In Jakarta, in Kemang Timur, there is Vespa repair show. Actually, it is not a repair shop, it is a workshop where old Vespa piece are repaired and put together to give a new life to these wonderful and old motorbikes. When I walked by the workshop I stopped to listen to the noise from inside and the smell of the paint use for the main frame of a white Vespa. There are few of these workshops in tow and several Vespa clubs, one of them is even called Pontedera!
For the last three years I have been cycling to work here in Jakarta. On my way to the office I have to walk across a pedestrian bridge over one of the stations of the Transjakarta bus line, Halte Senayan. A year or so ago I started to carry my camera and take photos from the bridge as well as under the bridge. Having the camera with me and taking photos every day has made me discover all what is going on here every day: the people commuting to work, the food sellers, the crowded minibuses Kopaja, the motorbikes drivers, the musicians, the workers at new Jakarta underground system. When I was walking pass Halte Senayan without my camera I missed most of that. I did not notice it. I was thinking about the day ahead, the meetings, the emails, etc. The pedestrian bridge and Halte Senayan was unremarkable, because I did not noticed all what is there. Having the camera with me was like opening my eyes to a place I am go through everyday, twice a day. Discovering it in a new way. Here some of the photos I have taken so far.
Dreaming the future and making it happen. Jakarta is building the Mass Transport System. There will be tube stations like this one. Will there be more people and passangers that this photo? I hope so, otherwise the project will go broke pretty soon. Some people say that this massive project is too little too late and that the traffic congestion in Jakarta is so severe that it is beyond rescue. There is one way: how about giving more space to bicycle commuters? Create incentives like tax deductions, or pay back for spare parts or simply showers in office towers.
I set out to take one photo per day for 35 days using my Olympus 17mm f1.8 lens which produces an equivalent field of view of approximately 35mm. It was a project like many others. What I wanted to do was to force myself to see things I see (or better I do not see) on my way to office. I also wanted to walk in the kampung near my home in Jakarta and see what is there and how people live through the lens of my camera. I wanted to put a target. A project with a beginning and an end. And now it has reached its end. I saw that the streets of this city are chocked by traffic. It cannot go on like this. This is paralisis. This is health hazard. This is pollution. This is not sustainable. I very few cyclists using their bicycle to go to work. Too few of them. I am one of them. There are no bicycle lanes or any other protetcion for cyclists in this crazy traffic. I saw ojek drivers whom I see every days who said: ‘Ok, you can take a photo of me.’
Thsi project forced me to look for something interesting every day for 35 days and not taking for granted the spots and people I was passing by every day. I am happy I did it. Thanks for following me!
I went for a walk in a kampung near Kemang Timur, here in Jakarta. After few minutes it started to rain quite hard. I sat under the roof of a school and waited for the rain to stop. It rained for about 15-20 minutes. There were thunders and lightening. The thunderstorm then moved on to other areas of Jakarta and where I was it stopped to rain. I left the school to walk back home along the alley of the kampung. Few meters from the school I was walking in water that was almost at knee level. Black sewage water. People were trying to protect their houses with wooden planks. I stopped to chat with some of the people living in this area. Every time there is a strong rain the area gets flooded, they said. It does not have to be a long rain, a strong short downpour is sufficient to flood these narrow alleys and houses. It gets flooded every time there is a strong downpour, not every six months or every year. Every time. Which can mean anything between three to five to six times every month depending of the season. While I was talking to them I thought how can this happen in a mega-city like Jakarta which has 173 malls and is the capital of the 16th economy in the world ? Why does this happen? Is it because people have built houses where they should not? If so, why have they been allowed to build their houses in this dangerous area and what alternatives do they have? Is it because the flood mitigation system is insufficient for the needs of the city? If so, what are the plans and investments to improve flood reparedness and mitigate the impact of floods on the livelihood of the citizen of this city, particularly the ones living in poorer areas? In the meantime, we all can do something about these problems. Report them. Document them. Share flooding information to Peta Jakarta.
This is the ‘car’ I use to commute to the office in Jakarta. It is called bicycle. There are too few of tehse in the streets of this city. Why?
The school year has ended. The summer break has arrived and it is time to prepare to go back to Europe to see family and friends. First things first: prepare the suitcases.
The traffic never stops in the morning rush hour. Cars, busses, motorbikes seem all to converge to an invisible destination at the end the roads. They slow down to make space to eachother. Nobody gets angry.
On Jl Sudirman an Ojek driver waiting for customers
I left the office this afternoon and hit a very busy and traffic-jammed Jl. Sudirman. This bus appeared behind the Go-Jek driver (a smartphone app mototaxi) and I liked the three guys cheering the behind.
I cycle to work but do not see many cyclist commuters on my way to and from the office in Jakarta. Look at the photo. That is why: no bicycle lanes, no space to cycle, too many cars and too many motorbikes choking the streets and roads of Jakarta. We need more space for bicycles commuters. That will help to reduce traffic, make the air a bit cleaner, keep people more fit.
Kopaja mini busses stop for just few seconds under the pederstain bridge near Senayan. People have to jump off and jump in sometimes when the bus is still moving. They cannot really stop as the road is very congested in the morning.
This week was a good week for bicycle commuting. I saw fellow bicycle commuters almost everyday. Here is one who was riding in front of me near the Polda head office in Senopati in Jakarta. He went straight at the next crossiong, I turned left. For few seconds two bicycle commuters riding the same road!
Too few bicycle commuters in Jakarta. We need more of them. Join us! @Bike2WorkIndonesia
It was nice to walk along Kemang Timur searching for furniture shops. We walked by the Masjid Nurul Huda and I asked the old man sitting at the entrance if I could take a picture of him and his friend. He smiled and said: ‘Boleh’ (You can). Tomorrow the Ramadan begins.
The end of the school year is approaching fast here in Jakarta. Sometime I cycle through streets that are closed to traffic because of year-end ceremonies . That brings food sellers outside the gate of schools where kids go and buy a snack.