This is part 5 of the Australia-Indonesia Muslim Exchange Program series

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And we’re back to Jakarta! That evening, we were invited by the Australian Embassy of Jakarta to meet at Lara Djonggrang restaurant for drinks and buffet dinner.

The restaurant was beautiful with a tree canopy, and inside there were ponds and bridges.

It was all so mesmerising to look at. At the restaurant, we met Tess working at the embassy. She was to show us around for the next few days.

It was nice to meet another young person and to have a chat to about the social culture of Jakarta.

Tasneem remarked about the view from her room: “The idea that over 13 million people occupy this city during the day with 11 million remaining every night, puts into perspective the traffic woes.P15 Mobydayze 3 And yet, despite the relentless movement, it’s an undercurrent of easiness that permeates the atmosphere.”

Sahema suggested we use the avocados we got as a gift from Cirebon to put onto our hair and face, as we were too full to eat them and they were very ripe.

It was a great bonding experience amongst the girls and it was nice to debrief together.

The next morning, we visited the Australian Embassy by walking from our hotel.

I noticed that most of Jakarta was definitely not a strolling city. With the heat and underdeveloped footpaths and roads – makes more sense to drive around.

We then visited the boutique and home of Dian Pelangi, a famous Indonesian fashion designer. Her home and private boutique was so beautiful.

We had the privilege of looking through the items of clothing with Dian (who gave us 15% discount!).

We all bought something that we absolutely love, including Yusuf who bought a beautiful shawl for his mother.

After Dian Pelangi, We went to kemang and had lunch at KOI where I got to have a steak for the first time in Indonesia!

Afterwards we checked out the Grand Indonesia Mall and visited Alum Alun, a fancy batik place in the mall.

Tess suggested we visit Skyebar as we wanted to see a high view of the city. We went to 56th floor in the grand Indonesia Mall, it was an open look out, what a view!

It was so beautiful to be so high up. We transcended the humidity and felt like we were in the clouds. Mocktails and the whole of Jakarta, so lovely!

That evening, Tess took us for a feed at a beautiful greek restaurant, El Greko in Setiabudi. I had a gyros, greek roasted chicken, onion, fried potato and tatziki and my drink was a Lemonita, fresh isotonic hand made traditional greek drink it had spring onion in it!

It’s so interesting to try another cultures food different to the one of the country you are in. This greek place was pretty authentic, the greek owner came to our table and made recommendations on what to order.

The next day, as the others visited a school, I sought permission to visit the home of my father’s friend, Luqman Landy.

He has dedicated his life to running 150 remote area schools in Indonesia.

As I enter the village in South Jakarta I came across a ‘Freedom for Palestine” artwork painted on the entering wall.

I see this on the day of Al Nakbah. I’m told by the driver that Palestinian freedom is very important to Indonesians.

We’re almost reaching the end of the journey!