Yes, this is a post about the mall. Can’t be temples and ecotours all the time ;).
We flew back to Jakarta from Borneo and decided to stay for a day just to enjoy civilization a bit. Now, everything we had read indicated that there was nothing really great to see in Jakarta for tourists, however there was a huge fancy mall. Having been to Asia before, I will admit that one of my favourite things to do after a long stretch of sight-seeing is hang out at a huge mall for a bit. Because the malls in North America have NOTHING on the ones in Asia (and this is coming from someone who lives in a city with one of the largest malls in the world). The big malls here always seem to be like 8 stories high and AWESOME.
We had picked our hotel specifically for its location right next to the Grand Indonesia, Jakarta’s biggest and fanciest mall. We headed over right after we had dropped off our bags because it was lunch time and my favourite thing about huge malls like this is that they’re full of crazy food courts, trendy restaurants, and adorable snack shops.
At the mall we wandered around for a bit looking at food options before Chris got annoyed because I was “flitting around like a sparrow surrounded by shiny things.” Much to my delight, we then discovered that the mall had a Magnum (as in, the ice cream bar) restaurant, complete with a custom dipping bar and various Magnum-based desserts. I was SO EXCITED so we went in for pasta followed by ice cream for lunch. Chris gave me his dessert <3.
Afterwards we wandered around and shopped for a bit (Chris was in desperate need of some new t-shirts), before having a soft pretzel snack and heading back to the hotel to freshen up. We returned shortly afterward for dinner and a movie.
There were tons of crazy cute Japanese places in the mall, so we picked one and had ramen for dinner. As usual Chris chose the spiciest option and then immediately regretted it (I think he keeps forgetting that spicy in Asia is different than spicy in North America).
The movie theatre in the Grand Indonesia is way better than our lame movie theatres back home. In addition to regular ol’ seats, it has a 4D theatre with moving seats and wind/water/smell effects, a “SphereX” theatre with a domed screen and special surround sound system, plus theatres with love seats, leather recliners, and BEDS (!!!). I really wanted to get a bed but Chris was pretty sure he would fall asleep based on the amount of food we had just eaten, so we went for SphereX instead. There weren’t even any good movies playing, but we didn’t care.
The next day we had a quick breakfast at the hotel before heading back to THE MALL, obviously. Unlike the day before, when I was too busy being overwhelmed by everything, we actually shopped for a while. At some point we walked past a waffle stand which smelled AMAZING, and after that I couldn’t stop thinking about waffles, so we stopped for some for lunch. Chris had his with chicken and I had mine with ice cream.
After lunch we shopped for a bit more, wandered around the amusement park and arcade, and took a bunch of pictures of the different themed areas. Chris wanted to get his haircut at a barbershop that had been deserted the evening before, but today everyone else at the mall also wanted a haircut apparently, so that plan failed.
Later on we went back to the Magnum restaurant for more ice cream deliciousness.
On the top floor of the mall we found an exhibit about Indonesia, profiling different types of traditional dress, instruments, etc. Interestingly it seemed to be aimed at Indonesians only (when we went in the receptionist rattled off a bunch of stuff in Indonesian at us, not clueing in to the bewildered looks on our faces). Inside, there were a bunch of displays and interactive games (in which you could virtually try on Indonesian clothing, play music, look at places to visit, etc.). Everything was also in Indonesian only, although there were some English speaking guide-type people who saw us being confused and showed us how some things worked.
As a finale to our two days of mall we decided to go to the bed movie theatre I had been obsessing about. It’s officially called “Velvet Class”, and once you’ve got your ticket (it costs about ~$20 CAD/bed) you get to go into this special VIP lounge, where there are free tea and snacks. You can also order fancy food that they deliver to you in bed.
When the doors opened we went and got our bed, which came with pillows and a blanket, plus complimentary cookies and water. SUPER EXCITING. It was mostly couples inside, obviously, although I saw a couple pairs of friends and a family with a little kid (which was a vital mistake considering we were in a showing of Ted 2, they left partway through after the F-bomb dropped one too many times). The movie was meh but we got to snuggle in bed, so all in all it was pretty excellent. Cineplex Odeon needs to get in the game!