This is my first time visiting to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, partially for work and partially for leisure. It is a beautiful land with kind and lovely people, but it was so disheartening to see the outcome of the poor city planning and management. Therefore I would like to share the pictures.
A part of the city is quite modernly developed, while the other side is filled with poverty. Traffic was notoriously, getting from one place to the other can take between 30 min to 4 hours. So as I find out about the city, a part was under the Dutch colony before the 2nd World War, therefore there was some European designed buildings in a better planned city with proper drainage. The slum area? Seems like chaotically arranged, people will just find any possible use for the land. As a result its unorganized, no traffic control, no proper drainage. At some instance, the different views of the well-built bungalows and slums is just a wall apart.
There’s no clean water supply to the industrial area. What do they do? The pump water from underground. What’s the result? They over extracted the water, some area is sinking by 10 cm every year. Any waste materials or by products? They would just dump it in the river or any open space nearby. Trash is everywhere. Some parts of the river, it stinks the moment I opened the door of the car.
The pollutions from the industrial areas are bad enough. Some factories has zero control of safety and regulations. Heavy machines, hazardous area, cutting tools are just lying around. Some workers have no safety shoes, barefooted squatting on the cutting tools. On the street, I spotted a motorcyclist transporting a long stretch of thick wires.. by dragging it along the street. Any moment a car or any heavy object tangled with the wire, he will sure be pull down from the bike.
“What will happen in a chaotic economy and joblessness? People strive to find opportunities to make a living.” This is exactly what happened. Wherever we find an empty parking lot, there will be “officially-unofficial” person to charge you for parking, on the bright side he will block the traffic for you when you reverse out.
Likewise for some traffic junction, these people will block themselves on the middle of a junction or bridge to collect ‘trespassing fees’ of maybe US$0.10. On the bright side, they will guide the traffic for you to turn out, also provide advise for directions and shortcuts.
It is actually very sad to see and feel the city of Jakarta, where many tax went into corruption and not on the development and improvement on the lives of the citizens. Most people I met are genuinely friendly and lovely, while perhaps the politicians and corporates with power are taking advantages on the naive friendliness of these beautiful souls.
Upon arrival at the airport, I saw a fellow commando in red beret maintaining airport security. I asked why, and I got the reply that people are not scared of the police force (and many officially-unofficial traffic controls) therefore they have to hire the army. I also heard from the locals that things might be getting better soon as this new Chinese-Indonesian governor sworn to beat corruption. I sincerely hope the city of Jakarta can improve in the near future.