The Streets of Jakarta

December 26, 2014

The streets of Jakarta will tell you stories, if you just listen.

Of the bajaj drivers in Benhil waiting for passengers. Of the single mom with two daughters squatting under a tree waiting for the bus to take them home after a day of fun in the city. Of a couple of teenagers in love walking on the sidewalk, holding hands, laughing and giggling like it’s nobody’s business.

Of the haves cursing in their cars because their shopping spree in the mall just 500 meters away is delayed by the impossible traffic. Of the police officer with his glow-in-the-dark vest arranging the traffic, secretly wishing that he’s home instead watching the World Cup. Of the street-side vendors selling yummy siomay and peanuts and Teh Botol trying to make ends meet.

Of the two best friends sharing a pack of cigarettes over a heated conversation on who’ll win tonight game: Germany or England. Of the tukang es cendol pushing his cart, sweats dripping off his wrinkled face from walking miles and miles.

But most of all, the streets of Jakarta will always have stories to tell about me and you.

Of my longing, of your dreams, of our repressed desire, of your future and present and your past and my future. Of the colorful building we drove past that night when I first realized that I was in love. Of the song that was playing on the radio when you first held my hand.

In the city I finally call home.

The streets of Jakarta will tell you a zillion stories if you just listen. But more importantly, it’s where we write our own stories. Until we’re gray and old and are still lovestuck like we are today.

From: Ika Natassa