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.