The two pictures below really show the great disparity that exists in Jakarta. It is common to find a skyscraper (like the one below) right next to a neighborhood of red-tiled huts made of brick and corrugated tin. I am pretty sure that there are a few zoning laws that we use in the States to seperate the rich and the poor. The term “the wrong side of the tracks” would make no sense in Jakarta because there are the same buildings on both sides of the tracks.
Though I did not really get to see much of Jakarta because I was in the hotel most of the time working, I am so glad for the little exposure I did get. It really opens up my world view to see the vast differences between my American culture and a culture that is found in the 4th largest urban area in the world with not enough of the basics like running water, sewers and garbage service and a country that is 88% muslim.
Can you imagine being required to put your religion on your driver’s license? What would it be like to go out to dinner and be surrounded by prostitutes? What if our president began his speech with a blessing from Allah at a business conference? What if every time you went into a hotel or a skyscraper, your car and person were checked for explosives? What would it be like to have to wear a hankerchief over your mouth everytime you went out in the city to get your shopping done because of the sewage smell and the extreme smog?
We are so clueless here in the good ol’ USA. Absolutely clueless.