I celebrated my 39th birthday today. My birthday gave me cause to contemplate my current context. I spent thirty-eight and a half years in Canada. Now that I live in Jakarta, my understanding of the lottery I unwittingly won by being born in North America has become so much better developed.
Take this photo, for instance. It is a “river” nearby to where I live, and that’s a “motorcycle” on the second floor balcony of an apartment that is adjacent to this river. This photo bothers me, and reminds me that I’ve had a pretty lucky existence.
There are many things in the photo that should bother the viewer…I’m wondering what bothers you.
I’m loving the motorcycle. It gets me to roads and places I’ve not been to before. This is an alley I have been down, but I’ve never come down it from this direction. Good times.
One of our many examples of graffiti here in the Kemang area of South Jakarta.
I went for a ride on Saturday and found many more examples of what’s happening around here in street art. There’s some crap, some territorial scrawlings, but there’s also some really beautiful, really well-done art.
I’ll let you decide into which category this falls.
A little bit of both. This is on the corner where Kemang Raya, the main street in our neighborhood, breaks off into two one-way streets. The graffiti, as you’ve seen in the last few days, is in the wreck of a former building. Adjacent to the old building is an old hotel. It sticks out because it is one of the taller buildings in this part of Kemang.
I’m trying to think of something witty or poignant to say about this,but nothing’s coming to mind. All I can think about is that I didn’t sleep well last night and now I’m so tired that I’m lucky that breathing is a reflex.
I’ve found some new-found freedom here in the Big Jak. I’ve been driving my motorcycle a lot this week, now that I finally have licence plates for it, and it’s given me some ability to get around and snap photos that I’ve not had the opportunity to take.
This girl, painted on a wall at a corner on a one-way section of Jalan Kemang Raya, watches me every time I go by her. Today, I got out and took her picture. I like her headband-ears.
Now that I’ve got mobility, I think it’s time to find some more street art.
The Kemang area of South Jakarta (Jakarta Selatan) is home to many interesting inhabitants of varying importance. This is the home of a German diplomat. I don’t know who lives here, but there’s more security cameras on this residence than most around here, and a conspicuous absence of security guards.
Often, people around here will make jokes about how, if you wanted to, you could not get the attention of the police if you really needed them. Maybe this is why the expectations of Jakartans are not that high.
…in someone else’s shoes. In this case, the shoes belong to a man who scavenges for a living. I pass men, women, and children who scavenge to live every morning as I head to school. They work their way through the trash of Kemang residences, looking for things that will bring them income.
Walk a mile in this pair of shoes. I doubt I would make it through a day.
I live in Jakarta. I live in South Jakarta. I live in the Kemang Area of South Jakarta. I live in an apartment in the Kemang area of South Jakarta. I live in a second-floor apartment in the Kemang area of South Jakarta.
Today’s lesson in specificity has been brought to you by…
For now, I’m posting another angle on the Vespas up my street. I will bring my camera with me tomorrow, and snap some new stuff. In the meantime, please accept these broken-down vehicles.
I was walking home two days ago and I noticed the Masjid on Kemang Jalan Barat. I snapped a photo. Here it is.
I must be really tired.
These Vespas are on the way to school. I’m in the market for a motorcycle right now, and if the rules for buying one get any more complex and the “ease” of getting one gets any less easy, I may make an offer on one of these. Maybe the one without the seat.
This is great food. They display it in the window, and they bring all of this to your table and whatever you eat is what you pay for. It is brilliant food. Tasty. Spicy. Fried. All the things I shouldn’t eat, and it’s amazing.
So healthy food is on the menu again after tonight, but awesome, greasy, spicy food with a good friend is about as great as a night can get.
By the way, the crappy quality is because this is my phone camera. I didn’t have my big camera with me.
We are part of a huge zoo, the human zoo, and we’re all on exhibit every day.
Whoa…tired…feeling philosophical. I should probably just try to sleep.
This city, my city, is insanely constructed. It has no plan, or maybe “organically planned” is a better way to phrase it. Things just pop up where they do, rather than being planned. From the 15th floor of my school, everything looks well-constructed, but walk these streets…walk the alleys and half-thought-out sidewalks…and you find just how un-constructed this city really is.
I love the laundry service around Jakarta. Just two doors over from this place is the dry cleaner I use, Londre, but this sign had an old school feel to it. Also, for those of you who are into safety, check out the larger version of this – the electrical connections up there…well, I don’t like to look. It seems like a bunch of extension cords all spliced off the main lines.
…my apologies to Robert Frost.
There are so many walkways, pathways, alleyways, and streets here in Jakarta Selatan that I’ve not walked yet, but it is fun taking photographs of them.
Not much time to post tonight, but I wanted to post this photo of motorcycles taking off (in motion) away from me yesterday morning. Can’t wait to buy my own.
Well, this little pigguccino is just for you.
This little coffee shop nearby, the Antipodean, is a wondrous little place where breakfast is served all day and the baristas are happy to show off their artistic talents for you every time you order a cappuccino.
On the way home today, I snapped this shot while walking with my son this afternoon. Sometimes one has to wait a little to get the right shot. There was traffic coming towards me as I was shooting this, but I waited until they all passed by and I was able to get this shot of a father and his child, holding hands, looking at flowers.
I think it was worth the wait.
Ooh, it’s nearly the end of Friday here, but it’s just beginning to be Friday where so many of my friends and family live. For Photo Friday, here’s a little reflection from my life.
As I was leaving my apartment this morning, I looked out my window and there he was, this lone supermarket worker walking through the parking lot. Hmm…it’s almost like he knew I had to meet this challenge.