Book Review: Enjoy Jakarta Shopping

This week I was delighted to find out that the Jakarta City Government Tourist Office had done something constructive in order to promote our fair and lovely city. I happened upon a thin booklet full of sumptuous color photographs entitled Enjoy Jakarta: Jakarta Shopping. This slim volume is well printed, attractively presented and includes a handy map at the back to help you on your way. So impressed was I with this promotional literature that I intend to quote from it at some length in today’s MM.

Let’s get down to brass tacks then. The very first sentence sets the tone nicely for the rest of the booklet:
“Shopping world in Jakarta is the greaters and colorful recently with the opening of some new shopping centers.”

Riiiight. After this punchy preface we are straight into the meat of the Jakarta shopping experience.

“Let say, Pondok Indah Mall at South Jakarta that reach settle shopper (or high-class shoppers) and exclusive Kelapa Gading Mall that is more suitable for young shopper, socialized, and dynamic.”

Facilities are apparently there for the nomadic shopper in spades and we are informed that, “You don’t need to feel confuse to eat because the food courts and restaurants are ready to serve.” It’s nice to be reassured that mental perplexity is not a prerequisite for ordering fried rice at these places, as personally I prefer to eat when I’m hungry as opposed to bamboozled.

Clothes are always a good buy in Jakarta and we are wisely advised to, “Just scratch your credit card or just give away your money to bring home men and women wardrobe from famous designers.”

If you are after some cheaper rags though, our comprehensive shopping pamphlet won’t let you down. Tanah Abang textile market is also featured in the booklet and we are given some handy tips such as, “Ignore your doubt to bargain the price when we shop in central market of fashion and textile. Especially if you shop for fabric pattern or wardrobe in huge capacity.”

Older, more traditional markets, such as Senen, are not neglected however.

“Don’t ever say that you’ve come to Jakarta if you have not go to Proyek Senen. Even though there are rapid grow of fancy malls in Jakarta, Proyek Senen is still choosen by Jakarta citizens to do their business.” I personally prefer the comfort of my own bathroom but we later learn that, “More modern shopping conveniences can be found in department stores next door.”

Jakarta’s up-to-the-minute, sophisticated malls are the real subject of our booklet however. We learn of Pondok Indah Mall that, “Sophisticated aura is really happening in every tenant.” Further flung plazas such as Kelapa Gading Mall are also discussed.

The Jakarta City Government Tourism Office’s hyperbole knows no bounds and we are gleefully informed that, “There are so much choices, make us walk around the are first to decide which is the best for us to buy or step by.” I’m glad we got that cleared up.
The pamphlet continues for several more pages in this high falutin’ literary style. I’m only able to give you a few examples of its inspiring and poetic language use in one column but let’s have a few final quotes for the road eh?

Taman Anggrek? “More than hundreds of shop and boutique we can find here, with each uniquely.” Pasar Rawa Belong Flower Market? “Fulfill your lungs with the freshness of flowers.” That’s poetry. Pasar Rawa Bening Jewelry Market? “Chinese like more traditional patterns on their ring.” Ahem! I think we had better leave it there.

Enjoy Jakarta: Jakarta Shopping is currently available around town. Alternatively, inquiries can be addressed to the Jakarta City Government Tourist Office (

Simon Pitchforth