Well, for starters, they have the right idea.
Sometimes it's hard to believe you're at the other side of the world..
not to mention........
Sometimes not so hard...
The view from my hotel put it in a nutshell. Between the skyscrapers of the business district, rather more modest accommodation.
And you can see something of the floods, which sadly cost some lives in parts of the city while I was there. The rivers ran an ugly chocolate brown and the roads were in chaos.
Local jokers call this chap "Pizza Man".
Everyone was getting into gear for Chinese New Year
Once they'd done with Christmas, that is (see the sign on the bridge)
Incidentally I was surprised by the newness and dentlessness of the cars.
Not so the national treasures, the little 3-wheeler taxis...
There are still some old Dutch-style houses on a square that could be in Europe.....
....or then again, perhaps not.
Still, there's optimism....
In the far distance you can see the railway station, reminiscent, my American friends say, of Cincinnati.
At this restaurant I first encountered the infamous durian, a fruit that stinks of all the worst things you've ever smelled put together. I can't imagine why they think it's a delicacy.
Actually I was in Jakarta for a wonderful wedding - here's a taste of the reception.
Any resemblance to the bride and groom is purely coincidental.
The food - and dessert - was to die for.
Nice touches on the wedding car.
The day after, an interesting lunch ...
....at a swanky hotel with Balinese musicians gently setting the mood
Cool spaces in every sense of the word
And trust me to come on the only cool day.
Life was a constant battle against rain and water.
In an unfamiliar place I met some familiar friends
Next to the cathedral (see below) is a very large mosque, the population, of course, being overwhelmingly Muslim. They have established a modus vivendi. The mosque allows Christmas worshippers to use its car park. But there are certain tensions. And sporadic attacks by extremists mean churches are diligently guarded.
And hotels used by westerners have heavy security: guards, gates, x-rays, sniffer dogs.
But in other ways, we're all part of one big, happy family.