Tuesday, 9 February 2016

That February feeling

Raining. Raining hard and nearly everyday so far in February as predicted. My rain coat and trousers leak and so I have a complete spare set of clothing at work at all times. The things I need for work (phone, tab, charger, headache tablets, glasses, random stuff I always have) are wrapped in plastic so that they don't become damp. My bike helmet feels permanently damp and smells and leaks so it rains on both sides of the visor. I only have 3 choices of footwear for riding my bike as I cant find rubber boots that would fit here. At home, The AC is too cold in my bedroom now as we had it serviced (it now leaks) the day before it cooled down from 38 degrees to 29  and because we are drying the washing inside, the place smells like a laundry.

A video of recent rain from my balcony


It normally looks like this from my balcony, often with blue skies



Still, on the bright side, with all this rain the bike shop does not open late so the noise out front is less so that's good. We have new neighbours who seem intent on banging walls all night, all day for currently no real reason. With there being 5 or 6 adults living there now, the water is now being turned off for nearly all day and night as the configuration of the plumbing will undoubtedly create higher bills so by turning it off we should save us some cash.

We have just celebrated Chinese new year but I don't remember hearing a single firework. Now that might have been because of the rain or there are just very few or no Chinese people living around my house now and as a result, you would have not guessed that Sunday evening was a very important date for over a billion people. However, it was a day off for all on Monday so that meant more sleep and for the first time in nearly 3 years, I woke up at 8am! Even Jeremy never woke until after 7. I guess having a colder room is blessing after all.

Not the busiest of times as I have not actually been anywhere this month as far as I can remember other than for coffee or shopping. Sleep seems to be really useful at the moment.

Jeremy is becoming even heavier and bigger and his energy appears often limitless. He isn't sleeping in the day, but sometimes around 7pm he has a tantrum and passes out but should he sleep, then he is awake until 9-9.30pm. Through the day for him,  its Thomas and friends or his cars. Maybe books or TV but mainly play and talking and singing. He now knows:
The wheels on the bus
Twinkle Twinkle
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Random You Tube songs which are catchy and easy for him to say the words.

He enjoys watching Thomas on Youtube, Pocoyo, Elmo, Sesame Street, Blipi, Various nonsense videos of children with toys, Rat a Tat cartoons from India, stuff from Dream English Kids and Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom which is far better and funnier than Peppa Pig.

My You Tube history is full of stuff like this

Last week he asked to go to school and this morning he asked for a horse. Classic

Jeremy waiting at the gate to go Horse Shopping this morning!



Saturday, 30 January 2016

January 2016

With January over, I can honestly say that it feels like time has moved quickly for a change and its been quite an eventful month.

There has been a lot happening in Jakarta what with one thing or another, some good some not.

I took the family on a train ride through the city which was fun to be repeated soon as Jeremy liked it and it was simple enough. We only a short distance by train but went quite far if we had to go in a car.

Trains are fun in Jakarta, if not a little overcrowded

Then there was the terrorist attack in the city which took lives and seemed to get everyone all upset as well as patriotic. The bombs did kill people but not as many as I suppose the clowns with the bombs wanted to kill.

A view of the police box destroyed opposite the McD and very close to the Starbucks

Terrorism will never win. Local Jakartans came out in force the same night and held peaceful events around the bombed areas.

"we are not afraid' was the message of the day

And of course, this man hit the news for selling food while it was all going on, very close to everything. This made huge news here as a sign that people ignore terror.


Add caption


More importantly for those in Indonesia was this policeman who seems to be far too handsome to be on duty and this caused a huge stir in the Indonesian Internet pot


Funny how different cultures react. People here were more upbeat or 'care less' over the bombs than other parts of the world. I suspect that this may change if things like this happen again but Jakartans are a tough bunch of people.

2 days after the bombs, I attending a wedding of a good friend here just up the road from it all and you would not have known anything had happened if it wasnt for the boarded up Starbucks and police box. The wedding was nice Catholic affair, followed by lunch with friends at a restaurant nearby and then beer and photos in the evening, which was great.

Oh the Bridge and groom were lovely too!!!

Peter, in the bow time was the groom

He married Stella

And then we (I) drank beer in the evening to celebrate

For a full review of the wedding - try this link from the Melton times in England!

 http://www.meltontimes.co.uk/news/local/couple-refuse-to-let-jakarta-terror-attack-ruin-their-wedding-day-1-7170820


As the month draws to a close, I went to a car free Sunday in Jakarta and despite the rain it was a pleasant Sunday morning. Yovita went off running and I walked through the city enjoying the views and we will probably go back this weekend.

Yovita off running

Local Kids bike, which is obviously illegal as there is no reflector on the back wheel

And that was January in Jakarta. Hopefully February won't be as dramatic but equally as fun.











Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Air Pollution

Reading the news as I do on a all too frequent basis, the subject of air pollution rears its ugly head again and again and the health risks they pose. It is generally accepted than less economic wealthy cities and countries have worse air quality than those better off, however, even with the rules and systems in place air quality around the world is not what you expect it to be, unless you are in China then it is. And it is always bad there.

So recently I was discussing air quality and how Indonesia doesn't have readings or information regarding its air quality especially in Jakarta where as the rest of the world seems to. I was then told to go here  http://aqicn.org/ as it provides the latest information of air quality for Jakarta and around the world. The good old US of A has measuring stations at their consulate offices and so are reporting information live.

So lets make some comparisons for today. I am sure that Jakarta is worse overall but it might challenge some staple beliefs but again the information is only a snap shot.

Jakarta now at 4pm 

There are not exactly a lot of monitoring stations in Jakarta and there is not a lot of information being gathered but Moderate is nice. The weather today is overcast and rainy and perhaps I should look at the differences again in the dry season. And whilst there are time difference which would effect air quality and stuff, the traffic here is now beginning to go into rush hour as London will start to reduce its morning rush.

London now at 9am

It seems in the dead of winter the city of London is not a good place to be for fresh air.

England today across the midlands and south




Jakarta today, bearing in mind that once you leave Tangerang, West Bekasi or Depok there not much there in the way of anything and Bogor is in the foothills surrounded by volcanoes, hence the lack of any other monitoring stations


Europe

South East Asia and the Red and Purple signs in China and India

USA and Europe, with Europe displaying red unhealthy signs 

With a predicted 70% of the worlds population living in cities by 2050, one needs to assume the air quality issues will be fixed around the globe. My dream of retiring into the countryside really does seem like a good idea even a breath of fresh air, so to speak.