Friday, June 03, 2016

The Jakarta Shortlist: Home

Jakarta has not been an easy post for me.  As sad as I am to leave our friends, I'm also ready to brush the dust off my feet and be ride of this place.  So many things are good about our life here, but so many things are hard and it can be hard to remember the lovely in the midst of the frustrating.

But one thing that has been consistently lovely is our home, in our neighborhood, on our street.  We live in a house full of natural light and beautiful, soft rugs.  We live in a neighborhood full of kids and trees and grass, where it is not uncommon for children to drop their backpacks and race outside to meet their friends, not returning for hours.  We live within easy walking distance of a solid gym, three swimming pools, one of the city's best grocery stores, a book store, a cafe, fabulous coffee, fresh cut flowers, and a truly lovely French bakery.

We drive away forever in about six hours.  And I will miss so many things, and I will be happy to leave so many things behind.  But this has been home, and for that I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Jakarta Shortlist: Java

Neither Dave nor I were coffee drinkers before we moved to Jakarta, and this has been a tremendous place to learn to love the stuff.  Jakarta has its fair share of hip coffee joints and omnipresent mall coffee shops, and the fun part is that each of these is brewing an array of beans sourced somewhere in Indonesia.  Its all fresh, its all good, and its all super strong.

Dave started out on the sugary, milky drinks and has maintained that soft spot, even though his desire has turned into an addiction.

I've so fully become a coffee drinker that I now prefer an Americano with a generous splash of milk, but only if its delicious coffee and I'm feeling spare.  A cappuccino is always good, and drown those burnt Starbucks beans in a latte for me, please.  I've not actually become such a snob, but I have enjoyed refining my palate.

 My neighborhood coffee place is a small shop called Goni Coffee.  They used to be an easy walk from my house, and had the ability to improve upon anything that could ruin my mood in the  morning.  They have sinced moved out of walking distance, but we sent our driver on a few Goni runs during our packout and I was reminded what good, simple coffee this is.  Goni serves all of their drinks simply - no frappuccinos at this spot, just white paper cups and a spare menu.  They only serve espresso, it comes in small servings, and it comes strong.

The city's coffee community tend to have settled on Giyanti as the best coffee in town.  This shop has a slightly longer menu than Goni and fuels a hip Aussie vibe.  Its a small operation that sources and roasts its own beans and has sporadic hours.  They're closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and for an extended period of time whenever the owner takes a holiday.  Its a crowded little shop down an almost hidden alleyway, and I feel in-the-know every time I go.