Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Jakarta Contrasts

I went for a stroll through my neighborhood and a drive around greater Jakarta with some friends the other day. The contrasts that exist in this city are striking. Huge housing complexes hosting multimillion dollar mansions dwarf makeshift shanty towns. Giant multinational corporations and enormous shopping plazas loom menacingly over tiny mom and pop "warungs". Brilliant green fields growing local produce butt up against dingy brown canals and dull grey roadways. The essence of Jakarta is in these contrasts and explains so well this teeming gotham of a city.

These images come from a community built on a swamp about a five minute drive from where I live. The people who live here pay 25$ a month to the landowner.

The living quarters and walkways built over the water.

The enormous Mall Artha Gading is across the street from the housing complex. Constuction in Kelapa Gading is progressing at a frenzied rate and show no signs of slowing down. Most likely the land where these houses are located will soon be developed.

One of Toyota's corporate buildings can be seen in the background.

A girl returning from a Saturday morning program at the complexes mosque. The walkways were sketchy to say the least. Fortunatley we had sveral kids tagging along and they told us which boards not to step on. Even so I broke through one of the boards much to their amusement.

Contrasting colors.

Just a kid hanging out.

An impromptu high jump competition.

Fast asleep.

On the street that parallels the complex are all sorts of small shops and other services including this apartment for doves.

For 500 rupiah (about 5 cents) a toddler gets a ride.

Below is a cemetery in Kemang, one of the more established neighborhoods in Jakarta and home to a large expat community.

Kemang cemetery

"Icy" trees

The central square in downtown Jakarta is home to the Monas statue.

Monas at sunset


javajive said...

I really like your version of the boy on the planks and the girl with the black cat better than the ones I took.

Hope you enjoyed going around! We'll do it again soon.

Maya said...

Thanks for sharing this side of the pictures...I'd like to show this post to my blog audience too soon :-) (let me know if it's not ok). What a sad reality even though the people who live there seem thankful. Gov't really doesn't have a heart...and many of those conglomerates.

treespotter said...

that girl with the cat's really nice.

IndoIan said...

Hi Maya, Please do post my blog on your site. Thanks for the encouraging words. Your country is indeed a fascintaitng place.

Anonymous said...

I like the picture of "...high jump competion". That's the game that I mentioned in your blog a few months ago. But it seems like there are more kids wearing veils now than when I was there.

And the building contrast is still the same.

Sharon said...

Mr. Duell!
Once again, great blog. I have just set up my blog for going to Uganda. I plan on talking about why i chose Africa and my experiances well, packing, getting mentally prepared, as well as updates from abroad. Is it ok that I reference your blog? 9 I will only say good things, of course!)
If you are interested, you should check out my blog every now and again. I just started it this evening (local time of course!), so it's not quite exciting yet. Also i went back and visit good ole' GBS, and spoke with Mr. and Mrs. Hiles. They say hello!
have a good one,