Easter Weekend Diary: Jakarta’s MRT, Pikul Café Review @ Cipete Raya, and Ave Marryam Review

by Melita Rahmalia

2019’s Easter Weekend was a long weekend, so I had a great time off from Thursday night to Sunday night.

On Thursday night, a guy who I should call as Mr. T (he’s a like a guy version of me when it comes to some things, but way more stable, serious, mature and so, so very differently raised) bought me a plate of siomay from his office food court, which was very delicious and was immediately devoured by me. Maybe I got too effusively appreciative, because before I had a chance to finish my siomay, he already offered to buy me siomay from another place for next week. Suits me fine, boy.

We tried to catch Hotel Mumbai or Ave Marryam, as Mr. T wanted to follow my preference, but schedule-wise it just wasn’t happening. So we ended up watching Police Evo, which is more like his preference because Mr. T loves action movies. I’ve never heard of the movie, but it turned out that it wasn’t that bad at all.

Police Evo turned out to be a Malaysian movie (in Malaysia, the movie was actually titled Polis Evo 2, a sequel) but it stars Raline Shah, an Indonesian. You thought this movie was about a drug bust, but it was a different movie altogether. This was a story about an Indonesian policewoman on an undercover duty to catch a drug bust, who got involved with a group of Malaysian police officers who had to deal with a mad terrorist group threatening to kill 200 people whom they took hostage in a secluded little island unless their demand was fulfilled by the Malaysian government. This is a story about how they use blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of brain power to deal with the situation they found themselves in, totally unprepared.

I truly like the way how the movie’s plot turns early in the movie, and there are many exciting twists and turns. I also almost like all the characters in the movie. The three Malay main police officers are funny and likable, the operational lead of Malay’s Anti-Terrorism Taskforce was an awesome woman who fiercely lead the team and the operation with just enough verve and feelings (love this character!), and the terrorists are mad crazy and frightening, which made it all the more thrilling! The weakling is Raline Shah, actually, what was she doing?? I hope she can churn out stronger performances in the future if she wants to keep acting, or at least choose roles which give her more mettles, more challenges and more depths in her lines.

The action sequence were superb, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! Not once does the movie stumble to keep me engaged and stimulated in a non-stop action sequence which could feel boring otherwise. I was so emotionally invested with the characters because I like them so much, and I found myself constantly rooting for my characters to get the upper hand.

By the time the movie finished it was already later than 9 pm, so we decided to drive home. At home, me and Mr. T found out that my friend Ms. F was lost on her way to my home for an adult sleepover session. So we thought to pick her up at the front of my housing complex gate.

Ms. F was at my home from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon, which we spent almost exclusively by eating takeout food, watching Netflix’s American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, discussing latest developments in internet online dating and matchmaking world, and talking. And sleeping.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace was so engrossing to me that it made Ms. F to be curious to watch it as well. I decided to stream it for the weekend because I was reading a female entrepreneur profile at an online website and the subject of the profile said the series was “haunting”. The word choice got me interested, so I wanted to check it out for myself. It was seriously haunting, indeed. I was already well on my third episode by that Thursday night and by Friday midnight, I was done.

The serial takes an approach of reverse timeline to tell the story. The opening was the day Versace was shot, and it trailed the messes that his killer, Andrew Cunanan, been making in the lead up to that incident (including how he killed four people before Versace, and why are the reasons), all the way to his childhood and his family background. It also shows the backstory of all the victims: how Versace was sick already and preparing for death already (including his family), how the other victims got to know him, possible explanations why he killed them, what their lives mean to people around them, and more. Andrew Cunanan was a troubled mixer of a particularly bad nurture and nature. It was a super chilling story, especially to note that this ACTUALLY happened, and haunting, indeed.

We didn’t get out of home at all on Friday, and decided to swim on Saturday morning. By Saturday afternoon, we were itching to go out, so we decided to have coffee at a café , Sophie Authentique, a place in an area nearer to her house in South Jakarta (mine is in the East area). We went our separate way around 5 pm on Saturday, when I needed to go to a mosque for an Islamic class by a local Islamic teacher. Meanwhile, Ms. F wanted to find out more about tahfidz program, which we intend to participate this year, so she went to a local mosque that offer the class.

On Sunday afternoon, Mr. T sent a DM to my IG, asking if I wanted to hang out. I said sure. We have been wanting to try out Jakarta’s brand-new MRT and so we decided to go try it out that afternoon. He picked me up at home, then parked at a mall, went to grab a GoCar and we took off for our first MRT experience from Dukuh Atas station, all the way to Cipete Raya. We debated where to stop, but because I think we will have a lot of restaurant options at Cipete Raya, I suggested that stop, and he reluctantly obliged. Turns out that 1 e-money card can only be used for 1 person at the MRT Station, so Mr. T got confused because there’s no way he’ll let me pay for my own trip (which only amounts to Rp 15,000 – 20,000 max in total, we estimated). Luckily he has another e-money card for himself.

The MRT trip timing was perfect, it wasn’t so crowded but it wasn’t eerily empty as well. Just the right amount. And it was so easy and so like the other MRT stations at other country, I was pretty awed that we could have this in this city as well. Just 15 minutes maximum from Dukuh Atas / Sudirman Central Area to Cipete Raya, that was magnificent, and it was so cheap because of 50 % off discount promo in April. I was blown away by this MRT project immediately. Jakarta is going to get even more awesome day by day, I hope. Next is LRT which serves the East and North area, and the KCC, which will enable people to travel faster to Bandung by train, within minutes!! Can’t wait.

We stopped by this café called Pikul in Cipete Raya, one of my fave corner of Jakarta. The café was medium sized, not too small and not too large, and just the perfect place to sit by the window, read a book or a magazine, or stare at laptop for hours. We had Nasi Kebuli, I had latte and Mr. T had tea, of course. He doesn’t drink coffee and was slightly alarmed with my coffee addiction actually, but not as alarmed as when he found out I actually had real, in-your-face, manifest commitment issues. That really freaked him out. So, yeah, we’re trying to sort that out. Pikul had so many other tempting menu, that I actually planned to go there sometime soon for a work-at-a-café day session. The place was comfortable, not too empty, but not too crowded also. As I said, everything about this café screams “just right” for me. And it screams just at the right volume, not too loud. *LOL 

After dinner is finished, we stopped at Setiabudi (Astra) MRT station, and stopped a taxi to go to Kota Kasablanka and watched Ave Marryam.

It’s about a nun who lives in an aged care center, who fell in love one day with a cute priest 10 years her junior. To her credit, he did pursued her stubbornly. Though she initially resisted his advances, he didn’t give up and they went out regularly for a while. She finally fell hard for him, and though they tried hard to cover it up, the rest of the community actually got the idea that they were both going out. That goes against what a nun and a priest should do instead, and the two are torn between duty and passion, basically the problem of all human beings ever. That’s basically the basic premise of the movie.

But what I hadn’t expected was that, basically that’s the whole movie, that’s not just the basic premise. No further or deeper embellishment. Which made the film, though beautifully done, fell flat. That movie’s plot was super simple, and it was a mighty shorter movie than usual. The dialogues were short and scarce, but we get that it was full of meaning. Still, I wish Robby Ertanto (the director and the scriptwriter) would get a real scriptwriter to treat the story in a richer, more nuanced, deeper way. Visually, though, it was awesome. Every scene was taut. I definitely enjoyed every minute of the movie. And the climax scene, when the titular role was confessing her love and how she compromised everything valuable to her in front of a priest, was a feast and a joy to watch. I think he (Robby Ertanto) should stick to directing as he really has the talent and the wherewithal to be really great here, and delegate the actual scriptwriting to someone else. Another note, Ave Marryam was a great movie because of the actors – they were all first rate in this film. I didn’t know that Joko Anwar could act so well – he basically both stole and owned hard all the scenes he was in. And both Maudy Kusnaedi and Chicco Jericco, as the titular role and the priest she fell in love with, totally shone in their respective roles.

At the end of the movie, Mr. T was kind of like offended, “What? That is all? This is it?” which really made me laugh but I appreciated his willingness to try something new and go along with what I want when there’s no guarantee he’d enjoy it. He said “well if you’re not that artsy, it’s a bit hard to enjoy the movie.” LOL. Fair enough, he’s an internal auditor LMAO.

After we got out the cinema, my right foot was starting to kill me. When we were at Cipete Raya, I fell because of a sunken part of the pavement, and the right foot hurts, but it wasn’t until we finished watching the movie that I realize I need to pay attention to my foot, because the pain got worse and worse.

Mr. T stopped at a pharmacy to help me buy a pack of Thrombopop and he massaged my right foot for a bit in his car, before we discussed that it’s going to take a real professional to take care of pain of this magnitude.  So I called on one of my massage therapists,  Mrs. MJ. She came right away and was already at my home by the time Mr. T dropped me off at home. So that was how I spent my last long weekend night. I had a massage for my right foot which was hurting like hell.

No complaint, though, no complaint. I had a beautiful, glorious long weekend, full of screen time and time spent with people whose company I adore. What I wish more of, though, was alone time. Sigh…maybe as an introvert, I should be at peace with the fact that I will never feel like I have enough alone time. 

Photo by Melissa Di Rocco on Unsplash

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