Blog

Isa’s nature journal and musings.

Exploring Jakarta: Learning The Currency Value


After maybe a full day and a half spent without leaving the hotel, we decided to venture out of the bubble. We wanted to try other food and we sought an additional outlet adapter for our electronics. We grabbed our indonesian travel phrases book, hopped into a taxi, and off to the mall we went.

Here came the currency learning cost. We arrived. I gave the taxi driver the indonesian rupiah payment. He said something in Indonesian. I got flustered since I didn't understand what he said and thought maybe I didn't give him enough. I was about to give him another bill when we realized that I had probably given him enough. We hopped out of the car and reviewed the situation.

We realized that I had just paid about $15 for a taxi ride that cost $1.50! Rumaan gave me a hard time about it. I was shocked that the cab rides were so inexpensive compared to cab rides in Philadelphia, where the equivalent ride would have probably cost $20. I had given the best gratuity I had ever given in my life 900% in a location where taxi drivers are not even usually tipped!

The Currency of Indonesia: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
About 13000 IDR = $1 USD

A cool piece of artwork with scattered indonesian words by Ramadhani Kurniawan.
Title: Menata Kata Kota.
2013 Galvanized wire, car paint hand clear coating. 21cm x 130cm x 8cm
[Menata means organized, Kata means word, Kota means city]

Whirls of lights as we spun off to the mall.

The Currency of Indonesia: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) About 13000 IDR = $1 USD

The Currency of Indonesia: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
About 13000 IDR = $1 USD

Rumaan pong indonesia jakarta mall

Before our day was over, I was able to give Rumaan a hard time right back.
We met up with fellow volunteer, Andrea and Andrea's friend at a market style eatery in one of the malls. From the selection, Rumaan choose two beers for himself and I to have with dinner. One was a domestic beer from Bali and the other was from Germany. We had a great time meeting Andrea and her friend and chatting over dinner.

At checkout we had a surprise. The beer that Rumaan had thought was 15,000 rupiah actually costed 150,000 rupiah. What he had thought was about $1.50 was actually about $15.00 !! This was the opposite situation of what happened with the taxi and I. We had a good laugh over this.

There was no way we'd forget the exchange rate after this day of mishaps!

A foreign land

Our flight landed at 1am in Jakarta. It sounds like a terrible time to land but arriving from the USA, which is located nearly on the opposite side of the planet, we were more tired from traveling than from sleepiness.

An airport shuttle picked us up. For whatever reason, traffic was terrible!
Just stepping outside the airport, we were already learning a lot about this new culture. Motorcycles are way more common in Indonesia than in the USA and even if there are 4 drawn lanes on the highway, nothing stops motorists from creating 5.
 

At 3am we finally got to our room where we were welcomed by tasty and colorful treats.

At 3am we finally got to our room where we were welcomed by tasty and colorful treats.

A view of Jakarta, Indonesia.

A view of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Lovely and relaxing pool area of the Four Seasons

One of my first meals in Indonesia

One of my first meals in Indonesia

Ready to dig in. I went for a little bit of everything! I want to try it all.

Ready to dig in. I went for a little bit of everything! I want to try it all.

During our time in Jakarta, we stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel. It was a very comforting place to stay and helped balance the initial discomfort of navigating in a foreign country. It also provided an intense contrast with our future room and board arrangements at Camp Tuanan.

In the morning, I checked out the view and snapped a quick selfie to send to my family to let them know I made it successfully to Jakarta.

In the morning, I checked out the view and snapped a quick selfie to send to my family to let them know I made it successfully to Jakarta.

From the hotel room, we could see a field with livestock. Very peculiar for the center area of a major city!

One morning we woke to music playing. There was a run happening and a music group was set up to entertain runners.

The Four Seasons offered a delicious breakfast buffet every morning which offered a huge variety of foods.

Rumaan enjoys his brunch.

Rumaan enjoys his brunch.