monday 25 november - saturday 30 november
we said our goodbyes to bali and spent the morning at the airport. after a breakfast of noodles, rice, and candy (no judgment--we're ON VACATION), an hour-plus delay, and a two-hour flight, we made it to jakarta.
not to be rivaled by other southeast asian cities, jakarta traffic was pretty notable (this would be a theme for our car time in the city ;P), and we spent almost two hours to get to marcela's family's house in pondok indah, south jakarta.
for our first full day in jakarta, marcela booked a city tour for me, debby, and dan. the tour started at 9am, and the first stop was the national museum, or commonly referred to as the elephant building. we walked through exhibits featuring collections from different regions of indonesia. fun fact: indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world and consists of hundreds of different languages, not to mention over 17,000 islands! after the museum we made our way to old chinatown (glodok), and the rain really started to come down. thankfully the tour had giant umbrellas for us, otherwise we would have been soaked. we trudged through quick-forming puddles and flooded streets to check out a buddhist temple and multiple produce and meat stands. too bad they didn't have extra galoshes too :P we took a little break from the rain in old town batavia, where we had lunch and toured a traditional wooden puppet museum. the intricacy and artistry of the puppets was really impressive. by the time we wrapped up the museum tour, the sun came out and we made our last stop at the old port in sunda kelapa harbor. jakarta was, and still is, an important trading port for indonesia, so it was cool to see all the shipping boats and dock workers in action. all in all, a very full day that offered a glimpse into indonesian history and culture.
the rest of our week was spent living the city life. shopping malls are no joke in jakarta and are a common hangout spot that have EVERYTHING you need. we indulged in a hair cream spa, cheap but good massages, mani-pedis (not great but it's because we picked a random place), lots of tasty food and snacks, and a premiere movie experience (la-z-boy seating!). the highlights from all our mall time would have to be the la-z-boy movie (cushy leather recliners, fleece blankets, caramel corn, and the hunger games' catching fire--YES!), massages (an hour and a half of total relaxation), and customizable magnum ice cream bars (wholly unnecessary but completely delicious). aside from the malls, we had a great time just chilling with new friends and family. such a nice way to end a super fun and enjoyable two-week vacation.