Friday, June 1, 2012

Lesson Learnt From Jakarta

The most memorable moment in Jakarta was to stroll at night along its road with Mr Shan and my little one.  I was scared for the first two nights but I started to feel comfortable the night after.  Instead of feeling unsafe, I tried to observe the surroundings.  Jakarta is safer than Paris, I believe.

Jakarta's rich and mid-class people go to work in the morning and come back at dawn like any other people throughout the world.  I can't see any much differences from our country, except for the language and their style.  They dress very well too.    

Then there are locals that sell cigarettes, food, even anything along the street on their carts.  Bikes serve as taxis whom the local called as the 'OJEK'.  There are sign languages that they use to call for Ojek.  Yes, these make the city view looks unpleasant, but the local authorities are giving the locals the opportunity of earning money.

Later that part of the day, you can see a lot of unfortunate people coming out at night begging for money.  You will see more of child beggars.  I had the experience of few kids surrounding us, crying 'pak, ibu, minta sikit uwang nya, kami mau makan..' .  My heart melt down when an 8-year-old gripped my left arm softly.  I was so sad because I couldn't do much except for ignoring or else there'll be more of them chasing us.  I really felt guilty for that selfish ignorance attitude.

..clip captured from a cab...

I don't think Indonesia is a poor country, especially Jakarta.  Even in Europe countries, you can see poor people begging for food too.  White people picking the garbage and sweeping the alleys.  Its pretty much the same everywhere.  

Anyhow, I will say that the cost of living here is certainly high.  Many people say that everywhere is cheap in Jakarta.  I would say the other way round.  Meals at the food courts or at the restaurants are expensive.  I even ate Maggi Mee for couple of days.  That shows Jakartans are rich if they can afford to eat at the food court every single day.

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