Saturday, 15 June 2013

Down My road

Living where I do in Pancoran Barat, which is in the south of the city and in a densely populated part of the city, I am subjected to, albeit in a positive way, to real living in Jakarta.

I don't live in a guarded or gated complex which is sterile and full of trees and birds and drivers washing their cars at 6am but rather I am in a full on area where the noise and motorbikes, food sellers and mosques never stop, yet there is also a lot of peace and calm as well.

You get to see more of the culture and diversity of people and behaviours which allow you to understand less about the people than before. Being the only 'bule' on the block, the stares remain but they lessen as I have been living here now for over 6 months however the people who still stare are comical to watch.

I am and am continuing to adapt to life in this area so much so I have started to compile a list of the oddities and the things I encounter through the day.

I am pretty sure this will get updated ...

1. No Gallon water bottles for sale on occasion. This time the area has run out because the truck driver has gone to his home town and so shops have run dry.
2. Weddings. Weddings happen frequently around me. If next to the house we get fed if not we are still treated to the music from midday to midnight.
3. Funerals. Someone dies then there are mass prayers said in front or in the persons house.
4. Food. Everything is available in terms of Indonesian fare. If you want rendang you have to buy it before 5pm as the restaurant will sell out.
5. The new food seller in the area sells corn and has a horn to announce his arrival
6. You can get food 24 hours a day because there is always someone open.
7. Indomaret sells Beer. Alfamart does not.
Hooray for Indomaret
8. The Mandiri ATM in Indomaret has been out of service for the past 6 months.
9. The coconut stall gets 3 deliveries of coconuts a week. A delivery being a small truck load

Coconuts and Ice

10. The next door neighbour washes her bike at 2am
11. The night watchmen patrol the streets (when they are not sat smoking cigarettes) and bang lamp posts at certain time intervals to let each other know all is well
12. Cooking oil, sugar and eggs are cheaper in the small stores than in the supermarket. Eggs are bought by the kilo and are just pure chicken eggs with no added anything.
13. Every small store sells Magnum ice creams

Local Shops

14. There are 2 mosques I can here and see. Both start up at 3.30am
15. Local petrol is 20,000 a bottle
16. The bike shop opposite charge 3,000 for air
17. The local barbers is 10,000 and the local salon is 50,000 for hair wash and massage
18. Blocks of ice can be ordered as the ice man comes round twice a day
19. The plants we put outside the house to stop parking have not been destroyed by the locals rather have been left to grow
20. The roads flood 50 metres either side of the house in the rain but within 20 minutes of it stopping it all disappears

This is just down the road from me (courtesty of
21. The local bike wash is also 10,000 a wash
22. There are at least 10 small stores selling phone cards and accessories
23. By motorbike I am 5 minutes from the main road and the busway
24. It costs 2,000 rupiah to take the small mini bus to Giant which is about 2 km away but also 2000 to go 100 meters
25. Taxis wont come to the house at 8am as all the roads are jammed tight with people trying to get to work

Fried Rice

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