After exploring Petak 9 Market and chowing down on some street noodles, we headed to Kota Tua, also known as Old Jakarta. You can surely see the Dutch influence in the architecture in the area. The artist that she is, Fransisca brought me to the local post office where there is an art gallery upstairs. She tells me that art galleries are not so prominent in the area and Kota Tua is rapidly changing and pioneering the resurgence of the art community. After seeing the "new" Kota Tua, it was time to stroll around and see remnants of history. The area is full of old buildings. Some in disrepair, some in the middle of reconstruction, and all really photographically interesting. Upon seeing a building that is literally falling apart and noticing that four families share the space, Fransisca asks if we can enter to take pictures. The families welcome us in and I am again reminded of the openness and kindness of Indonesian people.
When I ask Fransisca where people go to hang out, she tells me everyone goes to the mall. Apparently malls are THE place to go. I couldn't help myself. We ended the day at Grand Indonesia Mall where we ate ice cream at the Magnum Cafe that boasted a view of the city.
Upon reflecting on the day, I am so grateful for the randomness of the internet. It's only through the web that Fransisca found me and I am reminded how being open to people will grant you amazing experiences. Fransisca is a twenty-one year old wise beyond her years. I especially loved asking her cultural questions and exchanging world views. I'm leaving you with a recording where I ask her about the challenges of being a woman in Indonesia as well as what it means to be Indonesian. Take a listen. Thanks Fransisca, you are amazing!
The morning I was leaving for Jakarta I woke to an email from Fransisca Angela. She had stumbled across my interview on Need Supply and saw that I was coming to Indonesia. As a freelance photographer, she offered up her tour guide services to show me around Jakarta. I happily obliged. After viewing her website and portfolio, I knew I was in good hands. Jakarta has always been a city in passing when I've previously visited Indonesia and I really felt like I didn't know Jakarta. I was eager for the grand tour. She picks me up at 7:30am and we end up spending the entire day together. I'm splitting up the adventure into two posts because there are just too many amazing photos from the day. She said after reviewing my blog, she thought I'd love Petak 9 Market which is sort of like the Chinatown. of Jakarta. Upon arriving, I knew this was a girl after my own heart. My camera was in pure bliss. The narrow alleys were ripe with photo opportunities and lovely, lovely people.
It was for the first time, that I felt like I was really getting to know Jakarta and the locals. Fransisca brought me through the alleys with ease, connecting with people along the way. She took me to Bakmi Gang Kemenangan, known for the best noodles in the area and I was loving hanging out at the table with the locals. I was moved by the honesty and warm nature of the people. Having traveled extensively with camera in hand, I was more than pleased to find the people so willing and excited to have their picture taken. Petak 9 was only the first stop of the day. Just wait until you see where else we went!
Photo below by Fransisca Angela.