Jakarta and My Love-Hate Relationships with It

How can I not love Hotel Indonesia Turnaround (Bundaran HI) on Car Free Days like this?

Yesterday was the so-called anniversary of Jakarta. Some people think the 22nd of June was chosen just because the capital had its own anniversary for us to celebrate because otherwise it felt weird. Indonesians love festivities, celebrations and parties. And they have to find reasons to do so. Legitimizing the excuse, so to speak.

I have mixed feelings about Jakarta. It was never a place that I had imagined to live in in my early years. I would always think Jakarta was a horrible place to live in. Pollution, crimes, crowds, the list goes on and on.

Years passed and my perspective on Jakarta changed.

I needed a job that paid. A lot.

I needed experience that was more than what my little world could offer.

So I began considering Jakarta as one of the most promising places to work in.

I did move there and sucked my own bad judgment of the crappy yet pleasantly diverse mega city.

I guess some people are true to say that in the middle of the twister, you will feel most calm and still. You see a twister as a horrid thing because you’re not in it. Once you’re at the core of it, you’ll maybe feel more comfortable.

Jakarta may not offer me the exponential growth of material wealth but it did help me grow as a person, an individual, a soul.

This is where I saw and met with people on television that back then seemed – you know – WOW! But now that I’m here to see it all, I have no longer had that WOW. Suddenly everything and everyone seem normal. They are humans who make mistakes, who suck at one or two things hugely in their lives.

Jakarta, as weird as you can become, I still love and live in you…

But living in Jakarta takes a lot of energy. It’s hard to see al the hedonism and materialism when you start to feel fed up about it all.

And thank God, Jakarta also offered me an antidote. It gave me yoga, too.

Oddly enough, Jakarta has that toxin and antidote at the same time.

As much as it is soul crushing, Jakarta is also soul enriching.

Yeah, how weird…

And I will perhaps still have to live with this paradox for more years to come.

Or not. (*/)

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