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Jakarta Through The Eyes Of Its Residents

Views | 14 June 2017

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Jakarta? Ask 100 different people, and you will surely receive 100 different answers.

Jakarta, to some, is a city of hope, a place where they strive to make their dreams come true. Others feel that life in Jakarta is too exhausting, and they can’t wait to pack up and leave to take roots somewhere else.

Love it or hate it, Jakarta is a melting pot that brings together people from a wide variety of nationalities and backgrounds. We have asked some of them to answer a little questionnaire about the city, in order to shine a light on Jakarta from different perspectives.

Judit Németh Pach; 34


Occupation: Ambassador of Hungary to Indonesia
Resident of Jakarta since: January 2015
Describe Jakarta in one word: Dense
Jakarta’s best-kept secret is: The organic vegan and vegetarian bistro Burgreens
What I love most about Jakarta: It is a city that is never on vacation and always buzzing.
What I can’t stand about Jakarta: Traffic and air pollution 
In 10 years, Jakarta will be: Hopefully more conscious with more nature and parks

Ipat; 40

Occupation: Traditional catfish dish pecel lele vendor
Resident of Jakarta since: 1980
Describe Jakarta in one word: expensive
Jakarta’s best-kept secret is: Hmm, I don’t know. Well, everyone knows that Dufan (Dunia Fantasi, amusement park) is in Jakarta. Everyone knows that there are always traffic jams in Jakarta. We all know that.
What I love most about Jakarta:  I can make a living here.
What I can’t stand about Jakarta: The crazy high living costs and the traffic, and not all people here are friendly.
In 10 years, Jakarta will be: I think it will be the same. But this maybe depends on the government too.

Ramadhanti Valentine; 23

Occupation: University student
Resident of Jakarta since: 2010
Describe Jakarta in one word:  Expensive. I have to spend a lot on food and therefore I cannot save much money.
Jakarta’s best-kept secret is: I don’t think there are any secretive things. Everyone knows about Jakarta.
What I love most about Jakarta: The people at Universitas Trisakti, especially the mining student council.
What I can’t stand about Jakarta: The criminality rate. There are countless pickpockets and thieves.
In 10 years, Jakarta will be: Similar to Hongkong - really crowded.

Irnawaty, S.H., M.H.; 61

Occupation: Retiree of a state-owned enterprise
Resident of Jakarta since: 1997
Describe Jakarta in one word: Fun
Jakarta’s best-kept secret is: Not so many people know that we have to survive and endure in the capital. It’s not easy and it’s not always about beautiful, sparkling things.
What I love most about Jakarta: The big variety of malls where I can have a great shopping experience, meet my friends, eat, or simply enjoy the sights.
What I can’t stand about Jakarta: The flood, traffic and high criminality rate.
In 10 years, Jakarta will be: One of the biggest cities in the world.

Fandi Wan Ranto, S.T.; 28

Occupation: Oil rig engineer
Resident of Jakarta since: 1988
Describe Jakarta in one word: Cool
Jakarta’s best-kept secret is: Jakarta is tough. Tough people can be crushed down, let alone those who are not so tough.
What I love most about Jakarta: You can find anything you want in Jakarta.
What I can’t stand about Jakarta: Nothing but the high level of crime and traffic congestion.
In 10 years, Jakarta will be: The Asian Tiger.

Moritz Kleine-Brockhoff; 49

Occupation: Resident Representative
Resident of Jakarta: 1999-2009, 2013-present
Describe Jakarta in one word: Wild
Jakarta’s best-kept secret is: I’m not telling
What I love most about Jakarta: Friendly people and the city never sleeps
What I can’t stand about Jakarta: Stadium was closed.
In 10 years, Jakarta will be: Less wild

Elizabeth Puspa Kirana; 24

Occupation: Journalist
Resident of Jakarta since: I was in my mother’s womb
Describe Jakarta in one word: Cool, because today’s Jakarta is much better compared to the old days. Despite the flood and traffic, I love Jakarta.
Jakarta’s best-kept secret is: There are many great historical destinations and buildings around the city and a lot of tasty street food, but most people prefer to go to malls.
What I love most about Jakarta: Its unique diversity of people, I cannot find this in other cities
What I can’t stand about Jakarta: Racism
In 10 years, Jakarta will be: Awesome

Okky Madasari; 32

Occupation: Writer, Programme Director of ASEAN Literary Festival
Resident of Jakarta since: 2006
Describe Jakarta in one word: Opportunity
Jakarta’s best-kept secret is: Used book markets
What I love most about Jakarta: Its diversity
What I can’t stand about Jakarta: Emm... Nothing that I can’t deal with
In 10 years, Jakarta will be: A modern city with better public transportation, more libraries, museums, and art centers.

FX Harsono; 68

Occupation: Artist
Resident of Jakarta since: 1975
Describe Jakarta in one word: Uncomfortable
Jakarta’s best-kept secret is: Staying at home where you are comfortable
What I love most about Jakarta: The time during the Idul Fitri holidays as it is quiet and I can go anywhere easily by car.
What I can’t stand about Jakarta: The traffic, the fact that there are no sidewalks, and that it feels unsafe.
In 10 years, Jakarta will be: Frankly, I have no idea.

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