Monday, 15 July 2013

Welcome Ramadhan

Ramadhan has started in Jakarta and the city has changed and people so far are happier and are enjoying the fasting and events that start the fasting festival.

What this means to me is the following:

No Beer freely on sale in Indomaret, Giant, or Super Indo all near my house.
The Mosque 50 meters down the road overspills between 6 and 7 for prayers, closing the road meaning a detour
Someone bangs a drum every couple of nights at 3 and 4am to get me to wake up and go to the mosque
The food stalls do not open until 4 or 5pm
The roads are quieter after 7pm which is nice
My students are quieter and more tired
A Drum on a truck inviting you to prayer (courtesy of http://twocupsofjava.wordpress.com/2012/08/)

And thats about it for me and how it affects me, in other words it doesn't. Life goes on freely and willingly and the traffic madness reigns supreme, the rain continues to fall in the dry season and there seems a never ending supply of coconuts in the store opposite.

The fasting will continue until the 7th of August and then the 2 days of feasting happens. I expect fireworks and even less people in the city as they will go home to their home towns and celebrate it with family.

So it's been a strange few weeks all in. Last week I went to meet a new teacher at the airport and on the way not only did we get lost but the driver managed to get himself a ticket for no real reason other than not having any cash to bribe the policeman with. Totally outrageous but that's the quality of some of the police here. Not all, just the ones that stop cars and demand money.

Breaking the law is wrong but you can pay 20,000 on the spot to dodge the court trip
(picture from the Jakarta Post)
Yovita has gone back to work and so Jeremy is being looked after by his gran. This went well for the first week of her returning to work, lets hope that continues.

The weather has been scorching hot to cool and very stormy with lots of afternoon and evening rain. Recently every time I have worn my Adidas trainers to work it has rained so hard I have had to let them dry for a day. I have stopped wearing them in the hope that it will make the ride home more dry.

The price of fuel went up, there were some demonstrations. A few stones thrown, a few thousand litres of water from the water canon used but nothing drastic compared to last year. It sort of just slipped in and very little fuss has happened since. Food prices have naturally increased again and some are getting silly expensive but it will all calm itself down.

Pizza Hut appear to have put up their prices for Pizza, Dominos will not deliver as we are too far away from the nearest store so we have gone back to PHD,which is good as the pizzas are big and cheap and there are lots of offers. This makes me happy. Burger King running out of burgers does not.

Breaking Fast is busy and chaotic time but fun for those who observe it
(picture courtesy of www.cube-mag.de)
Happily enough, I can more see good things on the horizon. A night at a 5 star hotel, renewing my SIM, and a week off from work at the end of Ramadhan.

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