Category Archives: City Life

The Long, Winding, and Loaded Street of Asia-Afrika

No, it’s not a typo. I did mean “Asia-Afrika”, not “Asia-Africa”. Because this is not about the much-hyped 60th anniversary of a certain conference held here this week, but about the street named after the conference that many of us … Continue reading

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The Season of Giving… and Glam Garage Sale Hunting

“Jakarta garage sales, where you can buy secondhand designer handbags for a cool 3,500 US dollars.” An expat tweeted that last weekend, and I smiled. For the absurdity of it all, for the reality of it all. The term garage … Continue reading

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Bustling Business on Urban Fringe

Many people have talked about Indonesia’s rising middle class, which some mockingly called the consumer class, and about the bustling businesses coming from its strengthened purchasing power.  Illustrations have invariably included lifestyle choices like mode of transportation, handheld devices, personal … Continue reading

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Gently Gentrifying the Grocers

Sometimes in mid ‘90s a friend moved to Cikajang St. in Santa area. Her civil engineer father, who’d been involved in many development projects, predicted Santa would be the next popular enclave of Kebayoran Baru. There were only some noodle andgudeg joints then, but soon beauty salons and boutiques popped out. Nowadays residential houses on Santa including CikajangSt. have been turned into every commercial establishment … Continue reading

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Putting Into Perspective: Rain, Gridlock, and Election Year

If you’re a Jakartan chances are recently you’ve been held in due to rain outside, stuck in traffic when braving a downpour, or trapped in a flooded area. Some Jakartans have experienced all. Just as our luck, the wired Jakartans … Continue reading

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Clink-A-Dink, For 2014 I’ll Drink!

For those who assume that the title above is an invitation to turn into alcoholism, rest assured that I have no intention to go against the typical New Year’s resolutions to eliminate addictions by creating a new one (although, accidentally, … Continue reading

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As They Rob Us Of Our Simplest Grip On Life

As a kid I loved the raining season. Coming home from school I’d happily curl up on the couch by the front window, sometimes accompanied by the tabby cat I kept behind Mom’s back, and we both would watch the … Continue reading

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Schemes and the City

A few years ago the Embassy of Japan held a very interesting exhibition of vintage, luxurious kimonos in Plaza Senayan. Displayed grandly in tall, strategically-lit, glass showcases, accompanied with sufficient captions, the kimonos captured the attention of mall visitors across … Continue reading

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The Artsy-Smartsy, Fancy-Schmancy, Affair

“Why don’t you go in– I’ll wait in the car.” “The invitations are for two.” “Yeah. But it’s, um, art. I may not understand whatever is going on there.”   That was between me and a friend, an educated professional … Continue reading

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Keep Calm and Kick Ass

Last Friday happened to be the International Women’s Day. A lot of events took place around town in all forms and scales. But one theme was apparent across cities, countries and continents; stop violence against women. We all know, and … Continue reading

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