Ramadan is drawing to a close. The tins of biscuits are running out in the shops, people are already leaving Jakarta to go back home to celebrate Eid with their families and I am on holiday from school.
The month of Ramadan has been a quick one mainly I think because where I live and the way it works out here and that in school all the teachers have ate more together at 6pm with those that are fasting which has been a fun and enjoyable thing to do. We have been meeting as a group and eating together for a while at lunch and now for breakfasting and this will continue on through the year as it is a fun thing for all to enjoy.
So Ramadan changes the city. It changes the rush hour, the shopping habits, the way people drive and the way people buy food. The shops are full of people buying huge quantities of food which puts the average Christmas shop in England to shame. The streets are busy with food stalls from 4pm to 5.45pm as everyone scrambles to buy the food they want and then get home to celebrate and eat. The restaurants around Pancoran are not open through the day, well not all, and the sellers are out and about through the night and early morning.
The area around my house is always lively but trying to get to Indomaret and back for beer (essential supplies old boy) at 5pm is a challenge, even more than normal at the moment with twice the amount of bikes and people all scurrying around. Of course the beer is not on sale in Indomaret and so the staff have to go and find it for me. They will still sell it which is more than useful but its another challenge to go and get someone to find it for me.
Last nights street activity was impressive thats for sure. From 5pm to 5.45pm there were traffic jams, monkey shows, quick unorganized food stalls put out and selling and once everything was sold disappeared again followed by the call to prayer and by 6pm the area was almost empty and quiet. This lasted until 6.30pm and then it started to become a little more busy. From 7pm fireworks were set off and by 8pm arrived, the street became its normal Saturday night affair.
The street in both directions with people buying food
|A monkey show outside my house. They asked me for money. I refused|
At 6pm everyone had gone and the place became deserted
It was a glorious tropical evening, even in down town Jakarta and it is most nights. As for Ramadan well it will be nice for everyone to have it finished for another year and I will be looking forward to seeing what happens on Wednesday when the final break fast happens.