After my buddy Danny fixed up his blog, I ran across this post that he apparently posted a long time ago and totally forgot to tell me about! It meshes quite nicely with my own opinions on places in Indonesia. A great example being Jalan Jaksa in Jakarta.
Jaksa is often considered to be a “bad place” by many people, it’s not that bad though, but it does take a fair amount of getting used to if you aren’t one of the “weird” people. Jaksa is a place where nobody really cares who you are or what you do, as long as you don’t cause trouble you can pretty much get away with being whatever or whoever you want to be, or are.
You’ll find cheap food, cheap drinks, cheap prostitutes, and the occasional transvestite and transgender people there. Does anyone care? Not really. It’s where you’ll find many expats who’ve been around the block for a while, and you’ll find backpackers, and other foreigners who are in some form or other looking for a good time on the cheap. The food isn’t great, but not bad. Drink choices aren’t great, but not bad. The atmosphere, on the other hand… you can write books on that!
I’ve been a part of the Jaksa crowd for the last 7 years, courtesy of Danny, who first dragged me off there. I know many people, many people know me – best of all, any time I get down there, it feels like coming home to some extent. It’s just that sense of being in a place where nobody cares that I’m a few marbles short of being entirely sane, a place where nobody really cares that I’m a foreigner, and a place where I can actually just sit and watch the more interesting specimens of human society doing their thing – and with it comes a sense of belonging…
Is it important? Well, that depends on who you ask. I generally don’t care what people think of me, but it’s nice to be in a place where you don’t have to put on your “everyone piss the hell off” face to avoid having people get on your nerves by their sheer ignorance or shortsightedness.
So I get that post. Totally.