I’m taking you on a walk today. You’ll need to be nimble, have 20/20 vision, good hearing and a sense of humour. Kick off your kitten heels and put on your flatties, I can assure you that you’re going to need them. The roadside thermometer reads 36c and 75% humidity outside but don’t think about taking a water bottle, it’s Ramadam, the holy month of fasting. Even if you are not muslim, you can’t be seen drinking/smoking/chewing gum or eating in public in daylight hours. I can tell you are going off the idea of this walk already, aren’t you? You’ll be fine just follow me, I’m an old hand now at these sorts of things.
Sorry I forgot to say watch out for that hole – there’s an open sewer down there….
Ah, that’s sweet, a man giving his cock a bath
Fantastic! an open stretch of pavement, we can realy build up a bit of steam here but watch out, the paving stones are not level
Oh dear, that was short lived
The food stalls are all closed up. This street is normally busy with people eating.
another booby trap
an interesting bit of planning
at least the chickens are having fun!
I think we need to get back on the road
Here’s a fancy bit of DIY, not sure it can take my weight though…
Hold your nose and watch your step! I dread falling in here, especially when it’s slippery from the rain.
‘Make do and mend’ as they say in Yorkshire
Oh dear, more stumbling blocks.
More booby traps.
Bit of a tight squeeze here….
I did warn you not to wear your kitten heels, you didn’t believe me did you?
Oh look, lovely Dengue Villas! We are home, definitely time for a medicinal vodka.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your walk with me? I’m sure my friends don’t believe me when I say it’s almost impossible to walk in Jakarta but maybe these pictures give some idea of the perils of trying to get out and about by foot. It’s one thing making these journeys in the daytime but no fun at all in the evening when it’s dark or when it’s raining. Because of school holidays and Ramadam ,the roads are quieter than normal which is nice because you are less likely to get squashed when walking on the road, which is for most of the time. Aside from the desperate paving or lack of it, anyone living here has also to contend with bad pollution and the effects of lead from all the traffic fumes. All in all walking is not the pleasure for me here that it once was. And, if I feel hard done by that, imagine what it must be like for those less able bodied or blind? No wonder the roads here are gridlocked with bikes and cars and the pavements are mostly given over to food carts and places to dump rubbish, they are truly un-walkable.