There is a Villa Somewhere

Passing through the main road towards Puncak, Bogor, it is impossible to miss some men standing by the roadside. They seemed to be waiting for someone. One man holds a small placard with 'vila' written on it, waiting on the curb. Another man also has it, and this time he writes 'villa'. I could spot the other man who's waiting, still with a placard, standing near the tea plantation. They are the familiar faces of Puncak, the most favourite short getaway for Jakartans, the busy people of the Indonesian capital.


People often identify these roadside reception of local accommodation as 'Uncles of the Villa''. They typically would wear thick jackets, beanies to cover their heads, and flashing bickering flashlights to make sure they do not go unnoticed. I came up to some of them, randomly on less busy days, when potential customers are not swarming up the road with their cars. Surprisingly, they don't even have photographs showing the amenities of their products. They would only carry those placards and silently try to grab the attention of passersby. If you need a room, you just have a leap of faith and be sure there is a villa somewhere.