17 October 2015
Day 3 - Jakarta
Today we went to central Jakarta to the 137metre high national monument and around the area. I read that it's a good idea to get there nice and early if you want to go to the viewing platform at the top of the monument or else be faced with very long queues. This was great advice because after 10am the queue would be two hours long. I know this because I couldn't get myself out of bed in the morning and so we arrived after 10..... and queued. It was worth it though, the panoramic skyline views across the vast city are impressive. You don't quite grasp the scale of a city of 30 million people from the ground.
In over 30 degree heat hundreds of Indonesian tourists happily queue in a calm orderly fashion for hours, nobody is moaning, the children are well behaved playing nicely- there's no bratty screaming ones, everyone waits patiently with smiles on their faces. Maybe it's their culture, maybe it's Islam, maybe the sunshine or maybe it's this national fertility monument representing a 137 metre high erect penis.
Central Jakarta is full of big skyscrapers and nice air conditioned restaurants where the more afluent middle class people can be found. A big contrast to what we saw yesterday, the divide is huge.
For the next 9 days we will travel across Java with a group. We met everyone in the evening and went out for food and drinks. Bit of a mixed group, I don't dislike anyone, there's a few people I can tell I'll get on with well and hopefully some of the others too, we'll see.....