5 Things I Wish Jakarta Have

As some of you had  read before…I have this love and hate relationship with Jakarta. The overpopulated, overpolluted city that I call home for now.

As much I curse on this city, part of me do love it with all it’s diversities yet there are things that I wish Jakarta had such as:

  • Parks – green clean parks where kids can run around freely without fearing they will run into some crazy kidnapper or step into God-only-knows-what-dirts on the ground. Parks where us, Jakartans can relax, enjoy the breeze or just stroll around. With lovely benches to sit on instead of dirty cold ones filled with graffiti bearing some kids school names. A place where kids can throw Frisbee and be well, kids! A place where pe0ple can walk their dogs without leaving their dog poops littered the ground. Enough with the malls already! I.am.sick.of.malls! Build more parks.
From grey to green
Pic from radiatingeye Flickr
  • Clear blue sky – these days, if you are in downtown Jakarta, chances are all you’ll see is ugly grayish sky. At nights you can’t even see stars! In the suburbs you can still witness these beauty of natures so many of us has neglected.

Blue Sky Blue

  • Cleaner/Better Public Transportation. Not ones that look like it might gives you tetanus if you get scraped! Better with clear scheduled timetable where you won’t have to get shoved, pushed and packed like sardines. Maybe one day that Monorail project will really happen. It would save people so much time and makes life easier for Jakartans.  Our government should really learn from our neighboring countries such as Singapore or Bangkok.
  • Bigger cleaner sidewalks! Do you know how annoying it is to walk on Jakarta’s tiny sidewalks packed with street sellers, cracked uneven dirty surface? I dream of totally bigger sidewalks then maybe Jakartans will not think walking is for looser! Where people can walk freely without fear of being knocked over by stupid motorbikes?


  • More public libraries. With large collections of books, comfy spaces to enjoy by ourselves or with our children.

There you go I know in the back of my mind I still have more on the list but for now these are the top 5 of things I wish Jakarta had.

If you are living in Jakarta, what do you wish for? Share away.



  1. John
    September 8, 2011 / 6:30 pm

    Yes. I’m with you on all of these. Especially the green spaces. There’s the zoo. And the area around Monas. And the Universitas Indonesia campus in Depok. And not much else. But there is also another little decaying gem that needs defending before someone builds another mall there. Between Sudirman and the DPR there’s a park on the left side of Gatot Subroto with a lake in the middle that I believe used to be very popular until parts of iit had a fire and it was left to rot…

    I’d also add a couple of other things to your list. Jakarta needs a lot less rubbish everywhere, but especially in the waterways which always get clogged up and cause even more flooding and traffic chaos than necessary. Plus Jakarta needs to enforce traffic rules and prevent bus drivers from stopping in the middle of the road.

    But Jakarta also has a lot of hidden gems that most people don’t seem to realise exist. There are some fantastic museums around the city. Ever taken Lil’ A to the kite museum? It’s only one of many, but I think it might be fun for you two to try it sometime… 🙂

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:55 am

      Did you mean the one by Senayan? I forgot the name but yes I think I know that place. From what I read on twitter a while ago people wanted that area to be turn into park not another mall. Gosh, like Jakarta needs more malls?!

      Yes, I’m with you on a better waste management systems and I wish people would STOP throwing their garbage on the river/road eek. Don’t even let me started on the bus drivers. Ack! You know what I think would work? If they start putting these drivers on a stricter driver’s license test and for the buses owner to put their driver on paycheck – like the busway system – that way these guys won’t roam the street like maniacs trying to meet their minimum ‘setoran’.

      Oh yes, we love the museums here. We haven’t been to the kite museum yet but we do enjoy our Old Batavia tour. 😀

      Thanks for chipping in, John!

  2. September 8, 2011 / 9:01 pm

    Maybe someday………..
    Would be good if there are some good quality public libraries. Kids who read a lot are kids who excel. I guess the kids over there could take advantages of their school libraries. I am not putting too much hopes on the public libraries over there. Sidewalks…. yes, Indonesia have bad sidewalks. They are uneven, and there are sometimes deep holes too. Haven’t been back home for a long time so I don’t really know much how Jakarta is right now. One thing for sure, it still has blurry sky.

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:57 am

      I’m with you on the kids who reads! Awhile ago there was this freaky accident where a girl fell inside a deep hole and ended up floating dead in a river somewhere because the hole was covered with flood. So scary. Jakarta is well the posh – polish and fancy places are abundant but you could never close your eyes to the poverty around it.

  3. September 10, 2011 / 6:43 am

    —You. Must. Run. For. Office.
    —and make people more aware of some of these important issues.
    Oooooh, so damn sad … that you cannot see the stars. That is a sin.

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:58 am

      Oh no! 😛 It is sad…I really miss seeing stars. It’s been so long since I saw them 🙁

  4. September 15, 2011 / 10:15 pm

    I feel so ungrateful right now! No parks to run and play? No clear sky? Yes, definitely good things to wish for… I totally forgot how lucky I am to live in a place where there’s still wide open spaces!

    • September 16, 2011 / 9:59 am

      Aww yes I miss those wide open spaces. I guess for people who lives here their whole lives and never experience what it’s like on the ‘other side’ they never know what they are missing out on. I totally miss a nice clean playground where I can just let my boy run amok hahaha.

  5. Hani
    November 7, 2011 / 2:23 am

    Hey, Maureen!
    This is a nice blog you got 🙂
    I was born and raised in Jakarta. In June 2011 my husband and I relocated to Batam and we’ve been missing Jakarta since. Except all things you mentioned in this post, which are SOOOO TRUE!!
    As you may know, Batam is a growing small island. (I mean in development, not the size of the island of course 😀 )
    I wish the local government here will learn from Jakarta’s traffic and regulate on the selling and buying of vehicles older than 10 years.

    Anyways… would you please say HI to Ambas for me if you go there? Thanks! 🙂

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