Noisy Much?


Today’s article on The Jakarta Post about In Search of A Good Night Sleep got my mind reeling and I know I just have to blog about it.

With the recorded population number of over 8 million (and I’m sure it is more), Jakarta is definitely one of the loudest city I have ever known. Not very many people especially the locals are aware of this because when you born-raise-grew up here and pretty much never left the city you will not get to see how loud Jakarta really is.

Let’s look at the malls here; just about every shop has music blaring at what seems to be 120 decibels. That is loud! Not to mention when they are having special events with stage and all then you can be sure the noise can be heard miles away. We are currently living right next to one of the many fancy new malls that seems to be popping out of the ground every few days! Advantage, groceries shopping is just a walk away; in fact they just opened an underground pass that goes straight to the Lower Ground where Carrefour is located. But, on some nights I swear I want to torch down that mall simply because they are being obnoxiously too loud! Last Friday, I noticed they had set up yet another stage by their outdoor park. Sound check? Possibly! But why on earth would they do that until way after 2 in the morning is beyond me. This is not the first time; since we’ve been living here they had ‘parties’ with blaring music a lot! Saturday night is forgivable, but Sunday or Friday night? Totally made me cursing my night away! And they are building an adjacent hotel to that mall? Maybe they should make sure that the walls are soundproofs!

Then you have the mosques! Where we are living now, it gets quite loud during the evening calls of prayer and in early dawn. There must be more than 10 mosques competing with one another. Imagine horrendous American Idol auditions with 10 or more wannabes put into one room each holding a microphone! At first, it gets really annoying because you know in its country of origin in Middle East, the call of prayers are not as loud as what you will hear here. I’m sure it does not only bother me, it also bothers other people whose houses are within close proximity to these mosques. If we, who are living on the 30th floor, can hear them loud and clear, imagine how would it be if you’re just a door away? But most people are afraid to voice their complaints for religion is still very much a super sensitive case on this country. Now, I’m used to it although I still miss the calmness of early morning breaking into my day. Noise ordinance is simply non-existent in Jakarta unless you have a sound proof home.

Fortunately some people are starting to realize the long term damage this type of pollution. Free from Noise Society is one of them (I hope they’ll have a website done soon!) to spread more awareness and give others courage to speak up. The group claims that 10.7 percent of people who conduct activities in the streets of Jakarta have hearing problems. Shocking? NOT!




Lifestyle and travel blogger, founder of Single Moms Indonesia on a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

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  1. February 4, 2010 / 12:48 am

    Couldn’t agree more Reen, begitulah Jakarta.. ya ribut, ya macet, ya kotor, ya ampunn.. anehnya tiap taun yg transmigrasi ke Jakarta makin banyak aja.. heuehehhe

    • Tatter
      February 5, 2010 / 4:22 pm

      Itu kali yah Win yang namanya chasing a golden dreams jadi walopun Jakarta udah sumpek masih aja orang beramai-ramai mengadu nasib hehehe

  2. February 5, 2010 / 1:01 am

    Di daerah gw malah lbh parah lagi, pengajian hari Jumat pun pake speaker bouw. Dari mulai absen jemaah yang hadir, ucapan makasih buat sumbangan es teler dari ibu xxx dan undangan nikah anaknya pak haji xxx sampe (akhirnya *phew*) highlight acara pengajiannya dikumandangkan pake speaker

    • Tatter
      February 5, 2010 / 4:23 pm

      Sama kok Dhi, di sini Jumat juga berisik banget malah kadang pagi-pagi ada yg pake speaker treak “Sampah…ayoooo sampaaah!” Lah gw sampe bengong hahahaha

    • Tatter
      February 5, 2010 / 4:24 pm

      Iya bener Sylvia, kasian juga yah maybe if Jakarta can cry udah lama nangis hehehe

  3. Pamela
    February 12, 2010 / 11:37 am

    Two things – I always ask shop keepers and restaurant staff (though not Carre Four) to turn down the music immediately when I enter. I can’t even think straight, how noisy it is! Small crusade, but helps.

    Mosques – on the other hand, I would argue that in most countries the guy who sings is *specially chosen for his musical aptitude*, and the call is melodic, comforting, ritual. In Indonesia, they seem to ask the tone-deaf, coughing with emphasyma, half-asleep losers to do their sacred and spiritual call to prayer- resulting in megaphone coughing, phlegm-spilling, off key, and as you said, “American Idol losers type” of singing. It’s shameful.

    I actually heard that it is illegal in Jakarta for a mosque to have a loudspeaker, ha ha!! Can you believe it?

    • Tatter
      February 12, 2010 / 12:14 pm

      Hi Pamela, thanks for voicing your opinion on this! I too had complain (probably too much) when I’m in a restaurant or cafe if their music is too loud, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But you’re right it is a small crusade. What I will steer clear off completely is those play area inside the mall! Even with my boy screaming his head off wanting to go in, I won’t budge because it’s crazy how loud some of these places are, it feels like a mix of a bad disco mixed and kids play zone.

      True, the call of prayers can actually sounds beautiful and soothing if it’s done properly, unfortunately here it’s not happening huh? How bout those mid-day prayer group of the ladies? I just noticed one the other day, boy were they loud and I can hear the ‘sermon’ LOL!

      On paper it might be illegal but being Indonesian and living here long enough, I know sometimes a law is just that a law that no one even bother to enforce. So yeah that is something, a loudspeaker law but with the rate they abused the speakers…*insert rolling eyes here*

  4. reza farasdak
    February 23, 2010 / 6:27 pm

    Jakartaku, tiap hari semakin padet, semakin macet..
    adakah ide ide mengatasi hal ini..
    seperti memberhentikan produksi kendaraan bermotor di jakarta
    atau melarang kendaraan selain plat nomor B masuk ke jakarta di hari kerja kecuali dengan surat atau something.
    kalau di biarkan akan menjadi kota mati, penuh penyakit dan lain-lain

  5. Pingback: My Love-Hate Affair with Jakarta

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