Remember my meltdown of a couple of weeks ago? Well, I really thought about how I ended up there and decided that a part of my problem was that I needed a break from hanging around the centre all the time. Seriously, living where you work is no joke, especially when it’s not exactly a great environment in the first place. Other than running a couple of errands, I hadn’t left the area for a month, since I got back from Lake Toba. I felt like my cup was full to running over.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any real days off and go away for a few days because the other guy here was already taking the weekend off. So, in a bid to keep my cool and give myself a break, I decided that I would spend the weekend at a hotel, away from the centre. Don’t get excited – the “weekend” consists of Saturday night, Sunday and Sunday night, basically 36 hours. I didn’t care; I just wanted the comfort.
Now, it’s really not hard to find a nice hotel for cheap in Jakarta. And when I say nice and cheap, I don’t mean Best Western level, which can be cheap but also kind of sketchy. I mean nice, with robe and slippers and everything. I checked out possible places to stay in the city, not too far from the centre because of traffic, and with good reviews. I easily found several options and settled on one. Between Friday night and Saturday morning, I threw a few things in my backpack and I was just about set to escape.
On Saturday evening, after I had finished teaching the last class of the day, I walked out to the main road so I could get some to-go food to take with me to the hotel. I had zero plans to leave the room before Monday morning and I wasn’t interested in eating pricey, mediocre room service food, so I needed to get dinner for both Saturday and Sunday. I got my favourites – ayam bakar and mie aceh. Also, earlier in the day I had popped out to one of the convenience stores across the road and gotten myself some snacks.
By 7 pm on Saturday night, I was using the taxi app on my phone to order up a cab. The hotel was only about 30 minutes away by car so I could easily have taken a Go-Jek and gotten there faster and for less money, but I just couldn’t see myself rolling up to the hotel on a bike taxi. I mean, come on. My style may be kampung but I still have some class left. At around 7:15 pm, I peeled away from the centre in my taxi (well, we didn’t peel away exactly but I may or may not have shouted “woo-hoo!” in my head), headed for 36 hours of pure bliss.
My plan for the weekend was simple: watch movies, sleep, read and eat. That’s it. And I must say, my plan was a roaring success.
On Saturday night when I got to my room, I washed the day off me, ate my ayam bakar, Whatsapp called with my parents, watched The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on TV (yes! on TV! In English!), read a little and went to sleep.
On Sunday morning, I woke up and did my devotions, then spent the entire morning binge watching Dr. Ken online. In the afternoon, I napped, read and watched TV again, and ate my mie aceh. I also washed my hair in the shower, which had a rain shower head (my weakness, I love those) and twisted it up. I was fast asleep by 7 pm.
I awoke at 5 am on Monday, did my devotions, caught up on Hurricane Matthew news with my sister, got ready to go, and was in a taxi heading back to the centre by 6:10 am, because I had an early class to teach and I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic and be late for it. By 6:40 am, I had dropped off my backpack back in my room at the centre and was walking back across the street to get my coffee. My 36 hours of bliss were over but my plan worked because my state of mind was pretty good. I basically did nothing for the entire time I was at the hotel, but I was comfortable and at peace and happy because I got all the simple things that I needed.
My taxi both ways cost me a total of 140,000 rupiah, or about US$11, and my hotel for both nights cost a total of US$47. So overall, for some peace of mind and comfort, I spent US$58. So worth it!