I am proud of my Indonesian heritage. I so rarely get a chance to visit my ancestral country, but when I do, it's always an adventure. The last time I visited was over 5 years ago when my cousin got married. It was the first time I had traveled there without my parents. When I was a kid, our family used to travel to Indonesia once every 4 years. We would stay for at least 2 months. Before I went on this last trip. it had been over 10 years since I had last visited family.
Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia. Per the CIA Factbook, the total population of Indonesia is 248,645,008. There are over 9 million people living in Jakarta. A majority of my family live in and around the capital. Houses in Jakarta are squished together. There is barely enough room, sometimes, for a carport. Since the weather is warm, the floors are almost, always, tile and the furniture is simple.
|My aunt's house is nice and cool in the hot weather|
|Outdoor spaces are perfect for the warm climate|
|There is barely enough room for parking at my cousin's house!|
|In a crowded city, traffic lines are just suggestions.|
In a city that's full of people, everything is crowded. Buildings expand skyward and business is ripe all over this bustling city. The malls in Jakarta rival the ones in Las Vegas and have a lot of high end stores and shops. Some of the best deals I got came from an indoor market place called Mangga Dua (The Two Mangos). I use the word "market" loosely, as there are floors of tiny stalls selling everything from eyeglasses to video games.
|Mangga Dua Market really puts into perspective the "one stop shopping" concept!|
I can't talk about Indonesia without talking about the food. It's amazing. A lot of the things I eat are things that I grew up with in my house: fried rice, noodle soup, seafood dumplings. Take a look at the goodness I enjoyed on my last trip!
If you ever get the chance to visit Indonesia, do it! It's a vibrant country full of wonderful people and culture....and food!
Adventure and good eats are out there!
|Noodles and seasoned chicken. You use the broth and meatballs|
on the top right to taste!
|Nasi Goreng (fried rice) is always accompanied by|
colorful krupuk (shrimp chips)
|Mie Tarik (pulled noodle) that I got at the mall! It was|
|Sate Ayam (chicken skewers) and lontong (pressed rice patties)|
are almost always served together. This is my favorite food!