Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
At Jakarta airport the credit card machine at the Visa on Arrival booth was out of order and we didn’t have any cash in any currency so a guard kept my husband’s passport while he walked all the way through to the exit of the airport to withdraw cash! We easily negotiated a taxi to take us to Bogor and settled in to watch the scenery. Jakarta is enormous and has a lot of new high rise buildings spread out over a large area and interspersed with slums.
Bogor is a bustling and pleasant town with a cooler climate and lush vegetation because it rains nearly every day. It’s easy to see why Bogor is such a popular weekend destination for Jakartans. It is famous for its Botanic Gardens which my husband explored with our children. We are staying with the family of my children’s Indonesian teacher and it’s lovely that the children have playmates their own ages and we have adults to easily converse with. They are here for a 12 month posting and live in a guarded compound for expats and upper class Indonesians.
This morning we hired a car and driver to take us to Gunung Mas tea plantation. It was a tranquil place and we all enjoyed strolling amongst the tea plants and we saw 3 monkeys in a tree. Many of the leaves had been munched on by something and we noticed that tobacco plants are grown amongst the tea, presumably to deter such munching! There weren’t any information signs at all, the factory isn’t functioning while they replace equipment and we weren’t offered a cup of tea!
Next we drove through one seemingly unending line of stalls selling produce like taro, bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, mangoes and fried goodies with hundreds of pedestrians, scooters and cars going about their daily business. Our destination was the Taman Safari drive through zoo. Normally we avoid zoos due to ethical considerations but we decided this was a unique opportunity not to be missed by our children. On the drive into the zoo we bought 10 bunches of carrots to feed the herbivores.
To our relief the enclosures are large and many of the animals seem calm and there were only a few cases we saw of distress. The 4 children delighted in feeding carrots to the animals and it was amazing driving through the lion, tiger and bear enclosures. Also included in the ticket price was 1 free ride on each of about 10 different fun park rides which our children adored.
Dinner was at another excellent local restaurant where we had a veritable feast for 8 people for only $60 AUD equivalent.