When I was wandering around in Senayan City, Jakarta, I got to observe the bold and the beautiful of Jakarta for the very first time. These are the rich elite of Jakarta, most of whom live in Pondok Indah (or so S tells me). Since I was shopping in Senayan City at around 2pm on a weekday, it was safe to say most of the Jakarta's middle class would have been at work and not wandering around with me, which would explain why I only saw a certain type of Jakartan lady out and about.
What are they like?
Without exception, they all have big hair. I mean like, BIG. If a scientist were to analyse the cause of the accumulation of CFCs in the earth's atmosphere, I hope he has taken into account the CFCs released in the vicinity of Jakarta from the excessive use of hairspray. No wonder they all gave me sniffy looks because I favour a sleeker look and my slightly allergic skin doesn't allow me to spray this and that on my hair. I can get the poufy look, no problem... but it will be accompanied by some kind of flaking as well!
At 2pm in the afternoon, all of them are carefully dressed and bejewelled and powdered and moisturised and made up as if they were on their way to a glamourous formal dinner. And they may well have been, how was I to know. For some reason, a lot of them favoured a rather gaudy look. Perhaps they are thinking more is better! Who am I to argue since I probably have less than one-thousandth of the money they spent monthly on clothes.
This particular species of Jakartan has its signature sound. If you hear the kik-kok-kik-kok of expensive high heels, you will know that a magnificent specimen is about to enter your sphere of existence. They have clearly made their choice of style over comfort when it comes to shoes.
They are usually trailed by their daughters, who are mini-versions of themselves or a maid, who is assigned the role of carrying all the shopping bags. When I was waiting for S to pick me up at the end of my jalan-jalan session, I watched expensive car after expensive car pull up at the entrance and the doors would open to reveal a glittering member of this species of Jakartan. Made me feel like I was a journalist at the Oscars awaiting the arrival of the big name movie stars.
I'd sat down at the Coffee Bean outlet in the basement to rest my aching back for a bit and had a good time observing them. I can't imagine why they're all so dressed up in the afternoon. I bet if they saw the usual crowd at KLCC or Pavilion, they would be thinking we are such slobs. They all looked like versions of Imelda Marcos really, so one might imagine that Senayan City was being taken over by clones of the Original Shoe-aholic.
I wonder what they thought of me in my jeans, tee and Nikes. Flat hair too! *shock, horror, gasp!* Well anyway, as a friend of mine suggested, "Maybe you'll come back to KL next time with big hair because maybe that's all the Jakartan hairdressers know!" God forbid.