Big Durian Pt V: Shitty Business

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

It happened not once but twice.

For the second night in a row the 24 hour convenience shop at our hotel was closed temporarily for shift changing when we visited.

Gave us the perfect excuse to roam Jalan Cikini Raya at midnight.

While not exactly bustling many people were still awake at that time of the day.

We passed by plenty of hawkers who were selling noodles and murtabak.

Most probably they all had other full time jobs in the day and were just hawking at night to earn some extra money.

Being adventurous we decided to ignore our Indonesian friends’ advice regarding street food and bought some murtabaks as supper.

While the guy was preparing our egg murtabaks (15,000 IDR each), we asked him about the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup matches in Jakarta.

He and his friend told us that ticket prices ranged from 50,000 IDR to 500,000 IDR.

We also got a murtabak manis (10,000 IDR) from another stall.

Both were crispy and delicious when hot.

The next morning I remembered to bring out my camera when we set off to the market.

Some of the guys wanted to buy some local produce back to Singapore.

Old and new Jakarta co-exist side by side.

The trip wasn’t exactly fruitful as only one of us bought some banana chips.

Nevertheless we chalked up another fast food joint in Indonesia.

Some of us could no longer kept count of the number of fried chickens ate.

Jones had taken time off work and arranged for us to meet at Pluit before going to the airport.

And as usual we were stuck in macet again.

Luckily we had In-Jam Entertainment.

Lunch was at Sate Khas Senayan inside Emporium Pluit Mall.

Jones ordered a little too much but somehow we were able to finish them off.

The food was good like everything else we had in Jakarta (except for CFC).

But the Singaporeans somewhat agree that the food in Indonesia can be too sweet, salty or oily for our palate.

In contrast Jones pointed out that food in Singapore are often too bland for Indonesians.

Health Promotion Board has definitely done a good job in encouraging healthy eating in Singapore.

While the rest were doing some last minute shopping on local produce such as keropoks, Jones was telling me about Pluit’s demographics.

Many residents were ethnic Chinese from Medan and quite a few of them could still speak Mandarin or Hokkien or both.

I found out in the gents that Jones wasn’t bluffing me when I overheard this:

Man 1 (outside cubicle): Nee zai lai been zou si mi? [What are you doing inside?]
Man 2 (inside cubicle): Pang sai lah! [Shitting what else!]
Man 1: Wa! Ah nei ku? [What? For so long?]
Man 2: Chi bai! Buay sai ah? [F**k! What’s your problem?]

The above Hokkien conversation tickled me and it took me great pain to hide my chuckles from them.


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