Greetings from Jakarta

Out the hotel window looking at Plaza Senayan

So I find myself in Jakarta this week for MapAsia 2005.
Well, I don’t know if you could really call where I’ve been Jakarta.
The low-level specter of violence–security guards and metal detectors
at the hotel and mall–has kept me from wandering too much. Here are
some first impressions:

  • I must look a little bit Indonesian because people keep speaking to me in a funny language. Maybe I should be a spy.
  • I have yet to run across anyone my size. Maybe I should play pro basketball here.
  • The
    local fancy mall, Plaza Senayan, is useless. The same old American
    stores along with their prices. I hoped to maybe pick up a cheap cell
    phone or something, but one I’ve been craving, the Nokia 8800, was 9,750,000 Rupiah (about $1,000)–just as much as online.
  • A Starbucks coffee (yes they’re here) costs just as much as in Boston too.
  • The buffet at Hotel Mulia Seneyan is awesome.