A Sunny Jakarta Day Out! But Not Free From Duty!


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Yesterday was a holiday, but when you’re retired, that is hardly an exceptional situation.

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Besides that, I saw on the TV news that all places enjoyed by those on holiday were horrendously crowded, a condition I do not generally appreciate.

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So no inclination to stray far from HQ, only out to find sustenance, a plate of gado2 (spicy salad) from a passing tukang, one of the vendors who go by yelling out their wares.

I then returned to sunbathe till my appearance was sufficiently lobstery – it must have been hot, for I withdrew indoors before the sun had gone behind the neighbouring rooftops, a rare retreat on my part.

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   And today I’m still quite red!

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Today, though,  I was free too, so arose at 9am and prepared to go forth, first to do a little shopping, my Lucky Strike Hijau having almost run out, then into town.
On the way in, relaxing on the bus, a most welcome sms from a valued regular house-guest, from whom I hadn’t heard in ten days, a fact which had been seriously vexing me.
I hold these visitors in high regard, and whilst I know they can’t always drop by to enliven my domestic routine, it’s never a case of ‘no word, no worries.’
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However, it turned out that sheer pressure of work had prevented communication.
The place of work is a branch of a major department store chain, which I’d identify for public contempt, but won’t risk the person concerned being identified in turn – all the staff suffer idiotic petty management rules, such as a set ‘pee’ time – if you don’t happen to need a pee, you have to wait another chunk of hours to go!
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And that’s only one example.
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However, since that particular person is tops in my esteem, I was delighted to know nothing was amiss (except the daily horrors of the job!) so carried on into Jakarta quite euphoric at the prospect of a weekend reunion.
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Next stop was Kuningan.
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I had arranged to meet another friend at the Lotte Shopping Avenue, because if you use Lotte Mart supermarkets, you get a special card, which, I had learned, entitled me to enjoy shopping at their Duty Free outlet!
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We waltzed into the store (it’s up on the 4th floor) and located the sumptuous display of booze. The young man in charge was most polite and helpful and soon sussed my character, taking us to a FIFTY PER CENT discount offer!
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It was, alas, only for Bailey’s, but a bargain like that would not have been rebuffed – except that, he explained, any purchases could only be picked up at the airport!
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WHAT?
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I flaunted my Lotte Card, but was more than chagrined to hear his further words, that I had to flaunt my travel docs too, including a valid international air ticket.
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O ME MISERUM!
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Led near weeping from the store, I was comforted with nasi goreng etc in City Walk mall, not far on an microlet 44.
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But it was such a fine sunny day I got over it, and now am home again, planning tomorrow’s jaunt.
i.