Monday, 20 August 2012

Idul Fitri 2012 Jakarta

I have again not gone away for Idul Fitri 2012 unlike 4 or 5 million other people in Jakarta, although they are returning to homes in far off towns and villages to celebrate the end of the fasting month, instead I am more than happy to remain behind in Jakarta and enjoy the serene quiet and peace.
The street where I live has turned for the most, into a silent inactive place with no food sellers, vendors, motorbikes, cars, kids or dogs making any noise for the past few days and even the kost on the other side of the road has ceased its nightly music parties for the past 3 nights. In fact its a bit too quiet! Happily however, there is a motorbike being revved for no real reason outside the house as I speak so I think things are returning to normal gradually.
Living in a Muslim community and close to the mosques and surrounded by houses I was somewhat expecting my nights sleep to be ruined on the night the fasting finished, however there was only a little noise from a passing troupe of drummers and the fireworks were lack lustre and of no real consequence at all. I was quite let down. 
I am not sure if it is the fact the area I live in is full of kosts (boarding houses) which means everyone has left to go home that makes the area quieter than normal or perhaps the celebrations are not so merry and full on.
Certainly with Independence Day falling 2 days before the end of fasting and therefore a long weekend for all meant everyone left town a bit earlier which was pleasant.
I took a trip to Central Park to do some shopping and for a change went via Transjakarta Busway. For 3500 rupiah you can ride all over the city as long as you dont exit a station. The trip took just over 30 minutes which is roughly the same time as a motorbike as the driver was in no hurry. We had to change buses once. Both buses were dirty and run down and looked like they took a beating from the continual use every day. The AC was barely working but luckily the bus was not overfull. I used to take the Busway when I was living in Cengkareng as it was cheap and easy to get to the city and it still is but the overcrowding and lack of security despite there being guards on board still make me feel uneasy about being on them and the people are so rude. Pushing to get on and off and fighting for seats. The Busway has introduced a female seating area which seems well controlled on my journey but I guess if people are treated like cattle then they will act like cattle. Certainly all sense of personal space disappears as soon as you get on them and the gap between bus and shelter is fairly wide. 
Still I am taking them for the rest of the week so that will be fun as I plan to ride about and see the city for a change, as I have not done that this week. 
Central Park was full of bored looking, maidless families wandering about in the cool air trying to keep the kids happy. Clearly some of the people wandering around had run out of every day clothes as there is no one to wash the clothes for them so they were wearing what ever they had left. If only I was less sensitive about photographing people I would share pictures with you, but alas I am.
I took a taxi back. No bus. Too much for one day.

So for me the annual celebration in the city is a far quieter affair than normal, the roads are less congested but still seem busier than last year. I will take some photos of my adventures on the bus tomorrow and where ever it will take me and go from there. 
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