Jakarta 2013



Of the many years since I left Melbourne, I recently got the opportunity to usher in another new year in a foreign country. This time in the hectic and chaotic city of Jakarta.

I spent four days in the company of C, who was also the kind woman who gave up half of her bed space in Koh Samui in the final week of our Teacher Training Course together. I got to meet her family, had meals together with her parents and entertained my inner child by playing dollhouse with her nieces. I am now aware of such things like the Sylvanian Family. Ah, the things kids can teach you.

Jakarta hit me like a familiar sequence of Surya Namaskar underlined with some variations. I could understand almost 90% of a conversation carried out in full Bahasa Indonesia if I really pay attention. Most of the time it doesn’t take a lot of effort to catch key words and have an idea what the gist of that conversation is all about. I could reply comfortably to 25% of the conversation in the same language, of the remaining time, I choose to converse in English. Not bad for my first trip to Indonesia. I love how effortless and musical the language can be.

The traffic though was another story altogether. Life seems to revolve around the heaviness of the traffic condition. Progress and growth seems to be dependent on how fast or how slow you can go from point A to point B. I could not have been more glad to come home to wide roads (sorry, yes this is utterly not very Hijau of me to say this), but one must be ever so thankful for well planned and connected roads and the availability of environmentally friendly public transportation to ease up the congestion.

I am glad I made the decision to close off a great year in Jakarta. It is now 2013, and though it may be getting off slightly on a very challenging note, deep down it feels like this year would be twice as better as it was then 2012. Insya’allah.

The best brunch in Jakarta resides in Bunga Rampai


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