No gathering, anyone?: The Hotel Indonesia traffic circle looks unusually empty on Sunday, the second day of Ramadhan fasting month. On other Sundays, thousand of Jakartans usually flock in the area to enjoy various activities during the weekly Car Free Day. (Tribun Jakarta/M. Zulfikar)
The city’s main thoroughfares between Jl. Sudirman and Jl. MH Thamrin witnessed fewer people out for biking, jogging, or meeting friends and family during the weekly Car Free Day on Sunday, the second day of Ramadhan.
Thousands of Jakartans usually flock over the Hotel Indonesia roundabout on other Sundays from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. enjoying many outdoor activities they could otherwise rarely do, given the severe traffic jam in the area on weekdays.
However the circle was almost empty during the first Sunday of Ramadhan. Food and beverage vendors who usually sell their wares around the circle had disappeared.
Tourism spots like Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) and Ragunan Zoo also recorded decreased numbers of visitors this weekend.
TMII spokesman Dwi Atmojo said that there were only 5,000 visitors on Sunday, far from its usual number of 13,000 people on weekend. “It has happened several times. We have fewer visitors during the first two weeks of Ramadhan,” he told the Post.
Dwi said that the visitors would be back to normal during the last weeks of Ramadhan. However, people prefer to come to TMII on the evening. He said that TMII had prepared several programs to attract visitors during fasting month.
The relatively similar silent Sunday was also found in Ragunan zoo, the city’s biggest open air park, in South Jakarta.
Ragunan spokesman Wahyudi said that the zoo would see fewer visitors for the whole month, as people tend to spend their leisure time indoors.
“The number of visitors will significantly jump during the Idul Fitri holidays,” he said.
Siti Sundari acknowledged that her family stayed at home during weekend.
“We rarely spend the weekend at home, because we always think that family outing on Sunday is fun,” the mother of two said. “But, as we are fasting now, I don’t want my children get too exhausted. It is their first year.”
Siti said that she had laid in more book and movies to keep her children occupied while waiting for fast-breaking time. (fzm/lfr)