2019 and Still Being a Solo Traveller
I am actually the type of person who enjoys solitude. I'd rather walking around by myself than accompanied by such a pain-in-the-head person. Even before I departed to UK, I usually hanging out alone without asking my friends to join me. My principle is when I asked somebody to go out and they have too much excuse, I'll just leave them with their excuse. At some point, I just want to go out alone to recharge my energy because I am too exhausted to deal with a crowd. Introverts will understand my point though. In order to recharge my energy and somehow focused on writing, I usually go to a cafe and sat in the corner, or just staring at an abstract painting or sculpture in contemporary art museum. It's simple but meaningful.
When you keep repeating the same old song, you will eventually get bored. And since I keep going anywhere alone, I started to feel lonely. I am not complaining about the convenience of being independent but it's just started to get empty. Long story short, I actually want to have somebody to talk to during my lonely exploration. I want to listen to somebody's stories and discussing random things that might appear in our journey. Well, it's 2019 and I'm still being a solo traveller. However, it's okay because I found great places and experiences while I travelled on my own.
First thing that I would like to share with you is Bank Indonesia's Museum. This place lies almost in northern part of Jakarta, close to Kota Tua. Mbak Yoan recommended me to visit the museum when I was in London, She said that I won't be disappointed if I give it a try. Then I gave it a try earlier this year. I went there after I finished the job interview. From Sudirman's Area, I just need to take a TransJakarta busway to Jakarta Kota. Once I arrived in Jakarta Kota bus stop, I need to walk less than 5 minutes.
Bank Indonesia's Museum is quite attractive, especially it is occupied with tech that is similar to modern museum. You can find the history of Rupiah and Bank Indonesia's establishment since it was De Javasche Bank. There are interactive diorama and you can have the opportunity to experience 4D cinema. I don't really remember the exact name but there was a cinema which utilises floor, walls, and the rooftop to gave the audience indulging experience. The interior design is also great, basically somebody who loves museum will love this one too. Definitely.
I have to add that I got a free entrance to this museum because I showed my student ID. If you're no longer a student, you need to pay Rp 5.000 to enter. The amount is quite cheap compared to other museums in Jakarta. With only Rp 5.000, you'll enjoy the replica of a big safe and could witness the development of Rupiah's form until today. You could also touch a real gold-bar or even visiting the historical meeting room since Dutch colonial's era. How intriguing, innit?
|The artifical gold bar inside Museum Bank Indonesia's safe|
In walking distance, I continued my journey to Kota Tua Jakarta. This place is actually well-known and most visited by both foreign or local tourists. In Kota Tua Jakarta, lies Fatahillah Museum that unfortunately I didn't have the chance to visit. People usually spend their time riding colourful bikes and taking pictures in the esplanade. Kota Tua Jakarta reminds me a bit of European's city square template. Moreover, I made a visit when I was just returned from London. Kota Tua Jakarta could trigger the nostalgic feelings and made feels like I was in Europe. Hence, I think every time I miss Europe I will pay a visit to Kota Tua.
Not only you can take great vintage photos, there are several eatery in Kota Tua Jakarta. You will also find some people dressed in a costume just like what people did in Covent Garden, London. It is affordable yet amusing place, you don't need to pay much to get here. It's just somehow ignored by the local government meanwhile it could become the unique selling point of Jakarta which is considered lack of cultural or natural worth-visiting point. The local seller and bike-rental should get more attention. There are few points that could be developed into integrated touristy locations to support the Kota Tua Jakarta itself. Take an example: Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Royal Palace of Madrid, or Rome's esplanade.
|Kota Tua Jakarta at a glance|
|You can rent a bike for a ride or just as the property of a vintage photos|
Months apart from the last solo journey I had in Jakarta, I started to going around by my own again. It was because I had to finish orientation period without even knowing what's going on outside the quarantine. And I spent my time almost every weekend to hang out with friends, they worked for the same company like me. Hey, and turned out my friend introduced me to a cosy place in Senopati, Jakarta. Perhaps I will tell you more about it in separate post. Since the concept of this post is solo travelling, I will only mentioned places that I visited alone.
This month, I went to Erasmus Huis in Kuningan, Jakarta. I knew this place when it randomly appears on my twitter timeline. Finding a comfortable and quiet place to write in Jakarta is quite difficult, that's why when I found out I was so excited to pay a visit. Who knows? Probably I could spare half day to produce something in the library that belongs to Dutch Embassy. Alas, even though I've checked twice (even thrice) on Google, I was too late when I arrived in Erasmus Huis. The library opens from Monday to Saturday, during weekdays it opens until 4 PM, Friday they open until 2 PM, and it's getting shorter on Saturday only until 1 PM. When I arrived, it was already 5 minutes before closing.
Though I haven't sit and wrote something inside the library, I was lucky because I managed to take some pictures of its cosy corner. I checked that their book collection mostly in Dutch. To experience more convenient way to visit, the librarian suggested me to register as a member only by paying Rp 60.000 annual membership. By becoming the member, I would have the privilege to rent 3 books and get informed regarding the exhibitions or events they are holding. Quite impressive offer but I need to consider the placement I will have next week. If I were placed in Jakarta then I will register as its member. I don't think I will have enough time to visit Erasmus Huis except weekend though.
Erasmus Huis not only just a library. You need to be checked before you get in as in ordinary embassy procedure. There are cafeteria and exhibitions outside the library as well. The exhibition usually lasted in a month, this month the exhibitions is about Metropolis' photography. The cafetaria lies outdoor and it provides both Western or Indonesian's cuisine in a simple way. Erasmus Huis also provides free Wi-Fi (probably for those who already registered as a member). So, if you're looking for a sanctuary to be productive, just go to Erasmus Huis. The location is attainable and close to Patra Kuningan TransJakarta's bus stop.
|Metropolis Exhibition in Erasmus Huis|
The last location I would like to tell you is Galeri Indonesia Kaya, I found out this place last time when I watched Avengers: End Game in Grand Indonesia's CGV. I love visiting museum moreover when it's free! I decided to go to Galeri Indonesia Kaya when the visitation time in Erasmus Huis was over. You only need to register your name either via website or on the spot. Then the officer will give you a wristband ticket and you can enjoy the exhibition. Similar to Museum Bank Indonesia, the exhibition is interactive and attractive so it won't bore you. There are different performances everyday and last time I went there, I watched Batu Golog dance theater performed by Pheqo Theatre.
I would say that my experience in Galeri Indonesia Kaya was satisfying. I enjoyed the AR simulation of traditional clothes, enjoyed the diorama, and the interactive games. In addition, I enjoyed the performance so much. It might not really capture the culture of West Nusa Tenggara's folk but they successfully delivered the message of the folk. By the end of the performance, I got a goodie bag for appreciating the theatre. It was free and yet I got something in returns! What a lucky day!
I guess Galeri Indonesia Kaya which was supported by Djarum Foundation has one handicap, it's too small. Therefore the visitors couldn't get much comprehensive Indonesian culture visualisation inside the gallery. Maybe Djarum needs to enlarge the gallery and started to gather more traditional artist to fill up the gallery. It might be a free yet educative choice for parents and kids who hang out in Grand Indonesia. And of course distracts them from consumptive behaviour as the reward.
|Batu Golog Performance by Pheqo Theatre|
Regardless of how much I enjoyed my solo journey in finding amusing place in Jakarta, sometimes I want to share my thought to my travel-pal which I haven't found until today. I don't know until when I travelled alone like this. Don't get me wrong, I'm still enjoying it but it will be better to have somebody to accompany you. Specifically, a somebody where I can share my deepest thoughts and feeling (re: a boyfriend, maybe). Despite all the lonely rant, I want you to enjoy this post and visit the places I have recommended to you. May you find your happiness too like me!
Is there anyone here wants to be my travel companion? Maybe we can discuss random things over a coffee/beer (but I prefer desserts tho).