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Jakarta Selatan merely means South Jakarta. Last night, after nearly three weeks of traveling, I arrived at my final destination. Jakarta, a city of skyscrapers, smog, rickshaws, mercedes, and heat. At least thats my impression from merely walking around here for a few hours (and actually, its not nearly as hot as I expected.)

Here is the view from my kost

The window is thick enough so that I can’t hear the traffic too badly. Last night, I walked down the street in front of my house -Jalan Bangka Raya, which turns into Jalan Kemang Raya, narrow sidewalks blocked by street carts, richshaws. At one point, a car came so close to me that it hit my elbow. A glazing hit, but, I thought, wow. My first time every getting hit by a car unintentionally.

I stopped by a nice cafe, completely empty, and had breakfast. Then I walked more and was incredibly surprised to see this sign.

Ranch 99! A well knows California chain. For those of you from California, you’d know Ranch 99 Market as a loud, hectic, almost entirely Chinese grocery store . Ranch 99 in Indonesia? Wow!

So I walked inside.

Inside…was basically, a Whole Foods. Quiet, clean, full of western products, and, frankly, more white faces than at the Ranch 99 in Irvine. Where was I? Yet it was fairly cheap, and I shopped for food.

First impressions are usually inaccurate, because you are so overwhelmed by stimuli. But they are also the most memorable, because your mind moves slower when you are processing so much information. no matter how wrong my initial impressions of Jakarta are, they will be indelibly stamped onto my mind.

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