I’ve already confessed to paultry posts about experiences in Jakarta. I’ve also admitted I’m not a big fan of shopping or malls… This post braves both!
Before I left Bombay for Jakarta earlier this month, my partner requested I buy us a mask or two and replenish our empty ‘gift cupboard.’
Why masks? Well… it has become one of our ‘things’… we’ve separately collected masks here and there. So when we came together, our masks did too.
And ‘gift cupboard’? It’s that place you stock up with things you come across, like and buy justifying it with the thought “This would make a great gift for someone some day!” And then are ever so grateful you did when there is a last-minute gift needed and no time to shop.
Who to shop with? I met a delightful young Korean American who confessed that she’s like a ‘man’ in her efficient approach to shopping… well I’m afraid I didn’t give her much of a choice! And she was a gal after my own shopping style – one-stop-shop with a couple of bags of goodies in under an hour.
Where to shop? Our original idea was to check out Jalan Surabaya where her Bahasa bargaining skills would be critical navigating all the freshly minted new ‘antiques’. However it closed early so the alternative was Pasaraya – a department store with handicrafts. Thanks to the joys of Jakarta traffic, my new young friend was about an hour late… so I prowled around the nearby M-Block Squared market.
Success? You bet! I wish I had taken a pic of the ‘spoils’ before packing half the goodies to come back to Mumbai immediately and the balance in December… However here are a few pics of M-Block Squared market taken before my phone battery died…
I wonder which masks my partner will add to our collection and which will go into the gift cupboard?
A gift cupboard is a great idea, but sadly something I will likely never be organized enough to have!
It is an exceedingly handy thing to have! It is also where I stockpile all the little knick knacks I pick up traveling for my niece and nephew. 🙂
Haha! I’m not terribly organized either but… years ago started a habit of picking things up on travels and realized was better to keep in one place… hence the ‘gift cupboard’ was born and has shifted from apartment to apartment with me!
It’s just… very grown up! I’ll never get there.
I buy very little when I travel and am trying to get used to purchasing a few more things but it is tough. Someday…
I don’t buy things every trip but do make an effort every once and awhile..
My favourite is finding things that aren’t really intended to be Christmas ornaments but can be transformed into them… it’s my way of blending cultures and crafts from all over Asia for my sister’s kids from their ‘crazy aunt in Asia’ to hang on their tree.
I’ve always thought those masks were really creepy! I’m glad you found an efficient shopper to help you brave the mall though! That was funny 🙂
She was utterly delightful! To top it off, we immediately followed our ‘strenous’ shopping with a feast!
Just sounds brilliant – the colour – now I’ve got the smells – for goodness sakes don’t tell me what you ate!! 😀
I live in Kemang, which is pretty close to Blok M! While I rarely shop, I find that I go to Blok M Square when I need something specific: Joni, (the favorite tailor), hair accessories, batik, etc. Way to shop!
There is a certain charm about these ‘older’ market type malls vs the giant ‘new’ international malls that are practically the same anywhere in the world. Not to mention they are more affordable too!
Blok M by day is a great place to shop, really. You could find almost anything there! Also, from around 6pm there will be people opening up “warung lesehan” for dinner with lots of food to choose from…
It actually was kinda fun to wander around Block M market… I prefer places that have a bit of character rather than sterile replications of malls you could find anywhere in the world!
That place (the market) has changed a lot from its glory days back in the 80’s-90’s. But of course it’s for the better.
Though the seedy nightlife (Japanese bars/clubs) might still be the same. hehe..
I left that area before the nightlife got too ‘seedy’ however do find places with a bit of grit, dirt and the ‘underbelly’ of a city interesting.
My most powerful memory of Jakarta is spending days off wandering around shopping malls for something to do that was air conditioned. My Indo students loved shopping malls but I’m with you and really hate shopping. I have too much stuff already.
Yeah the convenience of wandering around in the cool is something quite popular.
I make an attempt to get rid of something old if I get something new! Don’t always manage to accomplish this attempt… I also avoid shopping unless there is a very specific purpose – like masks! 🙂