will be back in the office bright and early tomorrow.  Image

Selemat Tinggal (bye)!


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