Looking For Love in Jakarta Part 1
This year I had a 3-month holiday in Jakarta. I did the same last year but the events I describe here are about this year. Rati, a 27 year old Indonesian girl I had met online and been chatting with for the last 4 months or so had agreed to pick me up
from Sukarno-Hatta airport, so I wouldn’t have to take a taxi into town. I know Jakarta very well because I have been there many times but it is still nice to be picked up. Rati claims to be a real estate agent and has a car so that makes
After clearing Customs and picking up my bag (I always travel very light with only one very small suitcase and another bag for hand luggage) I went to the arrivals area to look if I could find Rati. She was not with the crowd who was waiting for the arriving passengers so I started walking around a bit to look for her and after a while I spotted her at the KFC where she was sitting with a drink. I had never met her before and never seen her on cam. I had only seen her Facebook photos but I recognized her immediately.
We introduced and shook hands. Rati is not extremely pretty but pleasing enough on the eye. She does not have the typical Indonesian face. Her skin is quite white (which she likes a lot), she has Chinese eyes and not the typical Indonesian eyes that are a lot larger. She also has a quite long narrow nose with a very nice shape (plastic surgery? I never asked her). Anyway she told me she is half Chinese and it really shows. Her body is slim and curvy but she is not very tall. One of the biggest differences in Jakarta I have seen over the last 16 years is that the younger generations of Jakartans are getting taller and taller. 16 years ago when I first came to Jakarta I was a tall bule (179 cm) I could almost always look over any crowd of locals no matter where I went. Nowadays I almost feel small when I walk in Jakarta, especially in malls where the young people go. It is now very normal to see Jakarta girls who are taller or at least as tall as me (of course high heels do help sometimes too but still). And many young local guys are a lot taller then me now. It is now very normal for a young local guy to be 185 cm or taller.
Anyway Rati how appealing she might be for local guys has one thing that makes her not so attractive for Indonesian guys and that is her height. She is only 153 cm.
After introductions we proceeded to the parking lot where she had parked her car. Instead of parking it at the parking areas at terminal 1A or 1B she surprisingly had parked her car conveniently just across at one of the taxi stands. So it didn’t take us much time to reach the car. I thought it was not allowed to park a car there but she had probably conveniently bribed one of the taxi attendants. Just before we took of with the car one of the “tukang parkir” approached the car and she opened the window to put some 1000 rupia notes into his hands.
Rati as a real estate agent had agreed to look with me for a nice apartment in Jakarta. The year before I had been staying in a very remote place somewhere deep into South Jakarta (Fatmawati) and even though the apartment had been very good and extremely cheap, it had cost me a lot of money on taxis to go anywhere so this time I wanted to find something more central but also cheap.
But not today because it was already after 4 PM, too late to go into town and look for a good place, so she took me to a hotel in Menteng which we reached about 5.30 pm.
After I checked into the hotel we went to the room where I first had a shower and a change of clothes. After that we went outside to a restaurant to have some food. We had a good and fun conversation in the restaurant and got to know each other a bit better. Rati also convinced me it was better to look for a Kos (boarding house) instead of an apartment because there is much more choice as there are very many more Kos places available then apartments and they are almost as good as apartments nowadays and much better priced.
Back to my hotel room Rati told me she was not going to stay the night. This was a minor disappointment for me because we had been chatting quite a while and she had let me know more than once that she was “up for it”. But she said she was tired after a long day etc. She was going to pick me up the next morning around 10 in the morning.
The next morning I had a shower and breakfast and then I went downstairs to the lobby to check out and wait for Rati. She was almost right on time so I put my 2 bags in the trunk and we were off.
Menteng is quite central and we headed for the Kuningan area which is not far away. Kuningan has very many good access roads and it is quite strategically located.
In Kuningan we checked quite a few Kos complexes. They are mostly priced between 3 million and 5 million Rupia. A kos is mostly a 2 to 4 story building with rooms inside. Each room typically is around 4 x 4 or 5 x 4 meters big. An executive kos is furnished with AC, shower inside, a TV and free Internet. It has a fridge and of course a double bed. There is also a closet for clothes and a table with one or 2 chairs.
One of the advantages of a Kos compared to an apartment in Jakarta is that a Kos has some extra service you don’t have to pay for. These service typically are security at the front gate, free parking, a free laundry service and they clean your room on a daily basis. One other advantage is that electricity and water are included in the price. If you rent an apartment you still have to pay a surcharge for cleaning, security and electricity and water and laundry is not included.
Of course there is a catch. The lady that cleans your room is the same one that does your laundry. These girls make very little money because it is expected that the tenant of the room tips them every month for their services. The good thing about this is that the lady appointed to your room will do her best to deliver a good service (with this I mean the cleaning and laundry of course).
After checking about 7 Kos complexes I selected a new and very clean one for 3 million per month. I chose a room on the top floor furthest from the main road.
After filling in the necessary documentation with the office lady and paying the 3 million rupia fee (plus 1 million deposit) the room was mine.
Rati and I went up to the room to get organized. She helped me to put the few items I had taken from home in their proper places. A few minutes later the cleaning lady came to make the bed and to clean the room. During the day I had noticed that Rati had not warmed to me, she seemed to have gotten more and more distant from me. After the lady had gone I made a half-hearted attempt to get close to her but to no avail. So I let it be. It was now around 6 pm and Rati asked me if I wanted to get some groceries. She told me the big mall which had a Carrefour was conveniently close to the accommodation but I did not know the area yet so she told me she would drive me there with the car so I could find it alone next time. After we got to the mall she told me she would be going home now and I told her that was ok. I wanted to give her money for the petrol and help but she firmly refused so I got out and she left. I was pretty sure I had seen the last of her, too bad but there had just not been any chemistry between us, or better said she did not have any chemistry with me so what can you do?
I got into the mall and the first thing I did was looking for a mobile phone stand because I needed to get a SIM card for my phone. I found one on the third floor and selected a provider. I decided to go for Telkomsel this time and bought a SIM card and topped it up with an extra 20,000 rupia. After that I put the numbers inside of the girls I had been chatting with and was planning to meet, together with a few I had met last time and had arranged to meet again. After some hesitation I also put Rati’s number in the phone. After that I asked one of the security guys where the Carrefour was and went there to get my groceries.
After I had my groceries it was still a problem to find my way back. Even getting out of the mall by the right exit proved difficult. Luckily I had the address of my Kos with me so I could ask one of the security guys where I had to get out. After I had found the right exit I managed to make my way back to the kos in the dark.
When I was back in my room I was thinking about what to do next. It was Saturday night so there was a lot to do in Jakarta. I was thinking about sending an SMS to one of the girls I was planning to meet but I decided not to. I had given them all a different arrival date because I had planned to spend the weekend with Rati as we had agreed but this hadn’t panned out. So I decided I would go out alone tonight, but just to a pub, not to a disco.
I decided to go to the Sportsman bar on the other side of the big road (Rasuna Said street) behind the Pasar Festival mall. I knew the place from previous visits to Jakarta and it was walking distance from my accommodation. I went there but didn’t really enjoy it so around 11 pm I went back home to sleep.
I slept quite well and the next morning I was up early, around 7. I didn’t seem to have much problems with the jetlag. I made breakfast which consisted of high quality muesli with a handful of walnuts thrown in, a glass of milk, a banana and 4 medium boiled eggs (I ate only one yolk). There is a communal kitchen in the Kos where pots and pans are free to use so I could do my own cooking.
I had taken 3 big packs of muesli with me from home because the muesli in Jakarta is imported from Australia and very expensive. I had also taken a big bag of walnuts with me from home. We have a big walnut tree in the garden at home from which we harvest huge amounts of walnuts every year. Walnuts are a great source of Omega 3 fat, seemingly almost the same you find in fish so they are good for a balanced diet. (I think or maybe hope Caveman will nod his head in approval if he reads this bit). Anyway I had planned to do most of the cooking myself this time because it is quite a lot cheaper compared to eating at the mall. Because I do a lot of weightlifting and always keep doing it when I am in Asia I want to keep eating healthy and good. Last year I had mostly eaten my meals outside which had been quite bad for my budget (eating in malls is quite expensive in Jakarta and I am not fond of eating in the small warungs on the street because they cook the meat in very bad oil) I was planning only to eat on the street in the evenings when the nasi goreng stands are in the street, I really like the nasi goreng on the street which is prepared on the spot.
So this time I wanted to do my own cooking. I had bought a big chunk of fresh tuna in the Carrefour, which only costs 4000 rupia (50 us dollar cents) per 100 grams. I had also bought a pack of imported long grain rice and whole meal spaghetti (both imported from Australia). Together with some apples, bananas, milk, a flask of olive oil, about 20 eggs and the stuff I had taken from home I could make at least 4 healthy and very cheap meals per day.
After the breakfast I arranged my internet connection in the room. I was planning to keep on working while I was in Jakarta so I needed an internet connection. The internet in Jakarta is extremely slow but that was something I had to live with.
Then I went online on Yahoo with my mobile and sent a message to the next girl on my list that I was in town. This girl Astri is also a girl I had met online. She was the one I am most interested in and we had been chatting nearly every day for the last 6 months on Skype with cam so I knew how she looked. She is absolutely drop dead gorgeous, very slim but all the right curves. One thing about this chatting stuff. In Holland where I come from a girl would not accept being contacted by chat especially not when you contact them the first time for a meeting face to face, you would have to call them. But in Jakarta it seems not to be a problem, people only call when it is really necessary but otherwise they just communicate by chat or SMS.
I waited in anticipation (and a bit nervous) for her reply. But I did not need to wait long, just 1 minute after I had messaged her she replied me. She was very glad and surprised that I was in town because she had expected that I would arrive the next day (Monday) because I had told her so. I just told her that I had arrived 2 days earlier then expected because I had gotten a faster flight out of Abu Dhabi, and that I had arrived Saturday night around 11. She told me where I stayed and I told her. She was surprised that I had found a place in such a nice area at such short notice and asked me how I had found it. I told her that the taxi driver had helped me to find the location.
Anyway she wanted to meet me as soon as possible so we arranged to meet in the McDonalds in the Pasar Festival at 1 pm. She was staying pretty far from my place, funnily enough in the same area (Fatmawati) where I had stayed the year before.
This gave me 3 hours, so I first went to the Carrefour to get some more groceries (and some chocolate, beer and crisps for her and me). After that I had a good long shower and then I cooked and ate my first healthy meal of this trip. I fried 150 grams of tuna (cut in small pieces) in olive oil and cooked some long grain rice.
After that I watched some TV, had another shower and then it was time to go to the McDonalds. Astri had messaged me that she was on the way and that she would arrive in around 15 minutes. It was Sunday and there would not be much traffic jam so she would probably be on time. I walked up to the Pasar Festival and waited inside the McDonalds. After a few minutes I got her message that she had arrived and that she was looking for me so I went up the front and there she was looking even prettier than on the cam. She smiled from ear to ear and we introduced and sat down. I asked her if she wanted something to eat but she said she was not hungry, so where to go next? We decided to go to the food court in the Ambassador mall to have a drink.
We went by taxi even though it is a short ride and in the mall we got a drink and talked. Astri is 21 years old and speaks fluent English. She works as an English teacher for kids at a small private school. Her mother has married a guy from New Zealand and they are living in New Zealand. Astri had been living in New Zealand too with her parents for about 3 years but a year ago after finishing her study in New Zealand she had decided to go back to Indonesia because she did not like the life there or so she told me.
We hit it off very well and after we finished our drink we went to my Kos. We were a bit shy in the beginning but pretty soon we started kissing, and then the ice was broken. I didn’t go further than kissing though, and I asked her if she wanted to see a movie. She said yes and I put a DVD in my laptop. I had bought some DVDs in the mall that morning and I put a really scary one on about a haunted house with ghosts and stuff. She was a bit scared but I comforted her through the movie. After the movie was finished it was getting a bit late and I asked her what she wanted to do next. She told her she was not really comfy in my room (the movie probably had a lot to do with that). So I asked her she wanted to go to her place. She really liked that so I packed some stuff, put it in my small bag and we were off.
We got a taxi to her place. Astri was staying in a Kos too, similar to mine with similar facilities, but nicer. Her room was also bigger than mine but cheaper because of the location. She paid about 2 million per month. It was of course a real girl's place with lots of pink stuff and stuffed animals but cozy. We had a really nice and hot shower together and after the shower she cut my toe nails which had grown too long like usual. After that we had nasi goreng which she ordered from one of the guys working at her place so we did not have to leave the room and watched one of her movies. Her TV had a DVD player. After that it was time to go to sleep because she had to work the next day, but we didn’t sleep very soon. A lovely night we had..
The next morning we had breakfast at her place., She boiled some eggs for me and I had taken a few bananas and some muesli and walnuts so I still got a healthy breakfast. She didn’t understand much about the cereal but she actually enjoyed the walnuts so that was good.
Then it was time for her to shower and change clothes and go to work. Astri took the bus from the Fatmawati street to her working place and I took another bus the opposite way because my place was the opposite direction of her work place.
I spent the day working a bit in my room and eating some healthy meals. Around 4 pm I went to the gym I had selected (I knew this place Golds Gym in the Setia Budi building from a visit last year) tot see if I could get a membership there. I got a cheap trial for one month for 199.000 rupia and when this was settled I had a workout.
After the gym I went back home and had some food from the street which I ate in my room. After that I watched some TV.
The Sunday I had messaged Astri I had also messaged another girl that I had arrived in Jakarta. This girl had been calling and messaging me quite a few times that she wanted to meet me, where I was, when I was going to meet her etc. while I was with Astri. Luckily it had not caused a problem with Astri but that could easily have happened so it had been a mistake to message that girl in that stage. I will call this girl Imoet, which happens to be her name on Yahoo Messenger. She was also a girl I had met online and been chatting with quite a while. Imoet means cute in Indonesian and she really is cute as a doll but she seemed a bit desperate and really eager to meet me. Anyway I had planned not to meet Astri again until Friday evening because she had to work so I had a few days without a date, and I started messaging with Imoet. She responded right away that she was so happy that I was in Jakarta and that she couldn’t wait to see me and more of that stuff. We decided to meet the next evening after she finished work at 6 pm. Her work place is almost next to the Setiabudi building so we arranged to meet in Setiabudi.
The next day I spend in the same fashion, eating, and working a bit and I went to the gym in the Setiabudi building again around 4 PM. I walked 20 minutes on the treadmill and I got a really good sweat. Even though the gym is air-conditioned I was still sweating like a trooper. After that I had a workout. It was 5.45 pm when I finished but Imoet had already send me 4 or 5 messages, asking me if I was really coming and why I had not replied her etc. While I was training I had not heard her messages because of the loud music. Anyway I confirmed our appointment and told her I was already in the building at the gym. She told me she would be there in 10 minutes. I had a shower and after I had left the gym she called me to tell me she had arrived and was waiting for me in one of the restaurants outside. Setiabudi is not a real mall but a place full of restaurants, There are restaurants everywhere in the place so I had to look for a while before I found her place. I found her sitting outside in one of the restaurants with an iced coffee. She was still in office uniform with her hair tied in one big round knot. We introduced and I sat down. She looked extremely cute in her uniform but a bit stressed out too. I asked her about her day and she told me it had been busy with many assignments but that she was happy to see me. I asked her about the hair and she told me it was the office policy that women had to wear their hair in a knot. Anyway we had a nice conversation and after she (half) finished her drink we went to a restaurant for food. Imoet is short but very curvy with very big boobs and a very slim waist. Body wise she is exactly my type. While we were walking around to select a good restaurant I was looking at her and she turned me on immensely. She looked much better than I had expected. I had seen her pictures and her cam but in real she looked incredible. She also appeared very nice and well educated and very well mannered in any sense. She told me she works as a personal assistant of the manager of her company and I think she is doing rather well. She told me she was going to Singapore for her job the next week, which I told her was a shame because would be going 3 weeks later to extend my visa. It would have been nice if we would go to Singapore the same time.
After we left the restaurant we didn’t know where to go next. It was still quite early and I asked Imoet if she wanted to go home, she told me she wanted to spend more time with me and we decided to go to that same sportsman bar I had been to the on Saturday night. We had some drinks there and spoke a bit more, I really liked her especially physically but she appeared to be not really confident of herself. She told me she really wanted to date Bule (white) guys but she did not meet many while her female friends were dating lots. She thought she was not pretty enough for bule guys because she was short and had white skin. I told her she was gorgeous and very sexy and that any white guy would love to be with her. She did not really seem to believe it.
Then it was time to go and I escorted her to a taxi, she asked me to go with her in the taxi to the front of the road which I did. When it was time to get out for me I kissed her goodnight and I got out of the taxi and walked to my place. We made an appointment to meet again on Thursday evening. She wanted to meet me in the weekend but I had plans with Astri for the weekend. I did not tell this to Imoet of course I told her I was meeting my German friend Andre in the weekend to help him with his website. Back home I watched some TV and then went to sleep.
It sounds like you are having a very enjoyable time in Jakarta! It's an interesting city and a place I would like to visit again. On my one and only visit I felt that it was a city with much potential!