Viswa Subbaraman

Opera and Orchestra Conductor

Asian Excursion (Part 2 - Jakarta, Day 1)

I'm a bit exhausted, so I didn't want to type it all - so I videoed some of my commentary.  Here's a bit on my arrival in Jakarta: [youtube=]

This morning, I woke up (after sleeping through the night!) and went to the Old Town (Kota Tua).  I spent a portion of my life in Batavia, NY, which is one of the reasons I'm a Bills fan.  Well, the reason for that odd segue is that I didn't know that the word batavia is Dutch for 'town.'  I stopped at an amazing cafe in the old town square called Batavia Cafe.  The upper floor was actual made of teak.  The entire cafe was amazing - it had that old school Casablanca air about it.  I then decided to walk from there to the the fish market.  Ok, this was probably not the most brilliantly thought out plan.  Given my knowledge of Jakarta geography and Indonesian... well, put it this way - if I had $1 for every time I thought "wow, this is a bad idea," I could probably have financed OV's next season.

I got to the fish market, which for those of you in Chennai is a lot like Luz bazaar crossed with a Beijing hutong.  It was a long and winding neighborhood of stalls and vendors.  I should have known, though, that people were rolling up their pants for a reason... At one point, they flooded the streets.  I came out of the fish market with jeans wet up to my knees.  Luckily I made it out - this was a rather maze-like neighborhood.  My luck continued with finding a taxi.

I then took the cab to see the Istiqlal Mosque.  What a HUGE mosque!  Lakewood church might need another building to catch up.  The cab driver was cool - he turned it into a tour of Jakarta.  (Didier, it reminded me of when we were in Talinn, Estonia on tour and we got the takso driver to give us a tour).  I finally ended up at the hotel in time to clean up for the start of the Asia21 Summit.

Here's a bit about the summit: