Jakarta Fair – Cherry Belle Are There! Today! But No Dangdut!


Yesterday we went to the Jakarta Fair, in the PRJ Complex, North Jakarta. We had already been to Taman Fatahillah, in the Old Town, where another city anniversary fair was going very well.

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Taman Fatahillah

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Several new cafes, one of which we dined in, Kantin Mega Rasa, in that short street running between Cafe Batavia and the canal. Nice fried rice, rib soup, two iced teas, only Rp.60,000  – AND a clean, well-maintained toilet!

Wow!

The visit to PRJ gave me the opportunity to check the schedule of entertainments, and true enough, the organisers have once more shown their indifference to the music Indonesia likes best, dangdut. Only Ayu Ting Ting is on the list, a shocking betrayal of Indonesian culture, and so different from previous years, which I’ve described before.

However, the ‘in’ thing now is to cater to the teeny-boppers, and I’ve nothing against giving the kids their fair share, but only ONE dangdut star?

Disgraceful.

Happily, the other stage, aka the Gambir Stage, did compensate for the lack of appeal on the big one, no dangdut, but an evening of very good Beatles music, played and sung by local young bands, of which the one whose name I got was the 909 group, I believe.

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It was organised by a body called Indonesia Beatlemania, which, we were told, has 2,000,000 members across the archipelago.

I should have gone today, because….look!

CherryBelle are the advertised treat. As you can see from the above photo, they are a visual delight, but it’s an added bonus that they sing and dance.

The huge area of the PRJ Exhibition Centre in Kemayoran was crowded, and there were lots of things to see and do, unlike last weekend’s poor relation, on Jalan Jaksa.

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  • Much mention was made of Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo, who is up for re-election next month, and no doubt he is entitled to claim some credit for a successful expo.

But wasn’t he the one who made such a dumbo statement about miniskirts being a cause of rape?

  • If his absurd contention were in any way correct, rapine would have been rampant at this year’s JF, because enormous numbers of the attendants at the various product exhibitions were clad in attire that ranged from just above the knee (as declared unacceptable by that bigot the Minister of Religious Affairs) to shorts that even raised my eye-brows – I hasten to add in agreeable surprise, not dismay!

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We’d only just entered the PRJ when we saw two superb dangdut dancers promoting some coffee brand – I was too interested in their shimmying to notice any posters or placards!

And of course the roadways outwith the PRJ were lined with vendors of those kerak telor, spicy egg dish, not my cup of tea, though adored by locals – it’s a traditional Betawi food, Betawi being the ‘native’ Jakartans.

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  • Kerak Vendor Cooking
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So it wasn’t a bad night out, but getting home is another matter. Mobs stream in and out all evening, so taxis are like gold-dust. Along with many others, we waited and waited…

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Microlet

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Finally an enterprising microlet came along, usually to be avoided late at night, and it was getting on for midnight. and even though he was heading for Senen, an area notorious for street crime, everybody piled in, 15 folk, not counting the driver!

Good on him – nobody minded paying Rp.5000, twice the normal fare – off we went, to the said destination, where we survived long enough to find a taxi home!