November 23, 2010

A Trip to the Beach(ish).

Jakarta is a coastal city.  We are on the north coast of the island of Java, and the city runs in all directions from the ocean about 25 miles.  

Our house is about 15 miles directly south of the coast, and last weekend we finally had our lives in order enough to do something for no good reason, so we decided to explore the beach area.  

Unfortunately, the bad news is that like the people of Ghana, the people of Jakarta do not consider their beaches to be prime real estate.  

The mess, litter and runoff of the entire city run to the sea here, so the water is polluted with that and other questionable ingredients, and rafts of trash float into the breakwaters and collect in the corners of the sea walls.  

There is a chunk of the beachfront area reclaimed from the industrial works and slums and turned into an amusement park/marina/city park area and it attracts many people on the weekends.  

There is even a section of water cordoned off for swimming, but after looking at the water you would, in my opinion, have to have a need to become ill in two or three ways at once to brave it.  Suffice to say I don't swim in water the color of used dishwater on roast beef night, especially when it has stuff floating in and on it.  

But on to cheerier things!  

We love official signs translated wrong.  They always make us smile, and remind us that no matter how bad our Indonesian is, all will be forgiven.  

So here's today's Good Sign:

Since we know for a fact that we ask people stupid things like "Us soon drinks?" we feel solidarity across the language barrier. 

Dilarang is a word you see often- dilarang parking, dilarang enter, dilarang dumping.  And if you pronounce that 'c' as 'ch', you will sound like a native. 

[dee-lah-rahng meh-mahn-cheeng] 

Go ahead and practice, no one will hear you. 

To the right of that sign and the marina behind it, are the grounds of the beach front park. 

People just bring their families and hang out.  You can rent little shade cloths that are set up under the trees and put your beach blanket in them and just chill. 

In the tropics. :-)

The sidewalks along the sea wall are fun...

The red thing coming towards the camera is the ice cream man.  He even plays ice cream man music. 

Views to the water from the red brick road...

The roofs are little fish cleaning/shade huts.

Combination of humid air/water vapor and pollution.

These boats sell rides.  If we ever do this, I'll take you with.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

At least the build-up to the beach/marina was promising and pretty. I'm pretty finicky about things swirling around my tootsies, too -- I'd have passed. Ewwww.

It's very disheartening, isn't it? We go to Prampram a lot -- has so much potential, what with the tidal pools and all, but the garbage. Nasty.

*sight* Oh well, I'm sure you'll find a nice pool or lake in which to enjoy your 2-man raft. ;-)