May 23, 2010

Kerak Telor, Pasar Ikan, & Batavia Punch Story

I've been living in Jakarta ever since I was born, that means been here for almost a quarter century *not going to be 25 till July*. Therefore in order to celebrate my existence in this place called home, I'm determined to explore every inch of this
So I've been here and there before, parts of it were featured in my "saving our heritage" stories. Anyway, decided to get in touch with the Betawi (Jakarta native) culture, and the best place to do it would be to visit a genuine Kampung Betawi (Betawi Village). One of it that has been well managed would be a Kampung Betawi located at the side of Setu Babakan (a reservoir). You can reached this village from the Moh Kafi 2 Street, Jagakarsa. And when you see this gate like the ones on the right picture, do not hesitate to head that way. You'll be passing a classic-modern betawi village. Most of the houses still retain the betawi architecture, although some mix and match it with the modern architecture. When you think you got a little bit lost inside the village, don't worry, the resident already know where you are heading. hehe.. You don't even have to ask for direction, just put on a confuse face, they'll automatically point the road to the Setu.
What you'll find here? Well, there are some water activities you can do, such as fishing, canoeing, or paddling the duck boat. They also have a mini plots where they have three to four betawi model homes. And you can take picture there. In it was also a mini stage, where they perform traditional arts such as kromong, tanjidor, lenong, and jaipong. Unfortunately they only do it on Sundays, that's what the caretaker informed us when we asked what show they'll have that day. But what I love most at Setu Babakan is sitting on the side of the lake and eat traditional foods. You name it, they got it. There's kerak telor *yes,, we just discovered the best kerak telor we ever taste, it's served fresh from the fire, but not too hot to eat, it's not too thick, burnt but not hard*, serabi, Bir pletok, dodol betawi, roti buaya, and many more.Then we played soap bubbles just like what we did way back when we were kids. The entrance fee to this site is really cheap. I only got to pay 3000 IDR, that is basically a ticket for bringing in a car *because the caretaker did not count how many people in the car*, and about 2500 IDR for parking.
Next stop was the Maritime Museum. Way back when before we were businessman, lawyers, and doctors, Indonesians were known as farmers and most of all sailors. There was a song I've known since kindergarten.
Nenek moyangku seorang pelaut Gemar mengarung luas samudera Menerjang ombak tiada takut Menempuh badai sudah biasa Angin bertiup layar terkembang Ombak berdebur di tepi pantai Pemuda berani bangkit bersama Ke laut kita berama-ramai
A song about our ancestors who were sailors. And which place would be better to get in touch with our inner sailorman rather than to visit a maritime museum located at Jl. Pasar Ikan, North Jakarta, Sunda Kelapa. A port that used to be the window of the world. With a 2000 IDR ticket, you can visit two places, the maritime museum and the Syah Bandar Tower. I like going to places like these, although I may not remember all the details about our maritime history, but it was fun to look at ancient buildings. If walls could talk, there would be more stories to tell.
So we closed the evening by visiting the recently happening ancient landmark in Jakarta, the Fatahillah Square. I remembered going here about 12 years ago *back then I was still in middle school, just got back from MYA, and my family thought it would be fun to visit the Fatahillah Museum*. And you know what, 12 years ago.. this place was STRANDED!! Nobody even cares to visit this place. Nowadays, thanks to this historical community, Fatahillah Square is more like an open public space. There were tons of small cook shops, cafes, and everything. You can find lots of vendors selling es potong/es lilin. There's a group of reog *you know like gypsian* that do a Kuda Lumping show every hour. If you'd like to explore the sceneries around this square you can always rent an onthel bike, complete with the nonik-and-sinyo** hat. And if you're tired, you can rest at the Batavia Cafe, it's a bit pricey but very cozy. I love how they design the interior, plus they have a good&friendly performers that sing old school songs *I mean real old school like from the 50s or 60s*

**this is how they used to call a boy or a girl, that comes from the indo-deutsch heredity.

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