As a guide, we never expect what kind of person our guest is gonna be. I didn’t either when Alberto booked a walking tour around the Chinatown area in Jakarta. One thing I knew was… He was Italian. That was it.
I met with him in Seven Eleven just a few minutes after 9 am, our meeting time. We directly clicked as I started telling him the long history of Jakarta’s Chinatown. And when we finished exploring an old Chinese house called Candra Naya, we started walking to the traditional market called Petak Sembilan.
During our walk, we talked about a lot of things but the first topic was about Jakarta. It was Alberto’s third visit to Jakarta, “but I never had the chance to explore the city because I am here for business, and always business. So, I only go to meeting place and hotel everyday. Lucky today, I got some time off before flying back.”
When I asked what kind of business he did, he only told me that he made sure the money given by the institution he worked for, was used for the right reason. Hmmm, interesting.
His work is as interesting as his opinion toward Jakarta. “I find Jakarta very attractive. Even more attractive than some big cities in Asia”, he said.
I asked, “how so?”
“Every time I come here, there are always new things. New buildings. New development. And some new buildings are really well-made, some even have artistic architecture”, he explained.
“You know, I think Jakarta is growing. It might be slow, but it is definitely growing. That’s why I like the city”, he added.
I felt something warm in my chest listening how he admired my own city. It is always nice to talk and walk with someone with positive vibes in his life.
The girl in the picture above booked me privately. Private tour means I provide a car and take the guest wherever she or he wants to. The itinerary for Farah was actually pretty simple, the National Monument, Mosque of Istiqlal, and the old town area. It was Farah’s introduction to the city that she will live in the next 3 years. Yes, she has just moved from Australia to Jakarta for work reason.
A private tour always creates an intimate connection between me and my guest. That happened with Farah too. We talked about random stuffs from the relationship between Australia – Indonesia to simple things like our fave food or music. When we were talking about our fave musician, I mentioned a name that I believed she wouldn’t be familiar with. Of course, Darren Hayes.
“My fave singer is actually from Australia, you know”, I started the conversation.
“Really?” she replied.
“Yeah, but he moved to US after had been living in London for years. It’s Darren Hayes.”
“No, kidding?! I went to his concert in Melbourne. Oh, and I actually MET him in Melbourne. On the street. He was a very humble and nice man”, she explained.
And we ended up screaming and talking about Darren Hayes histerically. How bizarre!