Monday, March 10, 2008

Shopping in Senayan City, Jakarta

On my 2nd day in Jakarta, S suggested that he bring "ma'am" to Senayan City, Jakarta for a look-see. Senayan City is right in heart of Jakarta's Central Business District. We got caught in a traffic jam while on the way to Senayan City because there's a university nearby and all the kids attending the Uni drove cars and parked their cars haphazardly on the roads. S grumbled about it all the way.

Wow. It really is a BIG shopping mall. It reminds me of Pavilion KL. It's sleek, it's all glass and shine and gloss for 6 storeys (er not sure actually, sorry, got dizzy!) and you see some big name retailers there. Yes, Bottega Veneta was there, Gucci was there and so many other big names that your head reels. There's a Debenhams there but I didn't go inside because by then my feet were hurting from all that walking by then. There's a small Marks and Spencers there. There's all the usual clothes stores - Raoul, Zara, MNG, Gap - yes! The usual Starbucks and Coffee Bean outlets are here as well and the popular J Co donut chain. I was also delighted to see the familiar Guardian pharmacy chain here as well.

I took a walk at their Food Hall which is pretty good and I can get just about most of the stuff I need there. This is where I spent most of my time as I was trying to gauge the cost of living here vs KL and spent plenty of time multiplying and shifting decimal points in an effort to convert the rupiah into the ringgit for comparison. I wish I were much better at mental maths!

And yes, the security check was there as well. There were guards stationed at the Main Lobby and they checked my bag for contents and I had to walk through a metal detector as well. As this was only my 2nd day in Jakarta, I had not realised that checks are mandatory and was on my merry way inside via the nearest possible door but the guards stopped me immediately and politely requested a check. Hehe. So shy only as the locals all stared at me when the guards started calling, "Ma'am, ma'am! Check here!"

My verdict? It's a really impressive looking shopping mall and has all the designer gear you could hope for. While I'm glad it has stores I'm used to, I'm also a little disappointed that it looks just like every other mall that I've been to. That's the whole problem. You go to London, to Aberdeen, to Liverpool, to Sydney, to Phuket, to KL and every mall looks the same. The best shopping experience I had was actually walking down Main Street in a little town in Wales and popping into their local deli. It was something different and unique to the town.

But you know what? I'm sure to go back there quite a bit! Now I've got a place where I can take Mum and Dad shopping when they come visit us in Jakarta and it's called Senayan City!

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