Notes: This is Jakarta for Me

Moving to Jakarta is actually not such a horrible yet great idea as Jakarta offers so many things for most of Indonesian citizen. This is the second time since the first time I moved to Jakarta to start my career in an English newspaper in Indonesia. At first, I moved to Jakarta for three months on January 2010 and came back here on October 2010.

Before, I moved to Jakarta, some people told me that Jakarta is such a great city because it offers you a good future if only you would like to fight for it but some people also told me that Jakarta is such a hell because its traffic or its pollution, hence Jakarta is known as the Big Durian after the notoriously stinky Southeast Asian thorny fruit.

However, I would say that this is Jakarta for you, every where we go or live, there is a hate and love relationship between you and the city. So, let me make 2 list about what I LOVE  and what I HATE from Jakarta.

WhatI LOVEabout Jakarta:


I would say that Jakarta offers better opportunities for Indonesian citizen who are looking for a challenging jobs with a better salary than it is in a small province because Jakarta (first)  is the home for all the big [multinational] companies, the government offices, the international organizations, embassies, etc; (second) has bags of money that people looking for to live their lives as the living cost is very high; and (third) the working movement is faster than it is in the smaller city such as Yogya or Bali which is more relaxing.

Therefore, as I know that I can take a better career opportunity in Jakarta, why would I just stay in my hometown to chase an ordinary dream than an extra ordinary dream if I have already known that I have the ability to reach it? Sounds bit ambitious hu? Well, everyone has their opportunity as well as the ability to set up their dream up high and reach it, but then again it’s back to ourselves whether we have the WILLING or not.


In my previous blog, Let’s Chase Our Career, I was saying that networks is very important for our career as we cannot stand alone to build our career. We need a hand from people that we know in our network. Therefore, as I mentioned before that  Jakarta (first)  is the home for all the big [multinational] companies, the government offices, the international organizations, embassies, etc;  and (second) has bags of money that people looking for to live their lives as the living cost is very high; Jakarta gives you a chance to meet a very potential people who are in the field that you want to work in or at least, they are able to give you any information about those potential people that you are looking for.

The keys are (first) find out where they go out and meet them there and (second) attend interesting event such as a seminar or lunch meeting where all those people gather to have a discussion. I assure you that this is a great opportunity to build your networks.

Shopping Malls

Jakarta offers you a choice of shopping malls from the most crappy one to the most fancy one. But then again, it depends on the customers on what they want and they need from the shopping malls. Do they want to buy a Hermes ‘Birkin’ handbag in Pasific Place or a fake Louis Vuitton handbag in Mangga Dua? They can just choose based on how much money do they have and what do they need.

I will say that I love yet hate shopping hence I love shopping malls. When I am stressed out with all the routine that I have and I feel like to take a break, it would be very fun if I just go to the shopping malls and wonder about in the shopping malls, check out what’s new from my favorite store or just go to the coffee shop to have a piece of cake or a cup of good coffee.

However, sometimes I am just annoyed with myself because I cannot help myself to stop shopping and buy a little nicknack. Other than that, after I purchased for some stuff, I would regret it because I knew that I have bought a useless stuff  or I do not need to buy them. Should I say ‘such a woman’ or is it just me? Well, I guess both of them but it really works to put a smile on my face once I got an unnecessary stuff from those shopping malls.

Night Life

Even though, I am not such a good dancer in the club but I love dancing so much as it can help to shake my stress away. Jakarta offers you a long list of a club or bar from the dougie one to the fanciest one. Honestly, I have not tried them all as I prefer to stick in the one club that I love the most, although I wouldn’t mind to check another club if it is necessary. However, it is a BIG NO to check out a dougie club such as stadium because of the reputation of this club which does not interest me at all.

There is one club  that I love so much, it’s called Equinox, an RnB Club.  It is located on the second floor of X2 in Plaza Senayan. Almost every Friday night, I go there whether by myself or with a friend just to dance.  However, there is one thing that makes me annoyed is the bartender often cheated on the booze price especially the one on the main front bar near to the entrance, therefore follow some of my advice (first) YOU MUST ALWAYS ASK FOR THE BILL BEFORE YOU HAND THE MONEY, (second) Take care your belongings as last November, I lost my credit card. Anyway, but as much as I hate this place for the low security, I love this place for its music.

WhatI HATEabout Jakarta


Traffic, traffic, traffic. I bet every Jakartan hates Jakarts’ traffic especially in the rush hours, but what can you do? That is not much I want to say about the traffic as we all need a transportation to move around from one place to another place or from home to the office. Apparently, there are more people own private cars or motorbike. So, what can we do about this? Complaining? I will say  that the government really need to work harder to solve the traffic problem because if early last year it took me an hour to get home from the office (Semanggi to Taman Rasuna, Kuningan), it takes me about two hours to get home even it is already 8 PM. Geez, I don’t wanna get old in the cab!


Air pollution and water pollution often gives me hard time. Even though I live in the apartment, I cannot really cook from the tab water because sometimes the water smells weird and couples time I had a diarrhea because I was cooking with the tab water.  Other than that, the air pollution often makes me fever hence I cannot take a bus or ojek if I do not want to waste my time to rest in the bed because of the stupid air pollution. Therefore, to maintain my health, I have only to avoid the air pollution and water pollution by not taking public transportation  or cooking from the tab water in my apartment.

Street Food

Actually, I do really love eating street food but apparently Jakarta’s street foods have never been a good friend with me because during my stay in Jakarta in these last four months, it has been three times when I had a food poisoning. It really kills me. Therefore, even how much I love street food in Yogya, I do not want to eat street food in Jakarta because I do not want to be hospitalized anymore from the unhygienic food that I consume. Therefore, I prefer to pay lil more expensive than I have to give plenty of money to the doctor to take care of me because of food poisoning. Blah!


Oh God! I hate Jakarta’s flood! It is very dirty and stinky, it also ruins my shoes and makes my skin itchy. Other than that, once the raining season is coming (apparently that it has been a raining season for more than one year now), the flood says hello to you and welcome you to the hell, where you will waste your time in the traffic for ages (my worst experience it took me three hours to go to Taman Rasuna from Imam Bonjol, while it usually took me 20 minutes on top!) I really hate it! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Especially knowing the flood has ruined couple of my favorite shoes.


Anyway, from all the list that I made about why I LOVE and HATE Jakarta, there is one thing that I always remember what my fiance often said to me ‘You cannot have all what you want’ and he is right. If there is the bright side of Jakarta that makes me fall in love with this city, there is also the dark side of Jakarta that breaks my heart into pieces. Therefore, all I have to do is just trying to enjoy my life as much as possible because life is about challenging and this is Jakarta for me, a big durian, smelly yet delicious!

Ride the bus

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