Such a wonderful country, but such a horrible capital city. Yep, I truly HATE Jakarta – and here’s why.
I hate Jakarta because there seems to be no end to the amount of chaos on the roads. Generally, driving standards here in the Indonesian capital are fairly good (better than in Dubai, for example), but there are simply too many vehicles on the roads, and the roads themselves are at breaking point, literally crumbling under the stress. Jakarta is well-known for being a traffic-related nightmare, and is maybe right up there with Manila as having the most congested roads anywhere on the planet?
I hate Jakarta because of the dense haze and smog that is beginning to fill the air. This is now becoming the norm, whereas in the past it was mainly only due to the illegal logging in Sumatra and Kalimantan that produced wildfire smoke. Now every time I visit here there seems to be a dense haze in the air (and in Singapore, too!). I can only imagine what the poor Jakarta residents must have to put up with being stuck here permanently – not to mention the state of the rivers here…
I hate Jakarta because – unlike most other big cities in Indonesia – there is a big discrepancy between the rich and the poor. A lot of people won’t realise until they get here that Jakarta has swathes of people living in poverty in riverside ‘houses’, whereas the backdrop to this poverty is rapidly growing skyscrapers and business districts. In all countries there will be the rich and the poor, but in such an advancing nation as Indonesia you would think more would be done to try to combat these horrible areas of Jakarta that really drag down the image of the city.
I hate Jakarta because all I ever seem to do is encounter people trying to sell my dodgy stuff, whether it be clothes or electronics, or dodgy tours to the seaside at Anyer or Ancol! These people are so pushy! I always have to prepare myself for this kind of hassle when I land in Jakarta, and it’s a shame as all of my Indonesian friends are really very nice and polite, and that is why I love Indonesia so much (because of the people). However, for some reason, the people of Jakarta just live at 200mph and they don’t take prisoners when trying to earn an extra few thousands Rupiah. If they see me walk past their stall, they always seem to pester me!
In the end, though, what I must always remember is that there are plenty of other people like me who try to avoid Jakarta at all costs. Indonesia is a beautiful country, with great natural attractions such as jungle, volcanoes, beaches, and ancient temples. It’s just a shame that its capital city is the absolute WORST part of the country – and is not a good example of what Indonesia should be about when travellers land at the airport.
And I am not the only one who has this opinion about Jakarta. Check out these blogs from two people who have lived in the city. First from Nico Prins, who is desperate to get away and go to Jogja instead, secondly this piece from Boots N All, who gives us some lessons learned from being in Jakarta, and thirdly take time to look at this great blog from Leave Your Daily Hell, who artistically tells both sides of the argument.
Arrghhh! I HATE Jakarta!