Friday, 25 July 2008

Jarkata (Day 2-5). I will never forget you.

How do you create unforgetteble memories for travellers? Try offering the most ancient temple, the best scenery, the most delicious food and the warmest hospitality. If not abuse them, give them hardship and sickness.

On day 2 in Jarkata, I was bedridden for 12 hours. My eyes could hardly open and I barely had energy to do anything. 2 panadols and a long night sleep tucked under the warm quilt were effective remedies. I can't image what caused me to feel like that, maybe it was the polluted air.

Poor visibility, the air smells like something is burning

On this day that I am going home, I could barely swallow anything. After a long night of "revolution", I think my tummy is finally PH balanced now. It was Chinese, Javanese, Sundanese, Western that filled my stomach over the last couple of days, and it was as if the "racial disharmony" in Indonesia has replicated in my body. I suspect it was the assam that was the final straw... anyway I am sure I will stay clear of chilli for a very long time to follow.

Despite these, I find Jarkata an interesting city. The slums especially, are some of the worst ones that I have seen. On the other hands, the posh new shopping malls in the expensive areas of Jarkata are nothing shy of our Raffles City and Marina Square at home. Is it fair to describe the lifestyle of the rich and the poor in Jarkata as "heaven" and "hell"? I think it is.

The slum area. Also see a motorcyclist dressed as if he was going to rob a bank

I always find it difficult to imagine how hard people's live can be, living under such harsh conditions and owning so little. Yet they survive and make do with what they have... tiny houses, dim lights, poor hygiene and ventilation, no money, no education... In a way I admire their spirits. Maybe you will say some chose to be condemned like this forever because they are lazy and refuse to work hard. Nevertheless, let this be a reminder to me that how fortunate I am to have various opportunities opened to me.

In any case, I am glad I am going home today. And Jarkata, I will never forget you (for making me feel so sick, haha)!

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