Tim and I stopped for lunch in a random warung (local restaurant) in Jakarta and were treated to a performance by this local Indonesian singer and guitarist. Street performers, street food and awesomely friendly people make Jakarta a special place.
Always make time for street performers when you can. They’re working hard and deserve some love.
We certainly tipped him generously as we greatly enjoyed his music with our meal. Jakarta is a city that provides a lot of wonderful little surprises and this was one of them. I have to say that we enjoyed plenty of Indonesian music while we were there, but much preferred the modern to the traditional.
Tim and I both advocate for eating in little local places like this. Restaurants that are designed to cater to western tastes and sensibilities are generally expensive and bland. Eating with locals is the way to go. That applies no matter where you are. Even on a US road trip, you should choose the diner with the parking lot full of local license plates. That’s always where the best food is.
If you don’t like spicy though, let them know. In Southeast Asia, the default spice level can be pretty hot for some people. Often they’re happy to adjust your dish to your preference, when they can.
From wild tuk-tuk rides, to delicious street food, to super friendly people, Jakarta is actually pretty awesome as big cities go. It’s really great to be in the middle of it and I can recommend the Cikini Raya neighborhood.
You might have to take a little time to get to know Jakarta, but try to look past the crowded big city to see the soul underneath. It’s there, and it’s strong. Enjoy it.
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If you want to check out Jakarta for yourself, here are some ideas: https://bit.ly/2WkAs4e