Jakarta

The fastest way to go from Yogyakarta to Jakarta is by train. The luxury executive train may lack elegance (and speed) but it’s certainly spacious and comfortable. Eight hours of rural panoramas of Java: endless rice paddies, little villages, lakes, and green hills in the background.

Jakarta continues to fail to enamor me. Not only does the train pass through dirty slums, full of garbage, dirt, and lean-tos built from tarps and rusted corrugated metal, but downtown is still the soulless traffic-choked concrete jungle I knew from my previous visit. On the other hand, like Yogyakarta there are quiet green, if rather dilapidated, neighborhoods in the middle of the large blocks formed by the main streets.

I am here only for the airport to catch a very early flight to Sulawesi tomorrow.