Monday, July 24, 2017


I hate lonely nights when I'm travelling.

I don't sleep well on these occasions that's why I need to have at least two big beer bottles to help me get knocked off.

Dry Sahati Hotel and its equally arid environs is therefore not the place for me and I am grateful to Oskar for leading me to the more cosmopolitan neighborhood of Kemang in Jakarta. 

I've got a sparse room in the Amaris Hotel la Codefin but what matters is the Lotte Mart right on the ground floor and its well-stocked beer fridge.

There was of course the de rigueur Bintang on the first night which segued into Bali Hai, Anker and Draft in the succeeding nights, local brands I was told which is my usual preference when on the road.

I've had these mostly with Oskar and then Derk, at the Amaris/Lotte tables usually and some nights in the fancy Lippo Mall and the secluded Bremer Beer Garden. 

The restaurants are also diverse and I tried a different one each night: a large plate of Nasi Campur Umara at Lumpang Emas on Monday, ayam and kambing satae at Jalan Raya on Tuesday, and a tiny grilled chicken leg at the Bremer Beer Garden on Wednesday.

Lunch was also memorable: fried chicken and stir-fried vegetables wrapped in brown paper at the Oxfam office, fried chicken Indonesian-style at Sintia's favorite restaurant, and a superb spread [beef rib stew, satay, kangkong, an omelette of sorts] prepared for us by friends from KIARA.

Hotel breakfast is forgettable so I pampered myself with Old Town's famous white coffee, the equally renowned Kaya butter toast, and two soft-boiled eggs while whiling my time at the airport.

Somehow, beer and good food [and good company!] takes off some of the stress that comes with those work-related trips.

Kemang was exciting but nothing is comparable to homegrown beer and lunch with the family even if I have to squeeze these all within 15 hours between coming home and travelling again to my next destination.  

I like Kemang but there is no place like home!

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