Jakarta Jaunt – Kebon Kacang, Kos Kosan – Batik Boy Lives!

One of the most agreeable, albeit a seemingly insignificant, aspect of reaching that stage in life called ‘retirement,’ is the chance at long last to dispense with neck-ties.



—————-some of my collection!………


School-days, okay, you had to don the uniform daily, but then at uni, seven long lively years in my case, freedom to wear what we wanted, except at formal functions.

Like graduation, as parents attend and expect no less of their wee lads and lasses  when those photos are taken.

But then entering the world of work, in most examples, it’s back to uniforms again, not the rigorous school version, but a uniform nevertheless, that of the  dreaded ‘suit-people,’  whom we swore we’d never become, back in undergrad life. Maybe not the full ‘tin-flute,’ but at least the collar and tie bit.

Teaching in Jakarta? Just as much de rigeur… tie that damned thing round your throat every morning, not least because (again!) the parents expect it of you.

But then we discovered batik!

It’s just about compulsory on Firdays, for all official places, like government offices, etc. and most other ‘white-collar’ workers wear it too on that day, But you can do so most days, and be perfectly acceptable! I do, having got somebody helpful to take my long-sleeved batiks to a tukang jahit (tailor) near her office and shorten them. So coool and comfortable.

thamrin City

Which neatly takes me to Thamrin City, where I ended up today. 

I was last there about five years ago, or more, when it first opened, and it seemed quite a desolate mall, but now it’s a thriving shopping centre, just five mins walk west, along Jalan Kebon Kacang, from the Bunderan H.I.


thamrincity-pusat-batik-nusantaraBatik Galore


And it is OVER-FlOWING with batik, shirts as cheap as Rp.35,000, probably cheaper still if I ger her to shop for me.

Being free from employment duties now, I took the chance to have a stroll, after a late lunch with a friend (a word of warning here- the food court on the second floor offers decent meals at good prices, but we sat in the wrong part. At first i kept glancing down at my feet, as I feared I’d got something horrid on my shoe on the way there, but no, as I left, I noticed the toilets were in close proximity to our table and once out of that immediate area, the smell was no more!)


thamrin city view


I’ll move on, though not without a mention of the great views you can get from TC!

Instead of traipsing back to the Bunderan (roundabout) I cut along the small street, Jalan Kebon Kacang 9, I think, that parallels Jalan Sudirman.

A different world, a kampung still, yards from th bustle and glitz of the city’s main artery!

And by the way, if any of you are house-hunting, there are a lot of promiing-looking kos (boarding houses) down that back-street, ideal access to the city-centre, but quiet and pleasant leafy environs.

Mind you, they may have strange rules about cats and girls. I have just about hunted down the house for me, but I did consider a kos or three – briefly. All refused to have a pet on the premises, and many have bizarre rules that say guests must be out by 11pm.




I can’t quite figure out how this ties (  ! ) in with any ‘morality’ issue. If you’re going to be naughty with your girl-friend, it is entirely possible to be so at any time of day – morning, arvo, evening.

Some even say those times are more fun than dead of night, when everyone’s tired out!

But be warned.

More on my walkabout tomorrow! .