Jakarta, Indonesia

“That’s where the tourists go”

Whenever visiting a new place, chances are, you will end up asking people for recommendations on spots to visit where they will name a couple of them followed by “That’s where the tourists go”. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2016)

After having lunch at the food court of Pavilion KL, my college classmates and I hailed a cab to Merdeka Square. We are staying in an Airbnb at the KLCC area, so it took us a while to get there, plus there was a traffic jam.

Our cab driver dropped us off in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and said, “There, that’s where the tourists go” while pointing at the Merdeka Square and the museums surrounding it.

I remembered specifically requesting my classmates to visit museums because I need to get some information for a paper on Southeast Asian Art that I was then writing for grad school. I am pretty sure they don’t like it but said yes anyway.

We met another classmate for dinner at Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang where a lot of street food stalls are located. He asked me, “Ano, Sher, okay ka na sa museums mo?” (“So, Sher, were you able to do your museum thing?) That’s how I confirmed it. Everybody wants something else that afternoon, but they went to the museums with me anyway.

What the actual fuck. I’m not traveling with other people again.

Jakarta, Indonesia (2019)

After attending an academic event at Surabaya in East Java, I decided to sleep on a friend’s couch because I wasn’t feeling well and I can’t die alone inside my hotel room just in case (sometimes I play the ‘worst case scenario’ game like how Randall and Beth do it on This Is Us).

Naturally, I asked her for recommendations on where to go, and she told me that I can take the train to Kota Tua, and Cafe Batavia is “where the tourists go”. She added that it’s a very touristy cafe, therefore the food is expensive.

Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia

This time I did not mind visiting the cafe. It has a colonial vibe, old, rustic interiors, and damn, the toilet is so selfie-friendly. The nasi goreng I had was one of the best. I also had the most expensive coconut juice, ever. It was a lovely day.

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