Monday, January 25, 2010

Free Tebet! Ok, not quite free, but very very reasonably priced Tebet

I finally discovered the niche which I had happily occupied back home. In Jakarta up to this point, I have gone to malls, which are either for the rich, such as La Piazza (where I work), Plaza Indonesia, F/X and MOI (where I live) or that are very Asian a la Pacific Mall in Toronto such as Mangga Dua or Mal Ambassador. Other than that, there are the poor markets, such as Pasar Baru (Pasar =market, Baru=New which is ironically the oldest market in the city) and Pasar Senen (Senen is Betawi dialect for Monday which is Senin in Bahasa Indo). I thought that was all there was to Jakarta. Where were the funky boutiques? Where was the Queen W. or Kensington Market of Jakarta? Well, I finally found it! It is an area called Tebet. It is a funky little neighbourhood where you can walk around on the street, that’s right on the STREET… in Jakarta! This is pretty much non-existent in Jakarta. Most things are completely separated from the street, such as a Mall or market. Tebet is an area where while there is still the ever present class divide, you don’t feel that any of the shops are actively preventing access to anyone. This is a nice change from the Malls. So, what’s in Tebet? Truth be told, it’s a bit of a teenager/hipster district. There are independent boutiques featuring local designers and brands and the prices… well I’ll be a self-indulgent jerk and reveal that I got the jacket and sweater at the bottom of the page for a mere $18! They have clark-like shoes for $25. So, aside from the boutiques, there are some hangout spots such as cafes and restaurants, including a cool comics cafĂ©, Ginyo, renowned for its duck, and a cake walk, where they serve delicious cakes in a very cozy, yet stylish atmosphere! I’ll definitely be back in Tebet, and I can say that with certainty becuase there was that pair of shoes, and that jacket, and I kinda liked some of those bags and and and… But it was my first taste of the funky side of Jakarta, and I loved it! Big thanks to Tashi for being my guide and translator. I can’t really say guide as she didn’t have a clue where anything was, but her language skills were definitely indispensable, as was the company.

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