Bee in The City
People will tell you that you can’t go walking in Jakarta. People will say that it’s not safe, the sidewalks are treacherous, the pollution is thick, there are gobbling about. And so everyone stays in malls, breathing recycled air, wallowing artificial light. They drive their kids to school even though it’s two buildings away.
But not us. We love getting out and exploring the neighbourhood. Yes, the sidewalks are broken, but we can wheel around the holes. Yes the pollution is thick some days, but not always. And the goblins exist only in the minds of the unadventurous.
One of my favourite parts of the day is walking Stella to school. We pass by the security team and Stella offers a “selamat pagi, bapak.” We walk by the ojek drivers who crouch next to the river, and they wave at us. Hugo sits in stroller quietly. As we cross the street, he extends his arm, palm out, to stop the traffic.
There’s always a sight that catches my eye, that stirs something inside of me. Perhaps an ondel-ondel waddling down the sidewalk; a street vendor selling golden crisp tempeh; a stranger who offers a smile so warm it lets you see into her insides. Maybe it’s just the buildings and the clouds reflected in a black and gritty puddle. There is something, always something, that is worth seeing.
Sometimes when there’s no school on and the kids and I are up for a wander, we head down the back streets, we pass luxury malls and skyscrapers, food sellers and motor-cycle taxis, and we go to our favourite cafe. Stella walks next to me, quiet and nothing. Hugo sits in his Bugaboo Bee3 watching the world go by.
I love this time with my kids, being out in the world together. I love seeing, really seeing what’s real and true all around us. There’s so much to discover, so much worth noticing. And there is beauty everywhere.
Some time ago, I partnered with Bugaboo and Little Steps Asia on a cool little project. We're working on the Bee in The City promotion. Have a look! And check it out: City guides for some amazing South East Asian metropolises, including my beloved Jakarta. The intent is to get out there, and notice what is lovely about this city. So, have a look. I’d love it if you would. You can find the City Guide here. And below, some gorgeous images of our cafe adventures by Viveash Photography. (Also, her insta is the best ever.) Enjoy!
Stay in-the-know and on-the-go in four of Asia’s leading cities. Bugaboo, the iconic Dutch stroller brand, and Little Steps Asia, the leading website in Asia for parents, teamed up with local parent trendsetters to offer insider tips on where to stay, play, shop, and explore. Take an artsy stroll through Hong Kong, taste your way through kid-friendly neighborhoods in Singapore, shop for Indonesian designers for kids in Jakarta, and stay in unique boutiques in Kuala Lumpur. Grab a copy for your baby bag or download it on the road – the city is yours!