23 February 2009

Sunday Morning Jog

Last Sunday, I finally had the chance to do something which I wanted to do for a very long time (err.... 3 years to be exact).

To jog at the Gelora Bung Karno complex.

A friend of mine told me that it's the place where many Jakartans go for their weekend morning jog. It was also recommended by one of the magazines I read.

I wanted to ask a friend of mine to join but realising that it won't be easy to drag anyone out of their bed at 6.30 am on a Sunday to be drenched in sweat, I killed the idea and decided to go alone.

So, the much awaited day came. I arrived at the complex about 7-ish. The large crowd caught me by surprise. Obviously, I was late.

Initially, I planned to jog along the pedestrian footpath within the complex. Then, my attention was drawn by this loud music coming from the Senayan Stadium.

So, I jogged my way into the stadium. The atmosphere was almost like there was a Sunday morning carnival. Thousands of people from all ages, could be seen brisk walking, jogging or just casually strolling around the stadium.

Luckily, all were going in a counter-clockwise direction. Why not clockwise? Don't ask me. You can do so if you find it pleasurable running into others.

However, by going counter-clockwise, it doesn't mean your path is obstacle-free.

First, you have to be alert of the slower joggers or those who are simply strolling around. Then, you have to avoid the group of people who are doing aerobics right before your path. Then there is the bunch of crowd gathering around what seemed to be a live telecast TV program. In the end, you'd find that you'd have zig-zagged more in 45 minutes than an entire decade of your life.

And need I mention about the spit on the tarmac? If you're persistent enough to avoid them, then you'd look like a ballet dancer in tank tops and sweat pants.

If you're planning to jog at the complex, my advise is to stay away from the main stadium. It is much too crowded. Jog along the pedestrian footpaths within the complex.

Jakarta is badly in need of a park. I don't understand why the early city planners didn't allocate a space for a huge park with a lake and lots of trees.

Closing Jalan Sudirman and Thamrin can't in anyway substitute for a great park.

15 February 2009

All's Well!!

Last week started off pretty bad for me. However, the situation took a 360 turn and everything seemed to work in my favour. Alhamdulillah.

The process to unblock my BCA ATM card was done in a jiffy! I went to the branch at Jl. Metro Pdk Indah and was pleasantly surprised by the fast and efficient service rendered by a Mbak Fatma.

The trash problem has been resolved. Last night, I was snapping photos of my 3-day's pile of uncollected garbage (which btw, have been ripped open by the "pemulung"). My intention was to snap daily photo of the garbage and attach them in my complain letter to the Pak RT.

A security personnel, Sofyan, who was passing by at the time saw my "photoshoot" with the garbage as my main "talent". I explained to him what my problem was. I also showed him the 6 bags of dried leaves - uncollected since the day I moved in two weeks ago.

Actually, I was planning to dump them into the nearby river. I asked Sofyan on how to get rid of the garden waste. He said he'll see to it that all garbage, be it kitchen or garden, are collected tomorrow.

This morning, I looked out my window. Sofyan kept his words. I will vote for him as the new Pak RT anytime!!

Still on my new residence.

To reach my house, the shorter alternative route is down Jln. Kartika Utama. That is, unfortunately (for me), where Inul's house is.

You see, taxi is my main mode of transportation. In the last week alone, on four occasions, I've been asked by the taxi drivers the exact same question each time we passed by Inul's house.

The normal enquiry would be as follow-

Taxi Driver : Mas, ini rumahnya Inul ya? (in a slightly excited kinda tone)

Me : Ya, mas. Ini rumah Inul. (in a very, very flat, emotionless tone)

However, there was this one cab driver who had to ask more.

Taxi Driver : Dari luar kelihatan sepi ya mas rumahnya Inul. Kayak gak ada penghuni aja.

Me : hmm...... (still thinking of an approriate response... but I wanted to say... lho pikir mau meriah kayak pesta dangdutan??)

TD : Katanya Inul lagi hamil ya mas??

Me : Iya sih. Infotainment kabarin gitu. Lagi hamil anak pertama ( as Inul did not personally inform me of her pregnancy, I had to quote a highly reliable source).

TD : Iya. Katanya bayi tabung uji. Gimana ya mas bayi tabung uji itu?

Me : hmmmm... (thinking of an answer. Flashed back 19 years in time - in the chemistry lab, the last year I held a test tube)

TD : Mas, apa bayi itu dari Mas Adam??

Ok. Here was a taxi driver who is defininately in the wrong profession. He should be writing for a tabloid!!

Me : Kalo bukan dari Mas Adam, dari sapa?? (I wanted soo badly to add .... dari lho???)

TD: Gak tau. Saya gak ngerti proses hamil tabung uji.

Me : Belok kiri di depan itu ya mas (The only thing I could come out with to cut short the conversation)..

Now, I wish Inul would put up a big illumanted sign with the words, in capital, bold, letters...

"Ini Rumah Inul".

That ought to spare me from getting the same question, over and over again.

08 February 2009

Life Is So Full Of ..... Crap

It's been one of those weekends which tested my patience to the limit. A string of events which could erupt the ugliest of temper from within.

And the misfortunes extended its run til Monday morning.

Crap 1

Saturday. My 6th day in the new residence. My garbage has been uncollected eversince I moved in. They're piling up. Very, very, very, unsightly sight.

I sent a text message to my property agent about the thrashy situation. She lives just a stone's throw away from where I reside.

She replied it could be because the house owner hasn't paid the monthly dues for garbage collection. She said she would drop a letter to the Pak RT's house.

By noon, someone from the Pak RT's house came by and handed me a letter detailing the amount which I have to pay to the community's treasurer. Fine. I'm familiar with this sort of dues because I had lived in a housing complex before.
  • Monthly fees - Rp150,000 per month - payable 3 months upfront.
  • New residents fees - Rp150,000 (WTF!!! I doubt it's for a framed resident's certificate)
  • Total amount payable to the treasurer - Rp600,00.

Appended together with the above was a lenghty explanation related to the guidelines and activities within the community.

I went straight to the part on garbage collection.

It mentioned that the garbage collection truck will service the area twice a week. Only kitchen waste would be collected and garden waste is the responsibilty of residents to dispose.

First of all... TRUCK???!! I think they meant GEROBAK. Come to think of it, in my three years in Jakarta, not even once I spotted a garbage compacter truck.

Secondly, and the most absurd, garden waste is my responsibility?? How the hell am I supposed to dispose my garden waste? OK. I admit I don't do much gardening (actual fact is I don't do gardening at all!!), but there is this tree right in front of my fence which sheds leaves faster than Sean Connery loses his hair!

Burning them would mean I'm contributing to the already polluted Jakarta air. Throwing them into Sungai Ciliwung have crossed my mind. After all, those leaves are biodegradable. The guilt factor would be less than disposing plastics.

Crap 2

Have you been to ACE Hardware? I hate this place because it's full of things which you think you can live without but you buy them anyway because you think it might come handy one day. Seldom I walk out of the store empty handed.

I bought a few things (I failed to resist to temptations, again) and didn't have enough cash on me. So I decided to make a direct debit payment using my ATM card. I punched-in my pin number.

The LCD on the swipe machine displayed "PIN Number Error".

I tried again. This time at a slower pace. Same notification appeared. And the 3rd time, I keyed-in at a much, much slower pace.

Again, PIN number error.

The lady cashier said (accused is the more appropriate word here) I keyed-in the wrong PIN number and added that my ATM might have been blocked after the third attempt.

You think I'm a moron? I use the same six digit combination on all other cards too. Unless the nerves connecting my brains to my fingers at that precise moment went temporarily cuckoo, there is not a shadow of a doubt that I had punched the correct combination.

Luckily, I had my credit card on me. And luckier for me, it wasn't going to hit the maximum amount after the intended transaction... errr only a mere thousands rupiah away.

I went to the ATM to check whether my card has really been blocked. Unfortunately, yes. And this could only mean one thing. Dealing with the bank which I despise most in my entire banking life.

BCA Bank.

I went to the branch located in Pondok Indah Mall 2. I took a number from the security table. Number 23. There were, at that time, two customer service personnel attending to customers. The number display showed number 18. Only 4 people ahead of me.

If you think it was a short wait before being served, you're absolutely wrong. This is, after all, the bank which needs 5 working days to print a mere bank statement.

One of the customer service officers was attending to a middle-aged customer seated in front of her. She was taking her own bloody sweet time filling-in a form for the customer. I swear my 9 year old nephew could do it faster than her!!

Sensing it would take ages, I grab a brochure which had the customer care line number on it. I called the number. The person on the line said that the branch at Pondok Indah would not be able to attend to ATM card problems. I was told to go to a nearby branch on Monday.

Today is Monday. I dread going to the branch. I already had a bad start.

Crap 3

If you think that going into their 5th year of organizing the Java Jazz Festival, the organizers have grown wiser and managed to improve their organizing skills, then think again.

Well, to call them incompetent is really, really, really, an understatement.

You see, I've been visiting the Java Jazz 2009 website since early January '09. Only about three weeks ago, the artists performance schedule were posted on the site.

Yesterday was the last day to get the cheaper early bird tickets(although I swear, earlier they put the last date as 9th February). I went to a CD store, Societie at Fx, with the intention to purchase the 8th of March ticket. Earlier of the week, I checked the artists schedule and the artist that I wanted to watch was performing on Sunday.

So, at the Societie counter, I asked whether they had a schedule with them or whether they had an internet connection to check the latest schedule, just in case there were changes.

The answer was an expected NO. Just great. A ticket agent with no friggin' idea about the schedule. They don't even have the organiser's telephone numbers!!!

I bought the ticket anyway, hoping that the performance that I wanted to watch would not be changed to another date.

Monday morning, I checked the Java Jazz website and instantly felt like I was slapped by Peter F. Gontha while giving out a hearty laugh saying "I told you so!! We are a bunch of incompetent f*ucking assholes!!! Only morons like you would trust our schedule!!"

The artist's performance has been changed to 7th March!!! And I have to purchase the 7th March ticket at regular price.

OK. Granted. The website did mention the schedule is subject to changes. But please lah, after all these years don't tell me you can't figure out how to solve the problem of sticking to the original schedule. You mean to say that the earlier schedule was put up just for the sake of having a schedule? Without prior confirmation from the artists?

Oh. I did try calling the organizers today. Could not get through. Maybe the telephone cables were disconnected. Maybe no one has the balls to listen to complains from ticket buyers. I don't know. Just maybe.

03 February 2009

Time To Catch My Breath

Before I begin, to Roid, gue bakal kerjain tag lho. Tunggu aja.

It's been quite an awesome 3 weeks.

It began with the arrival of Peanut Butter and friends. Their visit, which had been planned since June 2008, was supposed to be their last visit before I leave Jakarta for good.

PeanutButter holds the record of having stayed at all four of my residences in Jakarta. Something which even my own mother couldn't match. Hehehe.

Then, the famous Malaysian female blogger, Redmummy, came with her husband and their two adorable, camera savvy kids. It was their first ever trip to Jakarta.

Redmummy is my neighbour in KL. Thanks Red and family for the makan2 , for the Srikaya (which by the way is running out fast.. hehe!) and for the HRC polo shirt.

Then, it was 3 days of meeting and entertaining four big bosses from HQ. Eventually, two of them decided to extend their stay for another 3 days.

The day the two big bosses left for KL on Sunday, I hadn't even packed for the move to the new house!!

And it was a long night indeed. Managed to get everything done by 3 am by which time I had only 4 hours to sleep before the movers came the next day.

Aditya Serviced Apartments. Wonderful 2 months stay. Highly recommended!!!!

Then, it was unpack! unpack! unpack!!!

By Monday evening, I was totally drained. And that night I slept like a log.

Haiya... why la this entry sounds like homework karangan Bahasa Inggeris darjah 5 biru?

Gue bener2 capek. Waktunya untuk pijat!!!!