Above and Beyond
Bruce Emond, WEEKENDER | Wed, 07/11/2012 4:01 PM |
I guess I had a thing for fruit during my first experiences of living in Jakarta back in 1991. I went from renting a room in Ciledug to boardinghouses in Tanjung Duren, Cipinang Cempedak and Pisangan Baru (I missed having a complete tropical fruit salad by not residing in Kebon Nanas and Mangga Dua).
I am fortunate now to live more or less centrally, as part of the growing trend to living in high-rise apartments. Another big trend of the past two decades has been the flight out of the congested and expensive inner city in favor of suburban living. As Andrea Tejokusumo describes in our cover story, the ’burbs have become complete cities of their own in offering residents wide-ranging lifestyle choices.
We are right now in the thick of the Jakarta gubernatorial campaign, with the candidates promising that they will deliver on overcoming the city’s problems and improve quality of life. But then, as Sondang Grace Sirait writes, very aptly, Jakarta is a city people either love or hate. It’s also a very dynamic city that is constantly changing – there certainly were no durian or bananas growing in my boardinghouse neighborhoods despite their names harking back to a different era – and that is part of its sometimes disjointed appeal. I am proud to be Jakartan by choice.
For those of us who cannot escape the city’s harried and hurried nature every night by residing on the outskirts, then the best advice is to go out and see the rest of Indonesia. It’s a reality check, and helps remind us why we came here in the first place.