Not So Memorable Trip to Anchol

I call it ‘not so memorable’ – its not entirely forgetful. I have photos to remind!!
and of course following distinct memories:
It was exactly 27th February, the very next day of my arriving at Jakarta. Exactly the 12th day post my marriage. I was exhausted from too much of the following activities that happen in typical marriages:
  • Travelling
  • Making and receiving phone calls
  • Saying innumerable good – byes (Some of which were emotionally draining)
  • Eating loads of food  – the extremely fattening varieties at various times of the day, including ungodly hours.
  • Wearing the wedding jewellery on various visible (thankfully) parts of the anatomy
As a result my thought about going to Anchol was =HUH??
I did not protest. Not that I was unenthusiastic, but I wasnt enthusiastic either. I was exhausted. However, My reasons for still going ahead with the visit were:
  • Cable was not working (Swapnil’s trip to India resulted in overdues and hence disconnection)
  • Swapnil wasnt going to fix it that day (He had to report at work)
  • I wasnt feeling sleepy despite the whole exhaustion part. (probably fatigue was more mental than physical)
  • I wanted to impress my new husband showing him how fast I could be independent (infatuation makes you think silly things)
  • Swapnil encouraged (read=forced) me to get out of the house because he was scared that I’d confine myself to the flat and eventually become one of those Indian housewives here – who come out on the grounds in the evening to chit chat and gossip. (Nothing much to explain in brackets. I dont gossip with local women. I still have my ‘mahilamandal’ online for that 😉 )
My companions were M, Swapnil’s colleague’s wife (now my friend), and her relatives – viz – her sister and brother in law (or brother and sister-in-law) and their young son aged 18 months or so. A few comments:
  • A trip with them sounded like an organised trip where nobody knows anybody and everybody keeps to themselves (or if you’re lucky, yoy become friends)
  • We called them just an hour before they were leaving, making me feel like intruder (Eventually, I adjusted to this way of expat living. This kind of barging in is fairly common and I must say, necessary for a new expat no matter the eleventhness of the hour 😉 )
  • M’s relations had come to meet her specifically, making me feel like I was stealing their precious time together. (I anyways dont speak a lot at the first meeting, and not that anybody @ the trip specifically cared about the amount of time they needed to spend conversing with me – still, my mind works like this. No solution!!)
  • M and her relations were nice to me – and made conversation, though I dont remember what we spoke – as I said the ‘trip’ was not so memorable. I hope M and her relations had nice time together though. They’re sweet people.
Anyways, we left late in the day because of last minute hassles of picnicing that happen (and my last minute inclusion). I didnt know what Anchol was even supposed to be. That fortunately gave me a chance to converse with my companions . I was told, it was an area developed with various sea-world theme parks, water parks and beaches and restaurants. It was a good picnic spot. This allowed us to spend the good part of 1.5 hours of travelling speculating what would we be seeing.
Observations on Anchol (FINALLY!!!) – the place we went to
  • It is clean!! (I mean, my first visit to an Indonesian tourist spot. For a third world country this spot was damn clean and every time I step outside my house, my belief that Indonesians are more aware as compared to Indians of public responsibility, cleanliness and hygiene is reinforced).
  • It is HUGE. Again for a densely populated place like Jakarta, carving out such a huge area for public entertainment (and maintaining it well) is not an easy task.
  • There werent many people (err… it was Monday??)
  • Expenditure on food in Jakarta, in simple restaurants=expenditure on food at a fine dining place in Mumbai (Every time I dine out, I conclude this)
  • I remember worrying whether the nasi goreng ‘tidak nonveg’ (no nonveg) that I’d ordered contained chicken stock. And then trying to forget this thought…
  • With too many theme water parks around, we only went to one sea world, being short on time. It was dark inside. There were various variety of fish (the pictures attached are of seaworld) and on any other day I would have appreciated these more, but all I remember is feeling sick due to acidity, asking M to put her hand on the glass ceiling where a sting ray was just passing by, the baby being amused at the glass ceiling part and excited to ‘touch’ fish (he was just touching the glass) , marshy smell, 2 ugliest water lizards or crocodiles, splash of colours (those colourful fish found near corals) and feeling exceedingly cold (due to temperature control)
To conclude, (thoughts while returning home)
  • Oh my God, is it 8.30 pm already?
  • I am feeling sick. I should have stayed at home. Bad, bad acidity. I want to puke.
  • I am definitely NOT a fan of ‘organised’ stuff when it comes to nature. I’d rather prefer wild and untamed rather than manicured and clean…
  • I am not a particular fan of fish (Especially the dangerous ones) and I am not a particular fan of site seeing when I’m exhausted.
  • Key takeaway= travel for pleasure only when in right mindset.

    ETA: All the images so far on this site (Except Taman Safari and my house) are from a Blackberry phone camera. So apologies for poor picture quality. The series of BB pictures will continue unless I specify in a particular post…

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