September 7, 2007

A few snapshots of Jakarta

Do you know any songs that are inspired by name of the places? Yes, there are a few I know pretty well such as "Siapa Suruh Datang Jakarta, Surabaya oh Surabaya, Halo-halo Bandung, and Yogyakarta. The only one that isn't a real song or I should say it's more of a cynical thing is Siapa suruh datang Jakarta or literally translated as "who asked you to go to Jakarta?". The song tells about the people from the rural villages who came to Jakarta because they see it as a land of opportunity. For example, a scavenger in Jakarta might have a steady income rather than living as a farmer back in their kampung simply because they can earn more. Jakarta is truly the centre of everything for Indonesia.

When I first moved to Jakarta in 1994, Jakarta was not exactly a big city like today but rather it looked like a grown kampungs (villages) connected one to another. Those kampungs have now disappeared and transformed into the high-rise buildings, big shopping malls, five-star hotels, modern cafes and fine dining establishments. All signs of a developing city. Jakarta today is a city of great contrasts between the rich and poor, it is densely populated, it is not cheap, it's polluted and the traffic is crazy. But it is also a modern city with decent facilities, great food, plenty of entertainment venues and very friendly people. Like it or hate it, I truly love Jakarta. And despite its many flaws and shortcomings, I can see myself living in this city previously called Batavia.


mom said...

I love the pictures! I feel like I already visited this part of your beautiful country. Maybe someday :)

Belle said...

nice pics elyani! were it taken by your camera phone? so Jakarta is previously called Batavia? that is why you name yourself Batavia girl.

i wonder when i will be able to visit your place?

elyani said...

Thanks Fe & Belle, yes the pics were taken by my Sony Ericsson K790I camera phone. The 4 random pics were taken nearby my area, as for the 2 pics with the maroon color building were taken from the 11th floor in a CBD area of Jakarta.