Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Dear Jakarta

Like a rebellious teenager you cover your body in the snake-like tattoo of traffic, reek of smoke and pollution, and pierce the sky with your tall buildings. Shutting the world out with your hardcore exterior, you make it hard for us to approach you. To understand you. To like you.

Are you scared of letting people too close? Abandonment maybe?

You show us only your busy roads, bustling bodies and plethora of standardised concrete buildings. Guilty as charged you accept the accusations of 'another big city'. You lock yourself in the confines of your room angry at the world for not taking the time to get to know you. For leaving you.

Despite your attempts to thwart my efforts I stuck around. I saw your hidden gems. Pleading ignorant to your almost mechanical deamnour, I found your veins oozing with generosity in Cibubur, hospitality in Bintaro and your beating heart in Jaksa. I discovered the beauty in your lights, the acceptance of your differences. I caught the colours in your Batik and the sweetness of your language.

It was all there: in your loving locals and embracing 'bule' (foreigners) who come and go. And stay.

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