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Presenting the telling of the tales home for the stories of Isa Betancourt and Rumaan Malhotra's trek in the land of the orangutans.

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!