The last Friday before the Eid holiday we were only required to work for half a day, meaning we could leave by 12 PM. Strangely, most of us still found work to do and by the time I took off two hours after lunch time there were more people there than anyone would’ve guessed in a last Friday before a long holiday.
Leaving the office, I drove around Senopati, Kemang and Blok M, enjoying the city’s streets that suddenly donned a different mask. Or perhaps they were actually stripped off their masks of ugly traffic jams and exhaust fumes? Facing this newfound freedom to roam the city, I wasn’t sure where to go and had to drive in circles around Blok M, before I finally decided with this kind of traffic I might as well go to Kemang.
I parked the catbus in Kemang Mansion, did some grocery shopping there, and crossed the road to Liberica, where I ended up spending hours browsing with a purpose and researching for a trip to Paris.
Planning is one of the most exciting part of traveling, and even if nothing came out of it, at least I had a bit of fun. Or so I said, consoling myself while constantly doing the math for the whole thing. I was never good at numbers, but simple calculations were all it took for me to realize the chances are small for me to visit Shakespeare and Bro’s elder brother.
Found some decent private rooms using Airbnb (my budget is Rp5 million plus for a week), and checked the ticket price (cheapest was Lufthansa’s Rp12 million plus) for the second half of September this year. I know very little about Paris, so I also did an itinerary check in TripAdvisor, where there’s a Keren Ann tour that looked interesting, in addition to the usual Eiffel and company.
It’ll cost a lot of money, especially with Euro at its highest rate compared to our puny Rupiah. Last time I checked it was around Rp15,000 to Rp16,000 for 1 Euro. A one-week trip playing cafe and park bench-hoping Hemingway there would leave me thirty million short in Jakarta, where I would definitely end up mimicking Miller the hungry expat. Only I would be doing it in my hometown, which isn’t fun at all.
Most things cost money, and lately I couldn’t spend it on anything without feeling guilty afterwards. Is it because guilt is the cheapest and most available currency I have in my pocket?