see through me

A bit of my thoughts about life in general and things that keep it worth living...

6.3.05

Touristical View...

My two good friends from Switzerland, Yann and Andréa, are visiting me few days ago... now they are in Bali, enjoying the beach and the sun -j'espère il fait un temps splendid là-bas... et dites bonjour à Simon de ma part-. They plan to go to Flores and maybe Celebes afterward. Lucky bastards...

But that's not what I wanted to write now.

During our nocturnal discussion in a Café in Jalan Jaksa, with loud crowd and few bottles of the famous Bir Bintang, we brought up a subject that tickled my mind, as usual. Because alcohol sure could bring profound stuff and before you know it, you start rambling about useless things in life. The subject was how our view on our hometown could be changed after a long trip abroad. How something banal and taken for granted could be different after you see other places.

I lived in Geneva for 8 years and during all those times, I played the tourist every single day. I liked to take the bus to unknown places, the distant suburban areas and the Old Town. I enjoyed window shopping at the antique stores, flipping pages in used books vendors, buying some fruits from a marketplace... I did see that city as one of the most beautiful city to live in the world... if you don't mind the exorbitant prices, that is... There are so many things to do in it. You could visit the Vieille Ville, go on top the Cathedral to see the breathtaking view of the whole city, buy cheap things in the Flea Market in Plainpalais, having a beer or two at the downtown bistros in Carouge, dance your night away in underground clubs like L'Usine... in short, you could never get bored there... and in the summertime, hundreds of free concerts at the lakeside.

But even genevans forget how beautiful their city is. As I forget how interesting Jakarta is.

7 years I've been here, I never went to Museum Fatahilah, I never walked in the Fish Market, never appreciated the beauty of the Chinatown... I did go to the Monas -the towering national monument in the heart of Jakarta- one sunny afternoon, and it was a grandiose experience. It was like seeing another facet of my hometown.

Now, days after the discussion, I promise myself that I would start to explore my city. Being a visitor in my own house, seeing things that I take for granted under a new perspective.

Playing tourist in own city, that could be the cheapest way to travel, right?

Anyone else interested?

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