Joining the euphoria of thousands of other Jakartaans in supporting the success of our city's Asian games competition, I wanted to join some of the events at Gelora Bung Karno stadium myself.
Despite my enthusiasm, it turned out there would be a number of challenges for those seeking to join the spectators at the stadium events themselves. Other than queueing for hours under the fierce sun to buy a ticket, it became apparent that getting something cheap (and satisfying) to eat and drink in the sports complex was not going to be easy. Indeed, while there are a number of kiosks and vendors registered by the events organisers they are few and far between with pretty limited options. Moreover, my Jakartaan appetite could only truly be sated with a selection of warteg favourites.
Thankfully after a lengthy search I finally came upon a hidden spot which, despite its location, was surprisingly bustling with activity. It was obvious that I was not alone in my search; there were dozens of others, games attendees and event officials, enjoying the food and drinks offered by informal vendors; Local favourites like dawet, iced jeruk, rujak, and more besides. Of course, these weren't registered or 'official' traders, but they were certainly the saviours of those in need of the 'energy of asia' to help celebrate this years' games.
Pak Domo, a coffee and snacks vendor, have been operating out of the small corner for several months, ever since the 'clean streets' policy was introduced around GBK. Although all the customers either work at or are visiting the Asian Games activities we still have to search for a while to find the spot. when asked about the situation, Pak Domo told us ''Yes, selling here isn't as profitable, but thank God we still have an income.'' If only the Committee loosened the rules a little, maybe Mr. Domo and his friends could explore more widely so that they were happy with the crowds of arrivals, themselves able to better deal with hunger and thirst.
Having filled my stomach and rehydrated I was reinvigorated and ready to go!