Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Hello friends,

I hope you won't be dissapointed that this blog is not only about my graphics but I intend to use it also for journaling. I thought of creating another journal but I don't want to leave this graphic blog behind (and there's a risk of it if I did so), so here it is.

As mentioned in my earlier post – I moved temporarily to a house closer to work, all while the family house is being rebuilt. I complained about limited internet connection, the thought made me feel bad most of the day, everytime I looked at my computer. And guess what, I didn’t feel like doing anything and soon I (almost) lost energy.

Somehow there’s this little voice both laughing and angry at me. “How crazy it is that you let small thing like this ruin your day!” – and a nicer voice said “go out, go out. You loved it here once before (until that big flood in 2007 that forced me to go back living in the family house). It’s time to revisit those other little things that made your heart spring!”

“Go out,” I repeated. Oh, my lovely spirit’s reminder. What I really loved it here is that I can walk to and from work, 35 to 45 minutes depending on the pace. I need not worry about the traffic jam. I need not worry about the availability of public busses. And suddenly I felt much better.

Day 1 I walked to work in the morning, that was an instant spirit lift. I realised just a few houses behind my front door, over the used-to-be troubled river, it’s an animated traditional market I had to walk through. I noticed that the river had widened, there’s no more slum on the river banks and the market looked cleaner. And ugh, people looked happier too! Believe it or not, but I met smiling people all along the streets :-)

Then I noticed more and more interesting things on various stalls. I recognized some people and stalls from my earlier stay in the neighbourhood and some people still recognized me too. Whoohoo. Then I realized how abundant this place is with street food sellers each offering their specialties of traditional, street-style, homemade simple delicacies.

Even the noise in the market sounds pleasant. I could hear people bargaining or discussing about vegetables of the day. I didn’t mind the smell of the fish stall when I had to pass by it. The seller, a big-built man wearing apron over his large t-shirt and baggy trousers just reminded me of the fish seller in Asterix and Obelix cartoon (I don’t know why I thought of that, but it made me smile :-D). The stall next to it was displaying large rattan basket full of eggplants in their nicest violet color. Oh dear, I missed that Provençal-style grilled eggplant and ratatouille!!

I wondered whether I could really just go on without being tempted to stop by, I was so excited. I giggled all the way, even by seeing a cage full of tinted chicks (I really have no idea how they did it – I mean they are real and alive tiny chicks coloured in bright pink, neon green and shiny yellow!)

Out of the market, it’s a residential area with narrow street which leads to a shortcut passing by an open field behind a high-rise building on one of Jakarta’s main business areas. While the residential area is so crowded and you have to watch around when walking (otherwise you might bump into other people or food stalls or bikes), the open field has a complete opposite atmosphere, it’s like being in a village, quiet and serene. The walk was so blissful here. It’s the start of rainy season and a row of stepping stones is ‘miss-matchedly’ placed crossing the field, so people could walk on them and reach the exit without getting their shoes muddy. I spotted some guys gathering grass and I smelled a ‘farm’ when passing by a house with fences around. Probably there were goats inside. I saw them before, a few years ago. And I saw some geese too outside! Isn’t it amazing it’s in the middle of a huge city like Jakarta! :-))

Next, I arrived on one of Jakarta’s busiest, biggest streets. I had to cross a bridge over that big, four lanes street. Then walked through another residential area similar to the one near the market, for about 10 minutes. And voilà, I reached the business district where my work place is located. It’s another change of view, really. When the organisation where I worked moved here 10 years ago, the district had still plenty of open fields, but now, it’s plenty of tall office buildings, 5-stars hotels and shopping malls. But it’s Jakarta, and there’s always an interesting thing about it. In the area, in an open field amidst office buildings, you still can find an array of street food stalls in uniformly blue tents, a cheaper and friendly option for lunch (compared to eating places or restaurants at the shopping mall) for most locals working in this district. And in fact, there’s not only one place like this in the district and surrounding, there are a few!

Anyway, my point in this entry is, I started noticing these things again while walking. I took public bus when living at the family house, 1 hour at the fastest and I used the time for reading (that was good by the way). I focused too much on big things, but now Mother Nature called me again to be grateful for daily bliss. Now I realised how I love this walk. I turned to audio books and mood-lifting music and did a little research on walking meditation and I’m so happy about this shift. It’s a good shift! I enjoy the moment, expect to notice interesting things on the way.

This particular page about walking meditation is my favorite find (thanks, google :-)):

To be continued in the next post about walking home from work...

(in the meantime, I’ll prepare my camera :-))

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the interesting report - some pictures would be nice for those of us who had never been in a South East Asian mega city ;) But of course it is not always possible to take pictures, especially on your way to work ;)

    I like walking more than anything, and some people consider it strange that I walk where I could more easily take the bus, but I love to take it slow and look at the world around me!

    Have a great Thursday!



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