I had been planning to get up early today to visit Taman Suropati as it has been on my ‘to do’ list since having Samudra, and it’s been way too long since we were last there to watch Ages Biola and his students practising violin in the park.
Remembering today was Easter Sunday I had a wave of guilt wash over me that I had no Easter eggs at all to celebrate with my little family, not that Samudra knew any differently and Putra didn’t care about that part of the day at all. I remember being so excited as a kid that I would wake up before the sun had risen to check what the Easter Bunny had left in my basket (& Treen’s) at the heads of our beds, and would spend the early hours devouring ridiculous amounts of chocolate and feeling sick before it was time to get out of bed. It seemed like such a special time of year back then, but being in Indonesia I don’t seem to have any big celebrations to get excited about as no-one I know really celebrates Easter or Christmas, not in the crazy way we do back home.
So my alarm had no chance of going off at 7.00am before Samudra awoke at 5.30am yet again and was ready to play.. So we woke Putra from his deep sleep (bless!) and made an early drive out to Menteng. It didn’t take us long as there were barely any cars on the road at all which is such a luxury in Jakarta.
There was an Easter mass in progress across the road as we arrived at the park and what a perfect morning it was! I automatically felt so happy to be outdoors in the sunshine and be surrounded by tall trees and green grass and some seemingly fresh air. I had forgotten just how lovely this park is and it was heaving with activity even so early in the morning. There were street vendors lining the park so Putra devoured some tofu, rice and other food within a minute of arriving there and was then ready to head home! No chance! There were people jogging, riding bikes, making bubbles, laughing, sitting by the fountains and enjoying the musicians and singers having a big jam session. We sat by the fountain to watch one young girl singing and what a huge and powerful voice she had singing Tracey Chapman songs. She was absolutely amazing and of course singled me out being the only foreigner in the park to ask for a song request and my mind went blank. Then she invited me to sing with her which I politely refused as I wouldn’t want to scare everyone from the park as I cannot sing in tune at all..
The one time we finally make it back to Taman Suropati and there was no Ages Biola and Taman Suropati Chamber to be found. It was a shame as I really wanted to see them, but at least I now have an excuse to go back there again. The park is beautifully maintained and rubbish free as it is situated between the big Government and Embassy mansions in the surrounding leafy streets. There are guards patrolling the grounds and making sure that no-one sits on the grass and destroys its beauty. It’s a shame not to be able to sit on it, but if you could it would be trashed and filled with rubbish like the rest of Jakarta, and besides, I did manage to sneak onto a patch of grass under a big tree to let Samudra play in the grass for the first time in his life. The gardener just looked at me and smiled, and Samudra was a little unsure about it, so we didn’t sit for too long anyway.
We also walked down the road to another park I had never been to before, Taman Situlembang. What a gorgeous space.. there is a big lake with water lilies and it is lined with green grass and a pathway for people to walk around or ride their bikes, and is surrounded by more huge houses. To see such beauty in Jakarta is a rarity so it was such a treat for us although by the time we walked around the lake the sun was getting unbearable and Samudra fell asleep as we reached Taman Suropati again. I took this opportunity to sit on the outskirts of the park and eat some freshly cooked bite sized cakes, sprinkled with chocolate. Of course I ate the whole packet in one sitting as they were so warm and delicious. I highly recommend visiting this park on a Sunday morning as it really is a lovely atmosphere.
Hours seemed to drift away as we watched the birds, people, and activities going on all around us, and we met two guys who had taken their pristine looking cats to the park on leashes! Oh I do love the randomness of this country..
The late afternoon was spent at home with Putra snoring his head off, Samudra passed out, and me being addicted to watching episode after episode of ‘House of Cards’ on Netflix thanks to Treen’s recommendation.
I hope you had a Happy Easter and a beautiful day wherever you are in the world.