Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Cruisin' and Jakarta, Indonesia
I believe we had a day at see before arriving in Jakarta, Indonesia and that night was another gala night (aka dress up fancy). Since we only brought two suitcases for the four of us on a three week vacation, you'll notice we are wearing the same thing each gala night. Made for a lot of hand washing, but it's so much easier wheeling two suitcases rather than more with the kids.
The girls particularly enjoyed choosing hot dogs and ice cream for dinner every night
you've been in Japan too long when your 3 year old peace signs in every picture
Chloe was having a particularly clingy evening with Eric

My mom was a little uneasy about our stop in Jakarta. It's the capital of Indonesia, it's big, and doesn't have a great reputation for safety. I told her before leaving we would pacify her by either staying on the boat or taking one of the excursions offered by the cruise. We decided to take a half day tour from the cruise and let Etta stay and play on the boat. One kid is so much easier than two when traveling. Mainly because it cuts out all fighting (just not the whining).
Here's Chloe keeping entertained while on the bus
We did a lot of driving getting from the cruise harbor to all of our stops. Most of the time the scenery looked like this...shacks, hanging clothes, burning garbage, and we even saw a man pooping into a canal. Didn't have the camera at hand for that!
Seeing the majority of people living like this makes me thankful for what I have.
The tour guide had mentioned that the government has/had a program where they gave poor people a house and land to live on other islands and a lot of them would just sell what they were given and move back to the slums of Jakarta. I just can't imagine.
Our first stop in Jakarta was the harbor and we were thankful that it didn't look as bad as Makassar. This time people weren't living right next to the harbor so we didn't see the shacks and kids running around. Here are a few things we saw.
Phinisi Schooners again
Really hard and dirty labor. Our guide said these men work all day for about $10
Moving concrete onto the boat. No safety regulations here.
We went to a museum that was pretty darn neat. It holds a lot of antique furniture now but you can see the jail cells that we small and held that really heavy balls that we attached to ankles.
We some how drew crowds wherever we went, we should have been charging for pictures!
Chloe decided to throw herself on the floor of the museum. It annoys us yet everyone still thinks she's cute.
High Tea at Cafe Batavia

To keep Chloe happy, Eric forked over 20,000 Indonesian Rupiah for Bugs Bunny (a little more than $2)
Here's the balloon guy
we stopped at the National Monument, it looked cool at the time!
We then went to Indonesia's largest mosque which can hold 10,000 people. The columns are blocking the view but there is a separate section for women to pray on the left of where we were standing.
neat dome

Another neat view from the bus
At the end of the tour we didn't go directly back to the cruise. Instead they took us to some famous 24 hour shopping mall. By the time we got there, we had 30 minutes to shop before the bus left. Otherwise there would be another bus in 90 minutes or two and a half hours later. I guess it was for people who wanted to do some serious shopping or just hang out away from the cruise for a little longer. Not us, we knew Chloe could only handle so much shopping and hang out time before melting down for an afternoon nap. We had a good $30-40 in local money that would turn into meaningless paper by the end of the day (it was our last stop in Indonesia) so we had a goal of 30 minutes!
We probably would have done better if we had a little more time, but we ended up finding some local coffee (for both sets of parents), tea, and some trinkets for the girls. We had just several dollars left and we had used our 30 minutes up. By the time we got to the meeting point the bus was still there and were waiting several more minutes. Eric went into a cafe and bought several drinks using up the rest of our Rupiah. Cold drinks on the bus ride back and no worthless money in the pocket, that brought a good conclusion to our excursion.


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