Not Too Bad ...

Bogor Station in the morning

Whimsical depiction of extravaganza is perfectly conspicuous and too much captivating for passer-by at little slums area in Jakarta, if Chinatown is too high as comparison. Shared public toilet for no less than dozens of these happy settlements, yellowing river right next to the kitchen, children playing with lots of joy all through narrowing alley that divide every neighborhood, my notion of impression once I happened to lurk into communes of three hot spot areas within the capital city. I, since a couple week ago, who has been joining a research activity for megapolitan disaster management initiated by an university in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, will work on these fields for some weeks later on. Interviewing the settlement, translating the report, spending some hours to reach the location for I commute daily from Bogor, are kinds of my endeavor to run the project.

As an aficionado of aesthetic urban landscape, the contrary of living between highrise concrete building and outlier downtown is striking. It is a portray of contemporary artwork made by intangible social ego. The scenery is the body, the city's life is the soul. To me, the overlapped voice of grassroots down beneath vibrant city's noise is way more fascinating. As this research covers up interview with the slum settlements, I can barely recognize their voice is seamless and honest. Different study case yields different buzz. Slum area in North Jakarta has its own echo and sometimes similar point of interest as questioned is responded by varying perspective compared to that of fellow compatriot in Central and South Jakarta . The pro and con is common.

One highlight that I draw from the interviewee's perspective, is how their assessment on incumbent government. Although this part is minor of research inquiries and is avoidable in order to keep the scientific value of research objective, for I here write on a blog, the measurement is valid unconditionally. Some people voluntarily express their fulfilled satisfactory what the Governor has done to them, some others complain about for being excluded subject of blusukan. This account has suggested me that these people are wanting for being taken care of, seen, visited and recognized. Although the real problem is quite complex, even seems always more complex when some snobbish media extravagantly add glitter on news to spoil people's opinion. Let me alone to have my own assessment, and these settlements whose mirror is crystal clear have directed me to address my perspective goal: understanding the matter comprehensively.

Living at such slum, for some people, never look opulent instead too desperate. Bur for the kids I met through the alley, they never complain about despite of their fully informed account of blessed apartment right over there, to them, is no more than bird cage. The old ones, as life what they understand is not always fulfilling, are frankly aware that their existence would not last. Anytime the govt would demolish their settlement in favor of refurnishing city landscape. But what they expect is evacuation to appropriate decent housing complex. Though, it does not successfully work for a commune in North Jakarta, other areas are waiting to prove for more accomplished story.

The immense gap I captured at these areas has paid my inquisitiveness off as I have been wondering why Jakarta straddles this circumstance for that pretty long. However, I still have no sufficient answer to explain . I'm just too curious to return to these area again by this week and finding out more fun facts to share with.     

2 Response to Not Too Bad ...

May 7, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Interesting, extremely interesting.

So you've plunged into real life, real tough life, at the bottom... To me it's a miracle how people often keep upbeat and manage to survive. The injustice of deprivation. And the wonder of the way little children take the appalling circumstances for granted.

Yeah, I guess it's stunning sometimes to someone from outside. It even may prove to be a life changing experience afterwards.

May 9, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Glad to hear this post could give an interesting account :-)
So far, to me personally, what the current Govt has done, is on the right track. However, these settlements have their own unique perspective/notion in regard to their commune, something worth to be heard, furthermore to be implemented whenever it is possible.
They expect.

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