Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Observations and Oddities

Just a few observations and oddities from Jakarta:

1. There are a lot of nannies in Jakarta.  A lot.  How can I tell?  They all wear uniforms.... namely pastel pajamas (pink, blue, violet...).  They sell them at the grocery store!  It's really weird.  They love uniforms here.  And nannies. Sometimes each kid has his or her own!

2. Walking places is hard here.  Sidewalks are few and far between, so most times you end up walking in the street, dodging cars, belching bajajs and motorbikes.  In the odd chance that you do end up walking on a block with a sidewalk, then it's not likely to be the most solid or safe thing you've ever walked on.  Things that may happen on these sidewalks:
Watch your step!
You may trip on an upturned brick.  You may fall 5 feet down into the open sewer to your left. You may trip over an ill-placed tree.  Or there just may be a bunch of dudes sitting/squatting on the sidewalk.  It gets really bad walking home at night, as there are no overhead lights, and the headlights on the cars are kinda blinding. 

3.  The zoning can be a little odd here. Within a one block radius, there can be huge skyscrapers housing high end malls (think Gucci, Louis Vitton, etc.) right next to a shack with hanging laundry and grazing farm animals out front.  I couldn't get it all in one shot, but the two photos below were taken from the same spot...
As a sidenote, I think the person on the back of that bike is texting. 

4. Manual labor is alive and well here.  In the U.S., we tend to lean towards using machines rather than manual labor, but here in Jakarta they have people doing those jobs.  For example, there is a driving range not too far from our house, on the way to the mall/grocery store.  It's one of those three level jobbies with the giant net around it, right smack in the middle of the city, which is a little strange.  But what really gets me is that this driving range has a bunch of dudes running around collecting the golf balls while wearing what essentially amounts to a motorcycle helmet and one of those sumo wrestling costumes (like the ones people rent for frat parties in the U.S.).
I didn't catch one of the guys working in the sumo suit, but if you click on the photo to zoom in, you can see the empty suits hanging in the cage on the green.


  1. that is the skinniest chicken i have ever seen

  2. There are no plump Perdue chickens here. This one probably lives off of cockroaches and lizards, not corn ;-)

  3. makes have to see Martha do her Perdue chicken interpretation..kinda funny. Merry Christmas Meg & Tim.


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