Friday, November 26, 2010

Bandar Jakarta Tragedy

Food Poisoning by Bandar Jakarta Restaurant

It was really disastrous. This posting is about the scariest catastrophic I’ve experienced in my life.

Bandar Jakarta Seafood Restaurant seen from the main road

It began when my wife and I went for a short vacation in one of the places of interests in Jakarta; Ancol Park. It was just like a weekend break, but didn’t happen in the weekend. We spent two nights in Mercure Ancol and visited some recreation sites within the park. Upon check-in, I asked the receptionist to upgrade us or at least to give us a room with sea view. Luckily, I had my Accor Associate Card in my wallet and I showed it to the receptionists and told them that I was ex-accor associates, hoping they give us exceptional services.

Surprisingly, when we entered the room, we found our room was with sea view. I told my wife it was a good start. She agreed and also admitted our room was pretty much bigger than we expected. I have no idea if they gave us the sea view room because of I was an Accor associate or because of something else.

Sea view from my seat at the Bandar Jakarta Seafood Restaurant

In the evening, I told my wife I wanted to have a romantic dinner by the sea with seafood mene. She knows, I like seafood so much. My wife recommended going to one of the restaurants in the park. The Mercure itself doesn’t have any option of seafood restaurant so we decided to go to Bandar Jakarta, located on the other side of Ancol Park.

The restaurant is located just by the sea and it has sea views. When we entered to restaurant, we didn’t go through the receptionist. Instead, we sneaked from a Japanese restaurant which was attached to the Bandar Jakarta Restaurant. I don’t remember the name, but it was smaller than the Bandar Jakarta. The restaurant’s architecture was kind of semi-outdoor venue, so people can go inside without passing by the receptionist or main entrance.

Crowd at the Bandar Jakarta Seafood Restaurant

Both restaurants were very busy. When I passed through the Japanese restaurant, my wife whispered, “this isn’t Bandar, perhaps it’s in the other side.” So, we kept walking and sneaking around. They’re so busy, not even a single waiter greeted us. I told my wife to help me search a table for two and we’re walking around the place, from one corner to another. It was a really big restaurant. I guess, it had more than 800 seats and unfortunately it was packed. We finally reached at the end of the restaurant and we found a table for two persons just like what we want; close to the sea.

Unfortunately, it had a tag “waiting list”. My wife asked a waiter, “Can we sit here, is it reserved?” He goes, “Well, did you do waiting list, Mam?” My wife starred at me and I replied, “I am afraid we didn’t. Do you mean reservation?” He goes, “You should go to the entrance and register your name in the waiting list. “But we didn’t see the entrance and you’re so busy, no body guided us. Can you show us where it is?”

Fried Shrimps with Oyster Sauce: This menu killed me.

The guy showed us direction to the reception, which wasn’t really clear. Finally, we reached the reception after walking randomly from one area to another area and asking guidance from another two waiters. We registered our name and the receptionists asked us to wait for 5 minutes to get our waiting list number. We requested a table by the sea but it was not available. Luckily, they gave us a table at the mezzanine floor, so that we can have a wide and long distance sea view.

I ordered Prawn with Tiram Sauce (i guess it was kind of Oyster Sauce), seafood fried rice and Sautéed Kangkung. For the drink, I had a glass of ice lemon tea. My wife had barbecued squid with soya sauce, steamed rice with sambal and for he drink, she chose fresh coconut cocktail. The food was nice, except the prawn which tasted weird. The look was yummy but they didn’t peel the shell completely, and they didn’t remove the dirt on the back of the prawn. I never tried this menu before so I guessed this was it. My wife and I kept eating it.

Overall, we enjoyed the night. Although the restaurant was packed with people, we still had fun. There was a tavern with live music and diners can request their favorite songs. We talked a lot, we enjoyed the view, the entertainment and we took some pictures. Then, we went back to the hotel.

Everything was fine until we’re back at the hotel. I started feeling pain at my back. My body temperature increased but not so hot. I didn’t sleep well because the pain. I felt dizzy and I felt exhausted. I also woke up at midnite because I eventually felt painful all over my back bone. I couldn’t sleep and I asked my wife to massage my back.

In the morning, I still felt pain at my back. We had late breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant but I couldn’t enjoy because I felt little uneasy with my stomach. After having breakfast, we’re back to the hotel room and continue going to SeaWorld at afternoon. It’s strange, at the SeaWorld I couldn’t longer feel pain at my back but I realized something really wrong with my stomach.

Although I didn’t feel pain at my stomach but I could feel something wrong with it. I started farting and burping. It was stink, horrible smell. Then we went back to the hotel and the real disaster had just started; I got diarrhea really bad.

I spent the whole night with diarrhea and burping. I went to the rest room every 5 minutes. I guess it was more than 20 times. I was on medication, my wife bought some anti-diarrhea pills. It helped but not really much. I still got a terrible diarrhea. I was tortured.

In the morning of the following day, we’re planning to check-out early for hospital. Before check-ing out, my wife suggested me to have a breakfast and we went down to the hotel’s restaurant. In the middle of selecting menu, I felt dizzy and my stomach sounded weird. I guessed something noisy at my stomach and I thought I was going to vomit. I rushed to the near toilet, and suddenly, I vomited really bad. It was crazy, I didn’t expect to puke that much. I guess I throw up everything out of my stomach. It was really pain and I can’t describe how bad this situation was.

I spent almost 20 minutes at the rest room and then I went back to the restaurant and met my wife who had been waiting for me nervously. I told my wife on what happened and she concluded; real bad food poisoning.

Well, it’s truly terrible food poisoning. My wife thought it was from the prawn and I agree with her. I even could see some prawn skin literally from the vomit.

But why it didn’t happen to my wife as well, although she ate the menu quite a lot? She said whenever she eat any seafood meal, she always have some coconut drinks, because the fresh coconut water can neutralize the poison on the seafood. She said, every seafood has potential toxin to poison our body. It doesn’t necessary all the prawn are contaminated, but a piece of prawn flesh can poison the entire system of our stomach.

Well, that was my tragic story; a disastrous tragedy from Bandar Jakarta Seafood Restaurant.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Back to Jakarta

I am now in Jakarta. This time is not only for vacation, but from now on, I am living in this city.

Well, the above title is not really relevant since I never lived in Jakarta as a resident. I spent most of my life in East Java and Denpasar, Bali, and for the last 4 years, I resided in Manama, capital of Bahrain.

I reached Jakarta on the evening of November 10th, 2010, which was approximately 12 hours flight from the Kingdom of Bahrain.

To be honest, the good thing of living in this city is because I can be together with my family. The rest, I still have to learn and experience on everything in order to give the proper opinion about living in the city.

As of now, I can say that traffic jam is my main problem, and I guess, it’s not only my problem. This is the major problem the city has. There are millions of cars and motorbikes out there. Plus, roads are not clean, no proper pedestrians, air is heavily polluted and the transportation system is really bad. As a result, I don’t feel comfortable on the road.

Another thing is about security. Particularly when I compare with Bahrain, I don’t feel secure and safe to walk in the public. Well, so far I never been in trouble, but people know that crime is so high in this city. For an example, in Bahrain, you can park your car outside of your apartment and you do not need to worry about anything, but you cannot apply this in any part of Jakarta. Unless, you want to lose your car.