Sunday, April 25, 2004

Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures

I was pleasantly surprised last night to find Liverpool beating Man U 1-0. Never mind if the winning goal was only a penalty. Perhaps subconsciously I didn't want to watch the match--the excitement of a Liverpool-Man U encounter is often too much for me to bear--when I decided to meet Marlyn for dinner at Sarinah.

I had planned to spend every available moment of mine here in Jakarta to catch up with old friends. So far I've met Setiawan and my former colleagues. I hope to see Ibu Titi, Wiwik, Arman and perhaps Rosi over the next one week that I'm here. Marlyn kept me updated on her love life (her latest boyfriend is a Betawi-Chinese mix) and the latest gossips about the people at the hotel (Intan, my favourite housekeeper is back to work after giving birth, Nadia from sales department has left, Punthia at the front-desk has been going slow with her Malaysian boyfriend, curvacious gym instructor Mira is still going out with bules and Dije's present boyfriend is an Arab).

Also high on my Jakarta to-do list is tasting all my favourite Indonesian food again: soto Betawi, nasi timbel, nasi gudeg, nasi uduk, bakmi GM, rawon and soto sulung. Not forgeting Indomie rebus with kopi tubruk at the warung-- the simple pleasures of Jakarta life.

Bouyed by Liverpool's victory last night, I spent a productive two hours working on my laptop at the Phoe Nam cafe this morning while enjoying my usual roti bakar and teh susu. Phoe Nam cafe--owned by a Hainanese from Makassar--is one of the few places in Jakarta where I can find a decent cup of tea with milk. Jakartans drink a lot of tea (usually without sugar--"tawar") but they rarely drink it with milk.

I'll probably watch a bit of football on ESPN tonight and do my duty as a Liverpool fan, rooting for Newcastle United to lose to Chelsea. Exciting soccer matches, good food and the pleasant company of old friends in my favourite city-- I don't think I can't ask for more from life.

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