(mostly) daily photoblog

How’d that get up there?

bike upstairs

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.

6 responses

  1. I’m a little afraid to ask what comes out of the 2 grey pipes on the right hand side.

    January 29, 2013 at 11:44 pm

  2. colour of the water…which means that they pee, wash their clothes, drink and shower with this water….we do have it so good….

    January 30, 2013 at 12:10 am

  3. Chloe

    happy birthday

    January 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    • Thanks friend.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm

  4. TheBlackTwig

    First of all, happy birthday. What bothers me is that I’m not really bothered at all (maybe because I grew up in a developing country). Perhaps the motorcycle was lifted thru the stairs from an entrance that is not shown in the photo (this manifest how much they want to protect their belongings because they don’t have much). Contrary to one comment above, with the color of the water, I believe they don’t shower, drink and wash clothes with it (but I won’t be surprised if they do other things there like throwing garbage, peeing and what gives). What actually bothers me is the development gap we experience in the world today. Thanks for sharing this enlightening photo.

    January 30, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    • Yeah, the cognitive dissonance is what bugs me the most. There’s this ability to see my city as a world-class city, but most of the people who live here do not have clean water. You’re right – they don’t drink or shower in this, but it is the by-product of showers, bathrooms, and garbage dumps. What’s scary is when I see kids playing in it. Frightening.

      January 30, 2013 at 8:21 pm