Viruses and their friends are happening all around us. Give them some credit for that, then ruthlessly purge.
Time is of the essence, friend. So here’s a top-9 list for longer life and better performance in the heart of Jakarta:
1. Consult an Indonesian pharmacist and then Google after prescription/ before purchase. It’s OK to ask pharmacist to break down Rx estimate per-item price. If you know the generic name, maybe you’ll get it. (Generics are new here and and pharmacies use that against you.)
2. Instead of buying everything the doc orders from him or her directly, try paying Rp 100,000 to 200,000 for the office visit and take then take the Rx to the pharmacy for further evaluation
3. Buy what you need, consume what you buy. In Indonesia, you don’t have to fill whole entire scrip — not even close
4. Call the pharmacy/apotik ahead of time. Pick a shopping area (of Jakarta) that has lots of pharmacies, like the Salemba medical complex near the University of Indonesia medical faculty. Note that Bali has very few hospitals and thus poor selection of meds.
5. Go to the pharmacy/apotek after midnight so you can get fixed up pelan-pelan (in an unhurried manner). Or, train the maid/ driver to fill prescriptions
6. Here’s is a list of 24 hour Jakarta pharmacies. In addition, almost any big hospital sells drugs 24 hours.
8. Don’t overuse or under use antibiotics
9. Century delivers, Melawai has good service, Guardian doesn’t always ask for a prescription, Titimurni has the best selection (for Central Jakarta) and newcomer K-24 seems to be pretty good, too.
In addition to this list of malls and shopping centers near Menteng/Guntur/Kuningan, I would certainly add Ambgassador Mall and City Walk and — as a last resort or just for fun — Senen Atrium and Sarina Thambrin. Because these are key pieces of the gotta-by-stuff puzzle here on the border between Central and South Jakarta.
Menteng was “Indonesia’s first garden city.” So at the top of the list of outdoor hangouts include the Dutch colonial parks — Taman Suropati, Taman Lembang and Taman Menteng. Lembang has a large tranquil pond but is closed at night. The others seem to rock 24/7. Here’s a Menteng walking tour (that needs to be translated and verified) and a picture of me at the park.
In Cikini/Raden Saleh area you’ve got TIM Arts Center, once a Dutch zoo and “pleasure grounds” where you could catch a polka most Sundays at 7:00. TIM has movies, artsy stuff and cafes so chill you’ll need a sweater. A lot of big and small countries still have embassies located in Menteng, which tons of cultural centers (Indian, German forget the others), which means foreign films. Also museums and antiques in Menteng, some in private collections. Some of the antiques on Jl. Surabaya have the unique advantage of also being relatively inexpensive and brand new ; ) Good place for a photo of you posing with a seemingly ancient Javaense dagger (kris).
Restos include Lara Djonggrang — that seems like it’s one of a kind, even though it’s actually a popular restaurant theme. And then there’s other stuff — like Barack Obama’s grade school on Jl. Besuki near Taman Suropati — which really is.
I also wouldn’t discourage anyone from having a hot beer and a popped eardrum at the warm, intimate speakeasies at Pasar Manggis. But you’ll need a small penlight to keep up with the roach scene, since it’s dark . There’s something inexplicable about the Manggis scene — and some of the others street-type scenes nearby, including the electrified but unlit hobo raves out on the tracks next to Latuharhari.
Until 1934 this far edge of the ‘Teng was where Dutch civilization (such that it was ; ) ended — or was swallowed up by the kampung. The Dutch cavalry once parked here and now the lady-boys do. Up and down the Bandjir Kanaal you’ve got legal and illegal honky tonks, including Blora. Maybe it historically acted as some type of buffer zone, protecting the decadent from themselves. There are countless other thangs in the Teng, a place which — in all laissez faireness — ought to remind anyone of Mos-Eisley Cantina from Star Wars.
Just north of Menteng there are tons of popular restos and cafes in Wahid Hashim/Sabang/Jaksa area. Many offer late hours and radical racial, ethnic and religious diversity. Ya Udah Bistro offers all that plus all-you-eat German food and great prices.
I contributed this very basic overview of Jakarta to the wiki-style online travel guide Travelerspoint . . . and it’s still there.
Jakarta sprawls from the port to the mountains, with true centers hard to find. There is plenty to see at Sunda Kelapa port while Ancol is a separate seaside recreation area. Kota (“downtown”) refers to a crowded, poor but generally very interesting area that begins south of the port. Kota has shopping, nightlife, traditional markets and Chinese temples. Just to the south, Pasar Baru has a shaded Indian market and interesting environs. The national monument (MONAS) is a large park in an area which used to be central but is no longer, as the city has shifted vast distances in all directions, but especially southward. Not far from Monas is Jl. Jaksa, Jl. Sabang and the long-standing Sarina department store. This area retains a central feel, as does the Cikini area just to the east of Monas.
The old Dutch neighborhood of Menteng separates the Sarina area from Plaza Indonesia, Kuningan and the banking district (Jl. Sudirman). Official residences, churches and embassies are housed here, often in attractive buildings under large trees. As the sprawl finally reached Bogor and the Puncak mountain resort areas, new centers emerged. The Plaza Indonesia area and the old Hotel Indonesia has received considerable developer attention as has Kuningan, especially Mega Kuningan. However, these are more real estate concepts than neighborhoods. Just five years ago the focus was on Semanggi, less of a neighborhood than a shopping mall.
In South Jakarta, the Senayan area is full of attractive shopping centers, parks, and nightlife. To the south — once again — is Blok M, which is due for a renovation but remains popular. Even further (from Kota), are other true neighborhoods such as Kebayoran Baru, Senopati and Dharmawangsa. Here you find houses, trees, and space to breathe. Kemang, a popular residential area for foreigners, has a lot to offer in terms of galleries, restaurants, boutique stores and nightlife, but also narrow roads. Blok M is between 30 and 90 minutes from Kota, depending on traffic. Suburbs like Cilandak and Cipete are as many as two hours from Kota in bad traffic, but otherwise a part of Jakarta.