Happy birthday, Jakarta!

Adelia Anjani Putri   22 June 2017 11:33

I’m not going to romanticize my feeling for Jakarta, as it is not a constant sweet one, but rather, it’s a love/hate relationship.

You might hate Jakarta all you want, but no one can deny that the city is the epitome of dreams, hope and struggle of middle class workers — with its intensity and harsh reality, the hectic city life, the goals people aspire to, the hope outsiders hang onto, and the big slap on the face that reminds you that sometimes, ‘ibukota lebih kejam daripada ibu tiri’.

I guess most of you feel the same. You have this dire need to travel, whether just to take pics for the ‘Gram or just to escape the routine. You might hate Jakarta all you want, but at the end of the day, you’ll miss being the city. If you don’t, maybe you haven’t gone long enough, or maybe you’ve never had the chance to let what the city has, the good and the bad, sink in. Trust me, I’ve been there.

You might hate Jakarta all you want. I sometimes hate it too.

I spent most of my young age in this city. I monitor city news for a living. Hell, I have even been a tourism ambassador for the city. So, it’s seemed fair for me to say that I’ve seen it all — the good and the bad.

But Jakarta never ceases to surprise me, to surprise all of us: with what its people are capable of doing, from helping each other during dire times, to sending the only governor that can fix the messed up bureaucracy system to jail; with the random acts of kindness you can find in the corner of its slum areas, to the unimaginable crime some can do.

But then again, Jakarta is my hometown and for me, it’s always been home. It’s family.

And like family, whether you like it or not, you’ll always have parts of it inside of you.

And like family, you stick with each other and try to do best to better each other.

So here’s my message to you my fellow Jakartans, my family: let’s stay strong and stick with each other. The city needs us. Hate Jakarta all you want, but never let the hatred cloud our love and good intention to make Jakarta a better place to be.

Happy birthday, J-Town!

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect Brilio's.

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