I arrived in Jakarta late on the 15th. I was was smooth sailing and took roughly two hours to clear immigration, customs and get a ride from the airport to central Jakarta were we are staying for several days. Wednesday morning I awoke to the sound of rain after a series of hour cat naps. Indonesia is tropical so the humidity level is high and AC a luxury in the backpacker hostels. I ended up with just a fan to blow the moist air around but it seemed to work well enough because I was able to get some sleep.
I walked down to have breakfast at the blueberry pancake of which I ate the name sake. It wasn't bad and I was surprised to find pancakes and probably won't have since most places usually don't serve them overseas and we will be heading to more rural areas for the remainder of the trip.
Later in the afternoon I took a moderate length stroll around the area to check out some local culture and sites. What amazed me is the number of small 100cc motorcycles. They are like hives of angry bees buzzing around everywhere. You can also pay for someone to take you to a destination or give you a tour around, but with the traffic it is more adventure and risk than I currently want to undertake.
At night the street is very lively with the locals and travelers alike. Bars/restaurants are energetic with soccer fans watching the World Cup. We have been watching a game or two every night. On Friday night the USA plays which should be exciting. Our entire group will be here and so far we are the only Americans I have encountered. There are quite a number of other travelers with the bulk seeming to be from Australia which would be expected since we are close.
By Thursday night all but two in our group have arrived with the other two due in on Friday. We shouldn't be here much longer after that because we are already pressed for time and will be heading to Borneo where we plan to spend about a month.
The Indonesians have been very friendly and on numerous occasion will come up and start talking to you. They also like to touch your arm when speaking which is customary. As I wondered around town I felt safe and never concerned for my safety.
After Chad and John arrived, we wandered around town and made our way to Plaza Indonesia. PL was a huge mall one of the biggest I have seen. It was 8 stories tall and plush as any mall I have ever seen. Parts reminded me of being in Vegas from the elaborate nature. We found a theatre and took in a movie The A-Team. The prices here are super cheap. For a movie ticket in a very nice theatre think Regal, a medium popcorn and coke along with a cab ride home cost $6.50. In GJ, Donna buys discounted movie tickets from St.Marys for $6.50. Just the movie alone was $3. Closer to where we are staying I purchased a nice shirt for roughly $5. Clothing along with other items are dirt cheep. At the bars, we have been paying about $3 for a 640ml which is about 24oz.