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  • ross1948 06:46 on May 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Jakarta. McDonald Sarinah   

    Sarinah Golden Arches No More – Fin De Siecle…? 

    I see that the Mcdonald’s branch at Sarinah is closed down, not for the time being, but forever!

    Unlike many other former users, I didn’t go there on closing day, as I could see no reason to do so…


    …and had I gone, I might have been at risk from massive breaches of ‘social distancing,’ as described by a young lady who wrote rather a good article on current concerns about Indonesia and the Chinese Virus in the Jakarta Post.




    Besides, I am no great fan of the fast-food served up by that global enterprise.

    Nevertheless, it’s just a little bit of a wrench, because that Sarinah outlet must have been the first place I ate out when I was brand-new in Jakarta.

    I was then living ( briefly) in one of Jalan Jaksa’s cheap hotels…




    …which as far as I know is still there ( but it’s been several years since I frequented that once-popular street) and had had my breakfast therein.

    Being curious about my new city, I then went for a walk, which, following my nose, took me to Pasar Tanah Abang, the old one, long gone now, back when there were goats grazing nearby.

    Returning by an equally uncertain route, those Golden Arches loomed up and, out of familiarity with the symbol, rather than any relish for the menu, I stopped and had a cheese-burger.

    Since then I have been back often, again not for food but to meet various people.

    I have even mentioned the place in my blog.

    Big Mackistan? Ramadhan Lock-Out at McD Sarinah?

    Sarinah’s West Door Security? Where? And Why ‘Palestine’ Droning? 

    I did form a liking for that long narrow terrace/balcony which ran round the corner of their upper level.

    It was a congenial place to watch out for whoever I might be expecting, or for unexpected arrivals whom I might wish not to meet!

    Yet so many of the places I once frequented…


    tanamur corner

    Tanamur corner.  All that’s left of Tanamur


    …like the amazing Tanamur disco (missed the most) and Blok M’s Lintas Melawai..



    Romance, a legend in its own time

    …and Jalan Jaksa’s Romance Cafe – which was never remotely romantic but highly entertaining, and The Sportsman’s, not so much, and Top Gun, and the dangdut bars at Pasar Rumput..


    …all gone.

    All this talk of what the ‘new normal’ is going to be like…?

    I miss the ‘old normal!’


  • ross1948 12:36 on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Big Makistan, , Jakarta. McDonald Sarinah, , terrace   

    Big Mackistan? Ramadhan Lock-Out at McD Sarinah? 


    I used to spend a lot of time in the Sarinah area, back when Jalan Jaksa was fun and Baku Dapa was open, so when making one of my occasional returns to that part of Jakarta, I like to wander in and see what’s doing.

    Since the terrorist attack earlier this year, it’s all the more important not to avoid the area.


    This week I felt like doing some writing and thought it would be nice to sit out on that first floor terrace/balcony that arose as part of the McDonald renovation a few years ago.  

    With plans to meet up at Ya Udah for beer-chat in the evening, off to town I went mid-arvo, and dismounted from the TransJakarta Busway at 3pm.

    • busway


    I climbed the big frontal stairway and turned left along the narrow terrace, which I noticed was partially blocked by a couple of chairs at the approach to the McDonald section but that’s not unusual, so I easily manoeuvred my way past…

    ….and lo…!



    Every single chair and table ahead of me was up-ended, stacked as if for storage!

    Bemused, I moved to open the door into the interior, where customers could be seen – that door was locked!

    I moved around the corner of the building, tried the other door. Locked also!

    So, defeated, I retraced my steps, having realised what was amiss.

    Ramadhan. There’s no other logical ( ! ) explanation. 


    Ramadan fasting: It’s about discipline, reflection, humanity

    Or so says the Islamophiliac headline in the LA Times. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/ramadan-fasting-itrsquos-about-discipline-reflection-humanity/ above an article which includes these admirable words.

    Ramadan is a perfect time for Muslims to advance their relationships with neighbors and community, helping to improve the understanding of the true Islamic character in a free and open society.

    Given that attitude, which is indeed shared by many Muslims in Jakarta, I find it incredible that a major multinational like McDonalds could slither so easily into crass intolerance, childishly rendering their outdoor area neither free nor open!

    To what purpose?

    The only people who might be ‘offended’ by folks having coffee or burgers on the terrace would be those who were having coffee or burgers within.

    Non-fasters – who ipso facto wouldn’t give a rat’s ass!


    • sarinahmalam

    Photo from Sarinah Busway bridge – can YOU see who’s eating or drinking?


    Of course if people on the Busway bridge had binoculars and were DESPERATE to be ‘offended,’ they could train their field-glasses on the terrace.

    Or maybe people in the car-park below, if truly craving spiritual affront, could peer up at sinful guzzlers? 

    But even if they scaled the car-park perimeter wall, and stretched themselves to their tallest possible height, they’d still be hard-pushed to catch a glimpse of any sinful cups and plates, except when the sinners raised them to their lips.  


    devil destroyed


    Seems a dull way to achieve ‘offended’ status even for the most dimwit sectarian fanatic.

    Downstairs, of course, they have draped their windows with those silly ‘fasting’ curtains, to prevent passing fasters resisting temptation, exercising the spiritual discipline, that’s supposed to be part of Ramadhan.

    I know a few Islamists do look in on this blog to read my protests at the Arabisation of Indonesia.

    Perhaps one of them might explain how this Big Mackistan policy of denying non-fasters a place in the sun is justified?


    PS I don’t know if that other catering outlet in Sarinah is still up to its old Islamist antics…

    Cold Comfort at Chili’s, in Ghost-Town Jakarta! 

    …I have eschewed the place since I published that report four years ago. Perhaps some reader can advise?

    • Rini 13:26 on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      All you say here is true. We do not need to make life dificult for people not fasting. It is our choice to fast and you must be free to have choice not to fast.
      This terrace-closing at McD is not our Indonesia way, maybe more like Arab Saudis or Pakistan. Very funny your Big Mackistan and I laught with you at the silly thing they do.


    • M.S. 14:08 on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Mister Bule you should not eat while we fast. It is not respecting us so it is offending us. If you want eat, go home. Indonesia is Muslim and you are not.
      Understand this and you can be happy.
      If not happy, leave.


    • JazPen 14:56 on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I was down there the other day, Ross and I walked into McDonalds and customers upstairs were locked in. Access only from the internal stairs. Youre correct, no good reason for management to do this.
      I didnt check out Chillis, never went back after that stupid beer ban you were on about. Restaurants that dont respect customers dont deserve custom.


    • Robbi Gunawan 18:36 on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You do no harm to eat on that terrace. We have our fasting month but may not stop you to eat, same like you do not stop us to fast. McDonald is wrong to lock doors.
      It is a stupid thing for them to do and I can not understand it.


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