Over the Counter and Below the Equator

After a long, humid, shirt-wringing kind of day in Jakarta, Indonesia, I craved street food.   But really, that could be said about every day in Jakarta.  It’s as good an excuse as any to eat with reckless abandon.

Every now and then, I’d end up by Jalan Mangga Besar in the northern part of the city.  Of all the seedy neighborhoods in the Indonesian capital, that part of town…is one of them.  Possibly because of this, or from housing Jakarta’s unofficial Chinatown.  (I say “unofficial” since luxury shopping centers don’t count.  Yet.)  In any event, along that street – jalan means street – daily night markets can be found, selling anything from coconut water and fried grouper to items you wouldn’t even want your mistress to discover.

Drugs too.

Jakarta - Sate Ular & Who Knows
As I tucked into my snake satay (sate ular), I couldn’t help but notice the vials of drugs resting in the jars.  Did someone forget to tell the Dutch to leave?  There’s only one thing I’m sure of in this picture- the plate was not washed.

Would you eat here?  How about with me?

 

6 comments on “Over the Counter and Below the Equator

  1. expatlingo says:

    Perhaps the drugs are to be taken with the snake on the unclean plate to combat inevitable Delhi Belly? (And what do they call “Delhi Belly” in Jakarta?)

    • 不幸的是 there’s no English term for it in Jakarta. You could say “sakit perut,” or “sick stomach,” but that’s boring, no?

      Have you been to Zhangjiajie?

  2. Oh, I’ll eat with you. Just maybe not there. Not because of the plates or location, only because of the snakes. :-)

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