Scotsabroad's Weblog

December 23, 2012

Cafe Culture

Filed under: Jakarta — scotsabroad @ 7:44 pm

Dec 12 044

The boys headed to Kota today for lunch at Cafe Batavia. The traffic was beyond belief. We got lost close to Kota, recovered, but then were stopped in our tracks due to a wedding. Eventually we reached Taman Fatahilah , circled a few times and then parked on a bus lane. We crossed to the cafe and entered an oasis. Subdued lighting, comfy sofas, a worn elegance and clean toilets revived our spirits. We sat downstairs in the lounge. The walls of the restaurant, the stair landing (with the threadbare carpet) and washroom are covered in film and music photographs. We are sure we see Springsteen. Bogart is in the downstairs men’s cubicle.

Dec 12 046Cafe Boys

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Refreshed we head to the Jakarta History Museum across the busy square. This is the old town hall of Batavia. Built in 1627 it is not wearing well. Full of visitors, and furtive men through the back courtyard, eyeing the large bronze cannon called, Canon Si Jagur. The suggestive fist at one end of the canon is a sexual gesture in Indonesia. Inside broken furniture and plastic wrapped pieces are placed randomly in the  large rooms with walls peeling and dirty. We view fellow visitors on the floor below through large holes in magnificent floorboards. An amazing backgammon board among the junk. We move upstairs and downstairs and then spill out the front of the museum at record speed. 

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Back in the square we decided to hire bikes and cycle out to Sunda Kelapa. The docks are busy with trucks. We return to the watchtower we visited last year and park at the Bahari Museum. Some old Dutch warehouses have been converted into a maritime history museum.

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We head back to the square and explore the railway station. We then force ourselves back in the car for the slow drive back to Bintaro. We agree to take the train next time.

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