Jakarta with its glitzy-ness is a city for the hustled lifestyle, but when this glorified way of life becomes too much to bear, a short escape is ever tempting to leave the overwhelm behind. We daydream of a vacation, but reality forbids. In a pinch, driving off is ideal, for in those moments of mental weariness, what we seek is simply to be away.
It’s seldom to think of Jakarta’s outskirts as a place to find that solace. Yet, driving off to Tangerang (and trusting the journey) will lead to a hidden spot to isolate one’s self in peace; in Padi-Padi, the landscape is greener and skies seem brighter to welcome visitors for a day of quietude among picturesque rice fields.
Padi-Padi is located in the subdistrict of Paku Haji where a lone road is paved along the area with rice paddies to both sides of the street. The region looks similar to a typical township you would find when travelling to cities like Bogor or further west into Java. The privately-owned property recently opened their doors for the public at the height of the pandemic, knowing that in these challenging times, space to breathe and nature are what we seek most. Such a place wouldn’t be anticipated in locations like Tangerang, yet it is to the delight of urbanites to bask in the pleasure of a naturescape rather close to home.
In Padi-Padi’s humble dwelling, a flat grass field seats a handful of distanced tables and a few more ground picnic spots for small groups. The premise faces a stretch of rice paddies to one side and a river to the other. The crowds of families, friends and couples can be seen delighting in the atmosphere as well, stealing a few photo-ops to capture the moment and simply enjoying the slow pace the day has to offer.
Being in the presence of this bucolic setting, peace easily abounds. The relaxing activity of watching a natural landscape move with the day can never be overstated. As colours begin to change and the weather cools in the afternoon, we finally realise the hours that were just spent on reclining and loving every minute of this solace.
Come to think of it, the idea that incorporating a little bit of nature in our lives to remedy the stresses of everyday life is true but oversimplified. What wears down the mind isn’t the lack of rest, but it’s rather the absence of anticipation for a well-deserved break. The fundamental need for time off is a self-care that can’t (and should never) be impromptu. Like how roading off to Padi-Padi will require just enough planning, consider this as the sign to plan for your next brief getaway.
Padi Padi Restaurant, Jalan Raya Pakuhaji, Kramat, Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia
Operation hours: Every day by appointment only.