Find out the real Jakarta!
Special in the great Megapolis Jakarta the "Ibukota JABOTABEK" (Jakarta, Bogor, Tangerang, Bekasi), in the Jakarta biru,
behind the hight modern buildings the very most people live in flat houses complexes the "kerumahan"- most named as "kompleks xxy.."
mostly of the little houses have to street side a little garden - the kebun- with little flowers like Orchids and nice "Bougainvillas" that with the so much red pink flowers,
or if more place at side of streets with greater trees, like Mango and some otherfresh tropical fruits, a Banana Tree, a Coconut palm, see at photo- not all have this, but if there is a nice atmosphere even in the unbelivable hot time between Mai and September.
Visiting friends we suddenly see the nice "Bunga Mawar"!
Inmid the little garden were carfully set two little Red Roses-
Ibu R.... yth. was very proud to show us her beloved garden-
here in little home in the hot weather of Jakarta!
In the garden all together fine to have some shadows in the above mentioned hot weather - the "musim KEMARAU" ....
I found many Indonesians would practice their English with me. They tended to have a set of questions which they asked by rote, and often didn't seem to understand the answers. Typically when answering "no" to the question "are you married", the next question would be "what is your wife's name?"
If you are male and over 25 it's probably best to answer yes to that question, if you think they will understand you, or at least something like "soon". In many parts of Indonesia it is considered strange to not be married.
I found that many Indonesians didn't like to say "no". Even if they didn't understand me I'd often find they'd nod "yes" to my questions, just to be polite. I found a good way to make sure they understood what I was saying, and weren't just nodding out of politeness, was to add the question: "is that where the penguins are?" If they nodded yes to that, I'd thank them kindly and move on.
A friend of Sri’s, related to the bride, invited me to a Traditional Javanese Wedding: A Muslim 'wedding' is a matter of the father of the bride, the father of the groom, the groom and an Imam signing the contract. The bride isn’t necessarily even around. There is of course a reception for the Bride and Groom and this is what I was invited to.
The Reception room, located in Manggala Wanabakti was large and decorated with full sized palm trees and flowers made to look like an Island bathed in gold. It was the most extravagant décor I had ever seen and it was quite impressive.
At the Entrance there were more than a dozen of these beautiful greetings to the bride and groom made completly of flowers! It looked like the Rose Parade of wedding!
There were more than a thousand people lined up to congratulate the bride and groom. Four Ministers of the Indonesian government attending this reception were at the head of the reception line and we were first in line behind the Ministers! (Which allowed us to eat and depart before all the guests got through the queue.
At first I thought it was luck, later I realized that the lady I came with was greatly respected in this group. At the time I hadn't known that not only was she the wife of a Minister herself, but had been a classmate of the late president, and still a good friend of his wife's.
I really enjoyed the music at this reception. It was traditional Javanese, big barrel drums, exceptionally slow rhythm, exotic and really beautiful.
The food was awesome! A buffet that would dwarf those offered at the large hotels. There was a whole section of Western dishes, of which I only remember pizza and pasta, because I zeroed in on the traditional Indonesian food, Sates, Gado-gado, Nasi Goreng, Mee Goreng, Sambal Udong, curried ayam and Rendang were just a few of my favorites! In my opinion, there is nothing more delicious than well made Indonesian food.
On a table in each of the four food sections was placed a beautiful ice sculpture, my favorite was of a swan readying for flight.
The family members of the wedding party all wore traditional National Costume of their Island—Java even the men wore sarongs made in shades of blue and white. Each family unit had their own distinct design.
Many homes have more than one garden. Several I saw had rooms built with a square in the center which served as a private garden. It was very peaceful in the midst of Jakarta, a city of more than 11 million people.
The front of many houses have no yard or much in the way of decoration but once inside you can see through the open wall to the garden and it's almost like a paradise. This style really appeals to me.
This is the window of one of the women's quarters on the other side of the courtyard. Orchids grow almost wildly here, and there was no glass on the windows. There was glass on the first set of shutters, to keep out rain. I'm not sure what the second set of shutters were for. Surely not to keep out the cold. Maybe as a form of security!
Take your shoes off before entering--yes, a Mosque, but also--a house. This is a place where the custom is to remove shoes before entering a home. Something I wasn't used to but did anyway. It was interesting to see the different methods used for storing shoes on the front porch. Some had shelves for the shoes, some supplied a number of slippers for their guests to change into and sometimes the shoes where left in disorder.
Once a theif came up and stole a few pair of shoes. Mine weren't taken. Thankfully they were considered too cheap to steal!
Don't be alarmed if you see a lizard running from beneath a picture on the wall to another picture, they won't bother you. Though at first I worried about being bare foot with lizards lurking.
While relaxing in the house one evening, I saw a lizard come from under this picture. Later, I saw a lizard come from under another picture. I'm not sure if there were two or just one very fast creature. They just try to keep cool--I don't blame them.
After thinking about it, I realized that even the president's house probably had lizards roaming around too because almost all the houses had walls that opened to their garden or courtyard.
The general impression of Indonesia’s people is of politeness and hospitality – perfectly in union with the teachings of Islam, and probably not far away from the previous set of rules. All this said it is not difficult to notice than on this trip many things got lost – never to be found. It is true that jetlag and other travel-related fatigues contribute to loss of attention and shear forgetfulness but the coincidences were too many not to be noticed as a pattern of nothing other but a theft. So paying attention to your surroundings and company despite some very pleasant looks and reverent attitudes is of major importance in a country where there isn’t lost and found, it is just lost and forever!
Rush hour traffic in Jakarta is a bewildering experience. Contrary to all laws of circulation as European mind would see it, the traffic on the pavement gently overflows to include the sidewalks which in turn seems to be no skin off the pedestrian noses who continue on as if this is part of life as Allah created it. For the unaccustomed foreigners though it is quite the shock trying to avoid being “run over” by motorbikes which of course never happens due to limited speed and close attention on part of the bikers. With the noise deafening and fumes suffocating, the best move is to hop in a taxi and join them since beating them is impossible or veer into a restaurant and wait for the onslaught to die down.
I don't get it, but young Jakartans love to wear jackets, sweaters with hoods and beanies!! It's 35 degrees Centigrade or 100 degrees Fahrenheit out there! Maybe it's fashionable to look "cool" by wearing what the latest local rock star wears. In fact I saw one on telly wearing a fur coat while performing.