My time in Jakarta drew to a close so quickly it seems, and as I reflect over my four weeks in Indonesia’s bustling capital, it will best be remembered for four things; work, rain, traffic and food. Everyday I experienced a good healthy combination of these, but during my penultimate day last Wednesday, I was treated to all in bucket loads …. so this blog is pretty much about these and getting to a dinner date with some colleagues – the pork knuckle run, and a few other less wet culinary adventures.
I was working with a former colleague from my time in Cairo, James “J” Hambric, an Economic Advisor to the Indonesia Government, specialising in financial services regulation. We had a number of client meetings to wrap up my assignment, followed by dinner with J’s wife Deborah and banking colleagues Jack and Sarah. I had made an effort to dress for the meetings and dinner – my attire was a nice linen Planet suit, my Au Fil du Carre Hermes scarf and a snazzy pair of LK Bennett’s.
The last meeting of the day was with our “paymaster” – the US government, so off we went to the US Embassy to meet with the USAID project lead – just as the heavens opened. Visitor access was by foot so we were drenched on arrival. The rain then intensified and came in horizontal waves across the Embassy basketball pitch – just as we ran paddled at speed across it. We then abandoned our journey on foot to the USAID office as it was so wet, instead conducting business in the open covered area where visa applicants normally wait. I had to shout, as by now the thunder and lightening was deafening. We quickly wrapped up and ran back to the gatehouse in four inches of water, then to the car. No pictures as my iPhone would have been ruined, but we were soaked to the skin – literally. So my dress efforts sadly didn’t last the pace to dinner.
Our dinner destination was a German restaurant called Die Stube in the Kemang suburb. On a good day this journey would normally take anything between 30 and 60 minutes. I had been there during my second week and this place was GOOD and famous for their slow roasted pork knuckles, which we had ordered in advance. The pork knuckle run was worth it, whatever the weather. So the journey began in the monsoon downpour…