Big Durian Pt IV: Congkak & Pins

Big Durian Excursion [12 – 14 Dec 2010]
Pt I: Braving Lion Air
Pt II: It’s a Rich Man’s World
Pt III: Macet
Pt IV: Congkak & Pins
Pt V: Shitty Business
Pt VI: The Ride Home

The ride from TMII cost 100,000 IDR and took us eternity to arrive at Mangga Dua in the Blue Bird cab.

The cab driver dropped us at the first shopping mall that we saw since he couldn’t bear to be stuck in macet anymore.

My observation of Indonesian roads confirmed my hypothesis that only one rule applies in the traffic here.


The pedestrians yield to the motorcycles which yield to the bajajs which yield to the cars which yield to the buses which yield to the trucks…. you get the idea.

Explains Indonesians’ infatuation with SUVs perfectly as well.

There weren’t a lot of interesting shops opened in WTC.

Most probably there were better shopping malls around Mangga Dua but WTC was fine since it has this:

Absence makes the heart fonder.

Singaporeans can’t resist missing A&W whenever we see an outlet overseas.

Over chickens, waffles and root beers, we remarked about how polite and friendly the Indonesians in Jakarta (especially the service staff) were.

A subsequent incident confirmed about the friendliness of the locals.

Some salesgirls who were whiling their slow day at work by playing congkak invited curious onlookers (us) to try.

Despite the fact that we purchased nothing from them, they were still friendly and willing to teach us about the rules of the game.

After fumbling with the seeds and taken enough of their time, we bid them farewell and proceed to find a cab to meet Jones again for dinner.

Chaos was an understatement for rush hour in Jakarta.

But the traffic still had to yield to trains.

After some difficulty we managed to grab a cab on the opposite side of the road.

Due to some miscommunication we were dropped off at the wrong mall (Grand Indonesia? Plaza Indonesia?) which in turn caused us to wait at the wrong Starbucks.

When we finally located the correct Starbucks, Jones decided to reward us by bringing us to a new place in town: By the Beach.

Of course Jones also happens to know one of the partners of the restaurant.

And we were underdressed yet again.

The menu has some creative dishes which we got to try out (squid stuffed with chicken and prawn wrapped in spring roll rice paper).

In all the food was quite good but the service was less than prompt despite having only two tables occupied.

After dinner we thought that it was a good idea to do some exercise considering how much we had eaten the whole day.

Table hockey was first and some personal rivalries were played out there.

Then we went to pot some balls at the pool table.

I discovered some interesting quotes.

My favorite was definitely George Bernard Shaw’s.

I grappled with some tough decisions too.

Since the pool table couldn’t accommodate all of us at the same time so we moved on to the lanes.

The bowling lanes.

We decided to have a 3 v 3 competition.

Which of course were accompanied with all the trash-talks and boasting.

In fact it got so competitive that we forgot to take photographs.

It turned out to be a classic Hare & Tortoise where the eventual winners came from behind to win by two pins.

The losers were obviously indignant and promised to be back stronger.

The winners weren’t gracious either and issued a come-get-me challenge.

Till next time then.


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