Today I went to a meeting in Jakarta. That meant taking a taxi to the airport, taking a plane (that was half an hour late taking off), and then a taxi into town that took almost two hours to get me to my destination. Frankly, I felt like I’d been taken for a ride. Tomorrow, it’s back to Singapore so I’ll do the whole thing in reverse, while reading articles about the problems with Jakarta’s mass transit systems.
Not really. Jakarta doesn’t have problems with its mass transit systems, because it doesn’t have any, just swarms of mopeds and thousands of cars stationary in traffic jams.
To be an Indonesian, therefore, is to be a bit like a rhinoceros; geography is defined in terms of time to get to somewhere, rather than a linear concept of distance. There’s something clever about topology to say here.
I have seen little of Jakarta today though; some traffic, the innards of the Westin hotel, a shopping mall with a Star Wars themed, ten storey Christmas tree (nothing is more festive than hundreds of TIE fighters, topped off with a Death Star), and a Thai restaurant (although at least it served Nasi Goreng – which my phone thinks is Nazi Goring, but that’s a whole ‘nother history lesson for you). Now, full of wine, ensconced in my Heavenly Bed, it’s time for sleep.