10 June 2008

Taman Bunga Nusantara

Picking up from where I left in my previous entry...

So, without any pre-determined destination, we continued our ascend up to Puncak until we saw a huge billboard of Taman Bunga Nusantara (Nusantara Park).

Unanimously, we agreed to check out the Taman Bunga.

The park was huge. There were trains (they were actually modified pick-up trucks) provided for visitors to move about within the park, but we decided to explore the whole area on foot. Furthermore, the air was cool and it was a better way to enjoy the scenery.

Naturally, the most ethusiastic among us was my father. Suka benor dia. Sampeikan nak amik anak pokok bawak balik.

Some areas of the park reminded me of the park along Portsmouth's Southsea during spring. Ala... tempat favorit Jamaluddin Mat and Zaharah menenangkan perasaan dolu. Ina.. ko tak pergi taman bunga kat Southsea kan?... sebab ko memanjang terperuk dalam bilik study sambil masak maggi mee guna microwave Argos.

Anyway, we left the park after a couple of hours and headed to a restaurant called Rindu Alam situated on the hillside which offered magnificent views of the tea plantations. The food, unfortunately was so-so.

Then, came our worst nightmare. The "macet" while we were descending from Puncak. It took us two hours to reach the foothill. The traffic was really bad. The cause? Three bloody tourist buses parking indiscrimanately by the road side blocking half of the lane. Phuantekk sangat!! What irked us more was, a mere 10 metres from where these buses were parked was this huge parking area where they could have parked their buses without disrupting the traffic flow.

What can I say but some people were born stupid!! In this case three bus drivers who, rather than being bus drivers, should have been placed along with the animals in the safari for they have the same IQs.

On another note, I'll be moving out from my Pondok Indah home soon. I'll be occupying an apartment in Permata Hijau. I hate it there but this was the instruction given by my CFO. I'll be sharing this apartment with another staff from KL, temporarily. Well, that's what my CFO said, I'll be placed there during the "transition period". But then, knowing how they are, TEMPORARILY could well mean permanently. Sedih la macam ni.

The apartment is nice, huge and has its own private lift but then I would not have my privacy. The guy I'll be sharing the apartment with is a nice guy, but then I need my own space. Hopefully this transition period won't last more than two months.

Otherwise, my mental well-being would be seriously affected.

09 June 2008

Taman Safari Indonesia

It's been quite a while since my last update. You see, I was really busy entertaining guests.

Mid May, Steve came to Jakarta for the 4th or was it 5th time this year? Sorry ahh Steve... I lost count. This time around, his airfare was fully paid for by a friend who also tagged along with the wife. Seronok dapat kawan macam Fendi kan Steve... dah la sponsor flight, accommodation pun dia bayorkan.

Steve is unlike any other guests. He could not be bothered with shopping. 90% of his time in Jakarta was spent consuming caffeine in cafes. And errr... not to forget nicotine. Actually, although he has been to Jakarta countless number of times, he still could not get enough watching beautiful people of Jakarta. Hence the long hours in open air cafes.

Then, my parents came to Jakarta together with my sister and nephew. The visit which I most looked forward to.

I took 5 days off just to be with my family. As expected, I gained a few pounds (dah hilang dah pun) from eating delicious meals prepared by my mom. Lama benor tak rasa masakan mak aku.

My dad, being the green-fingered person that he is, trimmed the small lawn at my house and planted a few plants. He even pestered me to buy more plants to beautify the empty lawn. I then showed him the almost dead orchid (a gift from Steve and Atian) - a way of telling him his son prefers zero-maintenance artificial plants.

Since my eight-year-old nephew was so bored with grown up people's agenda (read : shopping and more shopping), we decided to pay Taman Safari Indonesia a visit.

Taman Safari Indonesia is situated in Puncak. I did not know this until the actual day we were our way there. I had always thought it was in Bogor. Had I known this fact, I would not have chosen Saturday to go to the safari.

You see, from the foothill, Puncak is only accessible via a two-lane road, one for each direction. On weekends, the traffic volume escalates and naturally, causes super "macet".

We were lucky we left the house at 7 am and our ascend to Taman Safari Indonesia was quite smooth. The traffic jam was bearable. But the descend was a nightmare. More on this later.

Ok. Having never been to a safari before, I was actually quite excited. Masa kecik-kecik dolu teringin nak ke safari yang kat Desaru, tapi tak mampu. About a kilometre before reaching the safari's entrance, there were many roadside stalls selling carrots.

The sopir (Pak Toyo le... sapa lagi) asked whether I wanted to buy some. My mom answered yes. Dia kan pantang tengok mende-mende jual tepi jalan ni, mesti nak berhenti. I wound down the window and the boy manning the carrot stall handed over carrots worth Rp10,000.

Aku tengok je carrot2 tu terus mintak tukar yang elok2 sikit. Pehal bagi aku yang kecik2. Aku nak buat juice pakei juicer aku nanti mesti nak carrot yang besor2.

Done. Off we went continuing our journey heading towards the safari gates. Then my nephew asked my mom :

Afiq : Pah, you want to give carrots to the animals ke?

Mom : Yes, nanti Afiq feed the animals ok.

Bodoh tak aku? Aku ingat carrots tu untuk buat juice ke, buat mak aku masak sayur ke. Patut le muka budak yang jual carrot tu macam heran je kenapa aku mintak tukar suruh bagi carrot yang elok2 sikit. Sure dia kata bangang tul Om tu. Nak bagi binatang makan pun nak yang elok2 ke??

We spent almost 3 hours at the safari. The safari is divided into two areas i.e the safari and the recreational area where they have animal shows, all sorts of rides and even a haunted house.

We managed to catch the elephant show. Then my nephew begged to be taken on the cable car ride.

The cable car looked ancient. Rp30,000 per person for a less than 10 minutes ride on a cable car which seemed to be made in the year Rhoma Irama made his first album.

After the safari we continued our journey further up Puncak.

Those who have been to Cameron Highlands, the journey up to Puncak is somewhat similar. Vast areas of tea plantations could be seen on both sides of the road.

We then stopped at the Taman Bunga Nusantara. Well, my dad is a green- fingered person, remember?

More on this in my next posting.