Jakarta.

We were in Jakarta last week because the Mr. had meetings… it was my first visit to a Muslim country. It was so different to hear people praying at regular intervals over load speakers, even from the hotel room.
I got such a kick out of these rainbow towers. And this McDonald’s ad.
The country is growing rapidly and the traffic was horrible. Checking into the hotel was a little scary because they had your car stop at a gate, they then opened up your car and ran bomb detectors over everything, and then before going through your lobby they had dogs sniffing you and your things, plus you had to run everything through airport-like security–the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton were both bombed by Muslim extremists in 2009, so it makes sense, but doesn’t really make you feel any safer. In this way (and in the way it smelled like sulfur) it was a lot like India.
I’m not used to seeing metal detectors in beautiful lobbies! I really loved all of the race-based dishes and I am fascinated by how every culture has their own distinct breakfast tradition. I actually loved starting my day with their glutinous black sticky rice with coconut milk and bananas–although in my mind it had more in common with dessert!
Although I didn’t really see much of the country in our short visit, I did find all of the people we met to be incredibly warm, eager, and welcoming. And I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more about this up and coming country in the years to come–they really seem to be working hard to get ahead.

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One response to “Jakarta.

  1. Thanks for all of the interesting posts you do on Asian culture and politics, N! Like most Americans I have no clue what’s going on in Asia, and it’s always fun to learn from your experiences!

    (I’m a friend of Deirdre’s… we met at R&P’s wedding.)

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