The Last Ride

After close to three weeks in Indonesia, on July 1st I headed for home.

It was a rainy day in Jakarta.  I took a taxi to the airport.

A drive that should have taken about 25-30 minutes took longer than two and half hours.  Not for the weather, mind you, but rather because of the traffic.

We took a toll road out of the city center to the southeastern edge of Jakarta.  Most of the way, traffic moved at a snail’s pace.

The worst was the last half mile, which alone took over twenty minutes.  Getting into the airport was almost impossible.

Most depressing, however, were the young boys out on the highway.  No more than ten years hold, there was a group of boys out between the lanes in the pouring rain, wearing only ratty clothes and flip-flops, trying to sell water and snacks to the drivers creeping slowly down the highway.

Once to the airport, I picked up another book from the Lontar Press from the Modern Library of Indonesian, a book by Iwan Simatupang called The Pilgrim.  The book tells the story of a philosopher and a painter living in a small city or village in Indonesia.  Part political satire, part surreal eulogy, the novel address the conflicts between dreams and reality.

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