My stay at Teduh Hostel Kota Tua

Though I don’t consider myself as a pro backpacker, I have stayed at hostels several times. The first time was in Edinburgh, then in Ho Chi Minh, and Taipei. The latter gave me interesting experience, so I had this idea to stay at a hostel during my Jakarta trip last weekend.

My friend told me about this newly opened Hostel – Teduh Hostel Kota Tua. I googled it and it has 9.3 ratings on Booking.com and 96% on Hostelworld.com, sounds really promising, right? Plus, they offer pods instead of bunkbeds, and I figured it will be more convenient. So I gave it a try. Me and my friend each booked a pod for one night, and let me tell you my experience.

The hostel is located within walking distance from Kota Tua’s main attractions – Jakarta Kota station, Kota Tua, Museums, Pasar Asemka.. very convenient. It’s hidden inside a SOHO complex so it could get confusing but worry not, they have clear banners in front of the gate.

After I walked in, I instantly love the interior. It looks sooo comfy! We were greeted by the friendly staffs then had our bookings processed.

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Front Desk

While waiting, I had a look around and took some pictures. The common room and kitchen area is pretty small so there’s not much to see, but it’s really neat, clean, and looks very comfortable. Like many hostels, you are free to use the kitchen, basic utensils are available so you can cook as well.

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The Kitchen + Common Room

There’s also a TV equipped with Playstation and TV cable, which is located in front of a comfy sofa beds. It’s not La-Z-Boy, of course, but it’s pretty comfy for a hostel standard. In addition, the hostel also provides a separate smoking area, so the common room is smoke-free. Yay!

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TV + sofa in the common room (picture is taken after I finished checking in)
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Smoking area

To my surprise, after we checked in, we were each given a (what I like to call) “starter pack” before we were escorted to the room on second floor. I’ve never received this kind of perks when staying at a hostel before! It’s a blanket, reading light, and your keys. Interesting πŸ™‚

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Starter Pack

Now, what about the room? and the pod?

My room – room number 2 is located in second floor. When I reached second floor, this is what I saw :

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Second Floor – Going to the room

Again I’ve never experienced this in the previous hostels that I’ve stayed at. Never before I had to take off my shoes before going inside the room, and sometimes it does get annoying when my room-mate has dirty shoes. This solves the problem!

And here’s what the room looks like :

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The room

Having pods instead of bunkbeds give you extra privacy. Plus, even though it’s a mixed dorm, you can be assured that you won’t ever have to feel awkward to wake up next to a stranger because each pods are covered with curtains!

And this is what my pod looks like .. comfortable, right? It was, indeed, the comfiest hostel bed I’ve ever slept in!

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The Pod
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The Pod

Moving on to the bathroom. Hehe this is a tricky one. One of the most important thing for me when choosing a hostel is the bathroom’s cleanliness. Because I like to take a shower twice a day and I got irritated when the bathroom’s not clean.. hehehe. Lucky me, Teduh Hostel’s bathroom passed my expectations. It’s very clean and the hot water works well so I could enjoy my hot shower, just like at home πŸ˜‰

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Bathroom area
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The bathroom

The next day, we got free breakfast. By breakfast I mean bread, jam, butter, and cereals. They don’t serve milk though, but you can buy a carton for Rp.5000 or bring your own. Not a problem because convenient stores are located nearby. Anyway, my breakfast that day was toasted bread with cereal. And yes, I bought the milk there. Hehe.

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Free Toast, Jam and Cereal for breakfast!

After breakfast, we checked out, feeling happy. Not only because I enjoyed my stay, but I met some interesting people – fellow travelers and had a chance to have interesting conversation with them despite my short stay. Now you might wonder, how much did I pay for a night? Rp.120.000 only. Definitely worth the price! Be sure to check it out when you’re in town πŸ™‚

Teduh Hostel Kota Tua
Jalan Pintu Besar Selatan No.82M
Jakarta 11110, Indonesia
Tel: +62 21 6900939

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Being a tourist in… Jakarta!

Last weekend I did something out of the ordinary. With a friend of mine – Della, I became a tourist in Jakarta. Yep, we had a mini-holiday and ventured around town! πŸ˜€ So what did we do?

First, we took the train.

We started our journey not too early, around 10.30AM in Sudimara station close to our houses. Our destination was Jakarta Kota station in North of Jakarta. It was, indeed, a long train ride as we had to change 2 lines. First was Sudimara – Tanah Abang which was an approximately 35mins ride. Then at Tanah Abang we had to change to Manggarai line – took us another ~30mins.

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Manggarai St.

To our surprise, Manggarai station was interesting! It’s vintage, big, and clean. Plus, it has a Starbucks store. A vintage one! We stopped for awhile to have coffee and snacks, because it’s lunch time already.

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Vintage Starbucks

After resting for awhile, we continued our journey to Jakarta Kota station. We had interesting view on our way, such as this iconic landmark of Jakarta…

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Passing through Monas on our way to Stasiun Kota

With that kind of view, our train ride was very much enjoyable and we almost did not realise when we reached our destination, Jakarta Kota Station. It was around 1PM when we got there.

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Jakarta Kota St.

Second, we had lunch plus a little bit of sightseeing at Kota Tua Batavia.

Though we had some snacks on our way,Β  we felt hungry again so we rushed to Jakarta’s Kota Tua Batavia to find something to eat.

Kota Tua Batavia
Kota Tua Batavia

Since it was mid-day, the weather was soooo hot! We did not get to do a lot of sight seeing and went inside the first air – conditioned restaurant that we could find. It was Historia Food and Bar. The exterior looks very interesting, right?

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Historia Food and Bar

The restaurant, which has vintage interior, serves Indonesian food. The food was good, and the atmosphere was very cosy. I guess it’s either because we were very hungry or we enjoyed the atmosphere very much that we did not complain when each of us had to pay around IDR 75.000 for food and drink. Not so much a backpacker’s meal but we did not complain, hehehe.

Historia Food and Bar
Historia Food and Bar

Third, we travel through time at Museum Bank Indonesia.

After having our lunch, we went to our next destination – Museum Bank Indonesia. Both me and friend never been to this museum before. We did not have a lot of expectations when going in, but feeling very much excited when we left. The museum was really interesting! It was about Indonesia’s monetary activities and currency, started with a history of the nation’s trade, until the latest monetary crisis. I took Social Sciences major in High School but there were a lot of historical facts that I did not know before. Plus, the building was unique as it’s a vintage building.

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Museum Bank Indonesia

Fourth, we took the Transjakarta bus to Sarinah.

From Jakarta Kota Station, there’s a straight busway line to Sarinah, where we spent some time to wander around Jalan Sabang. We then decided to watch a movie because we had nothing else better to do in mind, hehe. We watched The Imitation Game at Djakarta XXI (Previously Djakarta Theatre), and I have to tell you… the movie is class!

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Sarinah Busway Shelter

After the movie, we went back to Jakarta Kota area (this time using a taxi because it was quite late) because we are going to spend the night in the area!

Fifth, we spent the night at Teduh Hostel Kota Tua.

Yep, since we are playing tourists, we already made some plans to stay at a local hostel. The name’s Teduh Hostel and I highly recommended this hostel for all the travelers out there. Since I’m very much satisfied, I’m going to write a separate blog post about this πŸ™‚

Sixth, we wander the busy streets of Jakarta’s Chinatown in order to try one of the town’s oldest coffee shop.

The next morning, we checked out of the hostel and based on the hostel staff’s recommendation, we walked to Chinatown to find what was said to be one of the best and oldest coffee shops in Jakarta – Kopi Es Tak Kie.

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East meets West at Jakarta’s Chinatown

It is nestled in small and busy alley which is known as Gang Gloria, might be a bit hard to find if you’re not familiar with the area like us. But worry not,Β  it’s easy to ask for directions from people in the area because it’s famous.

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The busy alley

Serving you coffee since the 1920s, Kopi Es Tak Kie do not have sophisticated menu. When we sat down, the waiter only offered us iced or hot coffee, with or without milk. We both ordered Ice coffee with milk and boy… it tasted so gooood! Worth the walk and the confusion to find this shop.

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Kopi Es Tak Kie

Last but not least, we made another trip through time at Museum Nasional Indonesia.

Before we went home, we decided to stop by another museum – Museum Nasional Indonesia. The museum is huge! Again, I have never been there before so I had little expectation. But, I left feeling very much inspired.

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Museum Nasional Indonesia

So that’s how I spent my weekend! Definitely not a usual one, and very much enjoyable. Oh, if you would like to see more pictures, do search for #ThisJakartaTrip hashtag on Instagram by yours truly ;). Hope you had a good weekend as well! πŸ™‚

BEC: Me and My Phone

So, it’s the second week I’m participating in Blog English Club‘s English Friday. My entry for last week’s theme can be found here. This week’s theme, however, it’s a bit complicated for me. Why complicated? Because I’m no techie, yet the theme is “how gadget affects our life“.

Okay. Maybe I don’t have to be techie to write about gadgets. I mean, come on, I can assure you that when you see me in person, it will be hard not to see my handphone around me. I’m not always on the phone of course, but I have to have my handphone within my eyesight.

That being said, I immediately realised when my phone was stolen last year. It was actually the first time it ever happened to me. I was in a shopping mall with my colleagues. We just finished our lunch and decided to do a little bit of window shopping. When we left the restaurant, I remember putting the phone inside my dress pocket. It was a 1 minute walk to the boutique (which was crowded at that time), I spent approximately 5 minutes browsing and got bored so I reached to my pocket and found out…. my phone was not there, and the rest is history.

When I realised that it’s happening to me, I felt hollow. Like there’s a big part of me missing. I have, of course, heard other people’s stories, but I never thought it would happen to me.

What made me shocked was the fact that I lost almost all my data because I accidentally turned off automatic data back up. By data, I mean everything. Social Media is the most obvious one but also very minor. What stressed me out was my bank account details, personal finance tracking, travel plans, phone contacts, music, e-books, even until my period log and health tracking data. I came to realise that my handphone has been a major assistance to my daily life.

That’s how gadget, in this case – my handphone, affects my life. I rely on it to assist my daily life –Β  from finance, health, work until leisure, all on top of its initial function… a communication tool.

P.S: I have a new phone now and ALWAYS turn the automatic back up on. Hehehehe. Don’t forget to do the same, friends! πŸ™‚

Jane the Virgin

I’m currently hooked to this TV Series called “Jane the Virgin“. It’s an American TV series, adapted from a Venezuelan telenovela called Juana la Virgen.Β  The story revolves around Jane, a young and religious woman based in Miami, who made a promise to her grandma that she will stay virgin until she gets married. She has a steady boyfriend, a job and is working to finish her teaching degree so everything seems perfectly mapped out. But of course there’s no telenovela without drama… and the drama starts when she was mistakenly inseminated with another man’s sperm – resulting her being a pregnant virgin!

Do you find the storyline interesting already? Hehehe. Well I’m a big fan of romantic comedy and all things drama thus I found this TV series very interesting. I got hooked right after watching the first episode! It’s very funny and it has surprising plot which according to my mum is typical telenovela! Hahahaha. Well I don’t normally watched telenovela but I believe her because she used to be a telenovela translator after we got back from Venezuela and believe me, she has watched a looooot of them.

I’m following the series week by week now and I just finished watching the latest episode “Chapter 10” last night. Boy does the plot gets more and more interesting. Still with a funny touch, of course! Oh, and did you know that Gina Rodriguez (who is playing Jane) recently won Golden Globe for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy? Woohooo!

Okay so before I finished this post, have a look at the trailer and see if you think you’d like this TV series as well.

Btw, do you watch TV series? what are you currently following?

Our First Date

Do you remember your first date with your partner? My first date with the boyfriend actually happened after we were officially together… approximately 2 years after we first knew each other. Hahaha that’s a very long road for a first date, right?! :p

Well, by now you probably have known that we are a LDR couple. He’s in the US, I’m in Indonesia. It took us 2 years knowing each other until we finally met, thus explain the long road for a first date.

Looking at our situation, it’s actually a bit hard to have a first date. I thought we would never have the kind of normal “first date” (you know, the one where the boy picks up the girl, went for dinner and movies and such), so I specifically asked for a “date” while I was in the US. Hahaha. Yep, me and my fairy tales. :p

However, due to our packed schedule while I was there, we could only have the first date at the end of my stay, 3 days before my departure to Indonesia to be exact. So, does that still count as first date? Haha to me it does, well at least, let’s just call it our first official date night.

We were in Solvang, a small tourist city in Santa Barbara County – California as a part of our road trip. We spent the day wandering aroundΒ  the lovely townΒ  and found a restaurant which we thought interesting. It’s called Bit O’Denmark and it has a very classic European style. We thought it’s perfect for our “romantic dinner/first date” so we decided to come back later during the night.

Image from: www.tripadvisor.com
Image from: http://www.tripadvisor.com

Luckily, I just bought a dress and shoes in Target several days before and I had it on my weekender bag. My boyfriend had a decent sweater with him so he decided to wear that. That solved our apparel problem! Hehe. Since Solvang is a small town and we were based on the main road, we could easily walk to the restaurant. When we got there, the atmosphere was reaaallly romantic. It was quiet, the lights were dimmed, and there were not many people there, only us and 2 other couples. We ordered our meal and were chatting while waiting for our food when a group of men walked in.

Image from: www.tripadvisor.com
Image from: http://www.tripadvisor.com

Unlike us they were dressed casually. They were chatting loudly with language that we didn’t understand and went straight to the bar. Uhm, unfortunately the other guests have left when they walked in, so it was only us AND them. So we could hear their voice very clearly. Suddenly, they started to sing! Again, in a language which we didn’t understand. It’s like a march or something.

A “candid” picture of the group of men when they were singing.. :)))

We couldn’t help but looked at each other and laughed silently, because, come on, what a surprising “add-on” to our supposedly romantic first date! Hahahahaha. The singing went on for several minutes and when they finished, they had a toast then started to drink their beers. Not long after they finished drinking, they left and we had the restaurant to our own again πŸ™‚

So… that’s how our “official first date” went. Funny, but truly memorable, hahaha. Care to share yours?

Oh btw it’s 81 days until I get to see my boyfriend again! I shouldn’t be counting days but can’t help it.. Yaaayyyy! πŸ˜€

BEC: My Wildest Dream!

This is my first entry for Blog English Club‘s English Friday. Blog English Club is a community initiated by Indonesian bloggers Dani, Ryan and Nita. Please read their blogs for full information on this initiative. Starting this week I’ll post an article following the weekly theme every Friday. In my blog, the posts will be tagged “Blog English Club”.

So, this week’s theme is “Your Wildest Dream!” and let me tell you a little secret…. πŸ˜‰

Hahaha not really a secret. Well, my wildest dream is to spend months traveling on the road. The longest I’ve spent traveling was 20 days in 2013 for my US Trip. Most of the time was not spent on the road though, since I spent it mostly in Orange County. I have also spent some days on the road – 10 days to be exact, during my England road trip back in 2009. But that’s about it.

There are three alternatives for this dream:

1) Mainland USA road trip with a Travel Trailer

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Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travel_trailer

Me and the boyfriend has set a bucket list for us. Perhaps I’ll share more about it on this blog but one of the items on that list is we will visit every states in the USA. Currently we have visited 2! Still a long way to go hahaha… Anyway, what better way to do it than a road trip? πŸ˜€ This will be crazy though, as we have to spare months or even a year to travel which means we can’t have 9-5 jobs and leave our (future) house behind. We also need a lot of money! Haha. But imagine the adventure that we will have! Thinking about it as I’m writing this gives me chills already.

2) Asia – Europe road trip including a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway

Trans Siberian
Image from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/journeysbyrail/9666654/Trans-Siberian-Great-Train-Journeys.html

I can’t remember when I first found out about this railway. But then last year I met a friend’s friend who told me about his journey when he took the Trans-Siberian Railway and I was amazed! He did tell me that he does not want to do it again though, because some days on the train could be depressing (I guess that’s because he was traveling solo and can’t speak the local languages?). But, he told me that the experience was worth it. It’s a once in a lifetime experience!Β  Then there’s this amazing journey by Nathan Ashker which I found on Instagram, #AsiatoAmerica. He traveled from Asia to America without taking a plane! How interesting! Those sort of stories really inspired me to do the same.. so I came up with this wild dream: One day I will travel to Asia to Europe using Trans-Siberian Railway. Have I done something to make it a reality? Hmmm not really. Later in life, I hope.

3) Europe road trip

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Image from: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/europe/

Now that I’ve mentioned the first two alternatives, this last one looks like the most doable, right? Hehe. I’ve heard stories of my friends doing a Europe road trip. It does not have to be the whole Europe though, some parts of it will do. Since I haven’t been to Eastern Europe, I think I will aim to cover that part of Europe. If I ever got to do the Trans-Siberian Railway trip, this would definitely be doable! Once I reach Moscow, I would continue the trip from Eastern Europe then finish in London…. with a little bit of detour to Bournemouth, of course. (Hahaha still have to include England on the trip! :D)

So now you know. My wildest dream. What’s yours? πŸ™‚

Makan Siang

Bagi pekerja kantoran di ibukota, makan siang bisa jadi hal yang gampang – gampang susah. Inilah masalah – masalah yang biasa muncul bagi para pekerja kantoran macam saya…

1. Mau makan dimana?

Ini pertanyaan yang tiap hari bikin pusing, hampir ngalahin pusing nya dapat kerjaan yang mendadak dari bos. Hahaha. Agak lebay. Tapi bener! Saya kebetulan punya teman makan siang yang tetap, alias makan siang nya sama dia lagi dia lagi. Formasi “geng” nya bisa berubah tiap hari tergantung siapa aja yang ikut, tapi ada 1 orang se-tim saya yang hampir setiap hari makan siang bareng saya. Setiap hari mendekati jam 12 kami saling tanya, “mau makan dimana?” trus jawaban nya sama – sama bingung hahaha.

Padahal sih kita termasuk beruntung karena lokasi kantor kita tempat makan nya lumayan bervariasi (buat yang belum tahu, kantor saya letaknya di sebelah mall favorit kita semua alias Pondok Indah Mall :D). Mau makan murah, bisa ke kantin supir di basement yang cukup bersih dan memadai. Mau rada mahal sedikit, naik lah ke food court mall nya. Kalau lagi banyak uang alias awal bulan, bisa makan di restaurant row PIM 2 atau juga street gallery PIM 3. Tinggal pilih. Tapi tetap aja kita sering bingung. Mau makan dimana?

2. Budget makan siang

Ini juga terkadang tricky. Saya lumayan beruntung, dekat kantor ada pilihan yang bisa disesuaikan dengan budget. Tapi saya tahu ada beberapa teman – teman saya yang tidak seberuntung itu. Kadang mereka tidak punya pilihan lain selain makan siang di restoran berkelas, karena tidak ada warung makan siang yang murah dan memadai. Nah, sekali makan di restoran itu kan biasanya menghabiskan Rp. 50.000-100.000. Kalau sekali – sekali sih nggak masalah, tapi kalau tiap hari kayak gitu, lumayan juga yaaa. 50.000 itu kalau dikalikan 20 hari kerja udah 1 juta rupiah lho! :O

3. Bawa bekal dari rumah

Banyak orang di kantor saya yang bawa bekal ke kantor. Lebih praktis, nggak perlu mikir mau makan apa, dan secara budget juga lebih terjangkau harusnya. Tapi masalah selanjutnya… Siapa yang masak? Hehehe. Kalau bapak – bapak di kantor yang saya lihat sih kebanyakan istri nya yang masak. Atau PRT nya deh. Teman – teman saya juga gitu, pasti dimasakin seseorang. Hampir jarang banget yang masak sendiri.

Kalau saya nggak pernah bawa bekal ke kantor. Di rumah nggak ada PRT, tapi saya sebenarnya bisa masak sih. Masalahnya…. saya merasa nggak pernah ada waktu untuk masak kalau hari kerja. Biasanya saya masak kalau akhir pekan, waktunya lebih banyak dan santai. Kalau hari kerja, pagi nya nggak keburu karena harus buru – buru berangkat ke kantor. Kalau malam, rasanya udah capek duluan. Hehehe banyak alasan ya :p Salut juga sama orang yang bisa masak subuh – subuh untuk bekal dibawa ke kantor… saya belum sanggup.

4. Nggak ada waktu

Kalau yang ini bukan masalah saya sih untungnya. Saya rasanya nggak bakal kuat kalau harus melewatkan jam makan siang karena sibuk kerja. Tapi saya sering juga denger cerita orang – orang yang terlalu sibuk jadi nggak sempat makan siang. Bos saya, seorang ekspat, juga gitu lho. Saya hampir nggak pernah lihat dia makan siang, padahal kubikelnya depan saya. Apa dia nggak ada waktu? Atau emang nggak hobi makan siang? Bagi saya, makan siang itu penting, jadi sebisa mungkin jangan sampai terlewat πŸ™‚

Yah sekian “drama” makan siang saya. Kalau kamu biasa nya makan siang nya gimana? Selamat makan siang ya!