JAKARTA AND JAPAN TOUR, WINTER 2006 (Nov 19-Dec 14) -- Part 4
9/26/2017 6:11:18 PM - (cont'd)

After the performances, Sasha and George flew back to New York early the next morning, while Masa stayed on an extra day to explore. Nikita and I were there for another 3 days, doing some promotional stuff ("Routes" had just come out through Demajors) and otherwise hanging. We went to the house of a wealthy business man and his family's, whose daughter was a famous actress and entertainer, to shoot some promotional clips for the Indonesian market (actually I thought we were just visiting, and the cameraman, Agus, said that they were going to shoot me singing "The Right Time" -- I had no make-up on -- how embarrassing...). From the crazed streets of Jakarta's everyday people, we suddenly entered through the mystical gates into acres of property that had at least 4 tennis courts, a workout gym, what looked like a private and ancient temple, I don't know how many structures aside from the main house, and the most exotic and amazing collection of live birds, some freely roaming the grounds, while others were in large cages. There was also a moneky which Nikita fed fresh rambutan (a tropical fruit not unlike lychee) straight off the trees that peppered the grounds. It was really enchanting and amazing. We were later greeted by the actress owner and her 5 year old daughter who were very nice and accommodating.

We celebrated Nikita's 6th birthday in Jakarta. I had a press conference that day, but David and his team had arranged for a birthday cake at the end of the conference. The reporters were all kind to sing "happy birthday." But Nikita, in his exuberance and insistence to serve everyone a piece of the cake, tripped and dropped the ENTIRE cake on the floor! It was a clutsy and cute thing to see, but I've got to say that I was ready for something sweet and was a little disappointed! Fortunately we had saved a piece for Nikita, so he got his and even shared it with a couple people (but not with his mom!!!).

I would have liked to have gone shopping for local crafts and art, but really didn't have the time and energy to spend looking for stuff, especially with Nikita along. I decided instead to check out some local designers and picked up a few pieces. One was by Biyan for my mother for her December 12th birthday present -- she turned 77 years old, which is a benchmark age for Japanese, and I wanted to get her something special considering it was also her 60th anniversay in the biz and all the things she had been awarded this year. At first I thought Biyan was too dressy and glitzy for my taste, but the more I looked, the more I appreciated the workmanship, quality, cut, and design of the pieces. VERY expensive though, even in Western standards. I would equivalate it to an Indonesian Prada. One dress really caught my eye, but the price held me back (over U.S.$1,000!) and there were 2 other pieces I was really interested in, but one was slightly damaged and other was too big. Beautiful designer. I did pick up a couple pieces from Biyan's second line that was much cheaper (in the $20-40 range for tops and dresses) and also a dress from another Indonesian designer with a buzz, Oscar, which I later used for a live TV show in Japan.

Another highlight for us was when Sago suggested we go for a dim sum brunch at a nearby hotel. The hotel itself was much more posh than the Sultan where we were staying, and apparently the dim sum was known to be the best in Jakarta, and one even said the whole of Asia (a brave remark, but not too far off!). It was REALLY great, and with an all you can eat from their varied and extensive and EXOTIC menu at only $12.00 a person, it was an unbelievable bargain. Sagon treated us the first day we went, and it was so great we had to go back a second day and I dragged Masa along.

(cont'd in Part 5)
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