Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Paragon...No Such Thing!!

Jakarta sykline...day time

Incidentally, I was not the only cucu Hj Tadin of Kampung Juasseh, Kuala Pilah who was on Indonesian soil that day. Ahh…so much for wanting to win the title of the most traveled person in the month of August. Looks like I have to share the trophy with none other than my own kind, my sister. My sister, Yatt, flew in sometime midday. A legal rep for a major oil company, she would be bunking in at Grand Hyatt, which was just a couple of blocks away from our hotel.

We had exchanged text messages even before she left for KLIA. The arrangement was to try and have dinner together that night, if I was still in one piece after my shopping. After the short rest in our air-cond room, we were ready to hit the streets again. Punyer la overflowing the adrenaline rush tu. Padahal yours truly ni dari semalam had only less than 2 hours of sleep.

So, what’s next? Nak shop kat mana lagi or could we go for a spa treatment instead. According to my brief itinerary (yang mana tidak boleh dipakai lagi sejurus setelah kami landed on Indon soil. Sebabnya – terlalu banyak tempat untuk bershopping. So skip aja lah all those city tours seperti yang tertera dalam itinerary dulu tu…bunyi macam surat tunjuk sebab gomen je ayat ni), we were to indulge in a good spa retreat. Ok lah…jom kita cari spa.

The yellow pages became our resource. Boy, it was back to basic. I can’t really recall when was the last time I actually used the Yellow pages to find info. Di zaman cyber ni, GOOGLE is just a press away. Anyway, our information retrieval skill was still intact and we managed to locate the address and phone number of Martha Tilaar Spa in Central Jakarta. So let’s go girls, kita gate crash je lah.

We then went down to the lobby area and decided to enquire more about the Martha Tilaar spa at the hotel reception. Another pleasant surprise at the hotel reception. Waduh…kok yang ditugaskan di recepsi hotel tu, ganteng-genteng orang nya!!! Handsome la pulak budak yang bagi info tu. Anyway, male distractions aside, the guy told us that the Martha Tilaar spa was just two doors away from the hotel. What do you know!!! Terima kasih ya, Mas,…ucapan diberikan dengan senyuman yang meleret.

Wokey..girls let’s walk there. Let’s surrender bodies yang capek ni to the good hands of the Martha Tilaar therapists. So we happily walked to the place. The 3 minutes stroll brought us to the spa. Excited and so trilled by our accomplishment we dengan selamba nya walked towards the building.

Half way into the building area, some cab drivers tegur us, “Ibuk-ibuk mau kemana?”

“Ke spa.” I responded with all the sureness and confidence. Dalam hati berkata-kata, “Apa pulak masalah nya lagi ni. Tempat dah jumpa. Kot la tak boleh masuk pulak.”

One of the cabbies replied, ”Ibuk, maaf ya. Ini hari spa nya tutup. Hari libur….”

Again on the bajaj..off we were tp Sarinah

The immediate response from the three of us was, “Oh…iyer ke!!!” Terus dropped the Indon slang, terus bunyi orang Kay El. Just imagine so gung ho nak ke spa, spa nyer tutup pun we couldn’t tell the difference. Lepas tu ditegur oleh bapak-bapak cabbies pulak tu. Aduh…malu nya !!!

The locals even sold tvs along the roadside

Ok, ok, get composed quick and figure out what to do next, that was our immediate response to the slight set back. Since we were unable to go to the spa and there was lots of time to kill, apa lagi nak buat, we continue shopping je lah. It was a yay from everyone. Our mental GPS automatically identified Sarinah Department Store as the nearest shopping place to our present location at that time. In no time, we hailed down a bajaj and within minutes, we were at the door steps of Sarinah.

Sarinah Department Store (side view)

Sarinah is one place you must not miss out if you are a Batik fan. Even if you are not, you should just walk around and admire the beautifully crafted work. Head straight up to the top most floor and the whole place is filled with all sorts of Batik. You name it, Sarinah has got it. The store carried such attractive collection of bed sheets, table cloth, napkins, clothes, men’s shirts, sarongs and not forgetting the cut Batik fabric of cotton, silk and chiffon. One of the sales girls showed us this hand painted silk Batik. It was simply stunning and would definitely be a head turner.

When we asked the girl the price of the piece, she replied, “Ohh…yang ini cuma 10 juta aja.” Did we hear her say it right? 10 juta rupiah…errmm dalam berapa RM tu? About RM3,600…. Ok lah, it was a real beauty alright, a real piece of work but we’ll pass (for now…later kot lah TERmenjadi Datin ker…who knows?? Manalah tau ABE TERmenjadi MP for Seri Menanti ker and for the swearing in, I wanted to tumpang glamour….kah..kah. Ohh…sudah-sudah la berangan!! Tak do tu do…as my late Grandma would say it in her pekat German aka loghat Noghori)

Nonetheless, we did do justice to our Sarinah trip. I think both Jupe and Muni got a few silk pieces for themselves and other family members. I was looking for a nice cotton Batik fabric but dalam pada semua nyer cantik-cantik belaka tu, I tidak lah terjumpa satu pun yang berkenan di hati. Aduhai, it was such a sad thing. (Confession to make here, sebenarnya I had gotten a few pieces of Batik materials during my last trip to Terengganu. That was the reason for not really going gu-gu ga-ga over ‘em Batik Indons…hehe…hehe.)

The whole time at Sarinah, I was exchanging text messages with my sister who had finished her meeting and checking with her if we would be able to do dinner together. Ok line clear and she could join us for dinner. Since Sarinah and Grand Hyatt were pretty close, we decided to walk. The sales girl at Sarinah told us if we jalan santai it’d take us 15 minutes to get to Grand Hyatt. OK lah…nite time and it was kinda nice to be strolling down the main streets of Jakarta.

Advert on the bus...mau POWER??

So, berstrolling lah these 3 ladies to Grand Hyatt. Fuhhh…berpeluh jugak lah. By then we would have burnt out all the calories from our nasi padang lunch.

Night view of main street Jakarta

Security was tight at Grand Hyatt. I guess ever since the last bombing in Jakarta, security measures at most foreign hotels have been beefed up. We had to go through metal scan machines at the entrance. Next, I went to the reception to collect my key to go up to my sister’s room. Fulamak…this was far off from our Paragon Hotel league.

After all the security checks and the quick stops of “oosss” and “ahhhhs” discoveries at Grand Hyatt, we finally got to her room. Ok lah…Grand Hyatt being Grand Hyatt, what else could we say….memang ler so comfy, plush, luxurious and affluent plus the view of lighted Jakarta skyline.

We waited a while for Ms Legal Lady to get ready. Earlier, I had asked her to get this friend of hers, Lisa, to help make appointment at Roger’s Spa for the three of us the next day.

Lisa, from the little my sister has shared with me, is an Indonesian girl who studied in university together with her. All that I could remember of Lisa was just Manolos and LVs. So when Lisa enquired about the hotel we were staying and when we told her it was Paragon Hotel, Lisa’s instant response was “Paragon Hotel??? Where got?? No such thing!!”

Nak tergelak pun ader, rasa sedih pun ader. Iyer lah our hotel 3 star je. Even the locals don’t know it. But what the heck, the hotel fitted our requirements and needs just fine and it wasn’t like we were going to be spending much time in the hotel. Most of the time we’d be home when we were bushed tired and all we’d be needing was the bed. And we have just that at Paragon Hotel. So persetan lah apa yg dibilangin orang lain…(Bahasa Indon pun dah kluar dah)

Jupe and Muni infront of Anya Hindmarch store

Anyway, my sister got Lisa to make appointments for us at Rogers the next day. Yeah, a treat at the spa, just what we needed after paving steps on the streets and malls of Jakarta. Ohh…lapar lah pulak dah, so let’s go have dinner, girls.

Next, Nasi Padang Dinner and someone got her Starbucks….


Kak Teh said...

Kay, I am ashamed to admit that I visited Indonesia only once. Itupun a working trip and I didnt have any chance to do any shopping. And everytime I balik malaysia, berat hati nak tinggal mak nak berjalan sana sini, although I must admit i did a three day trip to seam Reap during the last trip. Nasib baik mak was okay.
But oh, so many places, so little time to visit. Anak pergi India, mak pun nak pergi.
For the time being, thanks for taking me there.

kay_leeda said...

Kak Teh,

My first time in Jakarta was many years back. That time the city was packed with squatters, some of them were living in those boxy makeshift houses.

Jakarta is a lot cleaner now and standard of living has improved. I'm thinking of going again sometime late November to accompany Bibik for her holiday balik kampung. Itu pun subject to ABE's approval.

Hai..jalan-jalan ni memang la best. India best la sangat. Some people tak suka, but I was so very much in love with the place when I was there.

Seam Reap walaupun penuh with all the Buddha statues pun best jugak. Even after the knee wobbling climb up Angkot Wat still tak serik-serik nak berjalan.

Hai...what can I say. I guess these feet are made for walkin'.