Car Free Day in Jakarta {travel files}

Sometimes, when you live in Indonesia, you kind of just have to throw your expectations up into the air, and watch them shatter into a million pieces, as they get shot all to hell like scores of clay presumptuous pigeons.

The only thing you can reasonably do, at moments like this, is to delight in the fact that you're blowing all to hell your suppositions, plans, and assumptions, and just get out to see what you can see.

Basically, what I'm saying is if you get woken up well before dawn even breaks, by a pounding baseline and thousands of revelers outside your window, occasionally the only sensible course of action is to throw on some clothes, run a toothbrush across your teeth, and then go outside to see what in the WHAT is going on.


And then you'll discover a raging party, a concert, a demonstration in favour of One Indonesia, and against discrimination. Which I guess is okay, I mean, discrimination is bad. So I guess, it's cool that your reveling and base thumping work me at 4:30 AM. I can get behind that. Even if I'm up and outside on a Sunday, so early that Starbucks is not even open yet and there is no coffee to be had even though we live in a place called Java. OHHHHH the injustice of irony.

This, friends, is Car Free day in Jakarta. And it's pretty rad.

You might also discover literally thousands of people clapping, singing, hollering, and dancing. (Let me reiterate, it's 7:20 AM), And these people will move aside and make way for you and your massive stroller because, it's cool, you're a mum with a kid, and you need to get by, and sure, we'll part the crowd on your behalf like seas in the desert or some other similarly impressive biblical simile, NBD.



You might also see a million bikes where typically there are a million billion cars. Cars which are usually not moving, but honking really loudly nonetheless, because. You know. 

Perhaps you'll also see a clown dressed in batik riding a bike that is LITERALLY two stories tall. Twice. Because, why not?

Or a dude who is using considerable force to remove a boa constrictor which has wrapped itself, with great determination, around his neck. 

Perhaps you'll come across another dude who's arms are red with welts from some fangy orange snake who keeps sinking his super sharp snake teeth into into the above mentioned dude's forearm.

You might ask the snake dude what he's doing and he might tell you that he's promoting awareness of Indonesian Hedgehogs, and you won't second guess anything about that statement, even though he's holding two carnivorous snakes, because you just saw a two-story bike being ridden by a clown, so clearly snakes + hedgehogs = a very happy match.

You might also catch sight of a bunch of tame Sunda flying lemurs running around Jakarta's busiest roads.

And you might even get to hold one of these Sunda gliders all by yourself and practically explode with glee while your own child cowers in terror somewhere in the middle of the street because small animals WAH NIGHTMARE while strangers caress her pale and strange bule skin but you don't care because ZOMG TINY ANIMALS IN YOUR HAND.


So, basically what I'm saying is for the first time in the history of everything, I'm now motivated to get up and out of the house before 7:30 am on a Sunday, because OMG YOU GUYS all of the above mentioned shenanigans totally happened and WTF I just don't even understand but that's fine because I got to hold a flying lemur. And this takes place every week! Car Free Day in Jakarta. Get into it.

The end.

Well, not quite the end. Basically, Car Free Day in Jakarta happens every Sunday on Jalan Sudirman, running from Senayan to Monas. If you're in Jakarta, don't miss it. Got it? Sunday Mornings. Things usually get going around 6 Am and continue till about 11. Jalan Sudirman. See you there.