I have been back in Jakarta for a week as I will be heading back to Jogja soon, and every time I go here, your face gets slapped with the realization of same old problems and issues this city faces. High-rise buildings continue to spiral up while makeshift homes with tin roofs are being torn down, large economic gaps and a seemingly endless row of cars stuck in traffic. I was walking back from a nearby shopping plaza where I had to have my passport photo done and cars were just fighting their way through and around each other as it was close to rush hour. Looking at all of that, it’s almost like our youth, energy, time with our loved ones are being eaten away by the crazy hours in exchange while driving in traffic which is a sad thing to think about. But for some, this city is their home, it’s where new ideas, opportunities in businesses are wide open for people to build their lives on. For some, Jakarta is where bills get paid.
In addition to that, sometimes you will find something to love about the city nonetheless just like what I experienced that day. So when my photos were printed, I decided to walk around the plaza a little bit more. In my mind, “there’s probably not much more here to see anyway besides more and more shops,” but then I stopped my tracks in front of this coffeeshop (what do you know) called Aroma Kopi Nusantara which translates to The Archipelago’s Coffee Aroma. Without hesitation, I went straight in and ordered this week’s choice which is coffee from Sembalun, a village in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Now I don’t normally have my coffee without cream or milk but I wanted to familiarize myself with the different tastes by not having a cappuccino or latte. The coffee was quite acidic, it had a medium body with a fragrant aroma. When I added sugar into the mix, it was almost like tasting a coffee-flavoured caramel candy! Now I know why people would fawn over coffee because differentiating a variety of beans never really occurred to me as something worth it. So, I ended up spending almost more than an hour there doing hat I loved the most, reading, accompanied by a really good cup of coffee that is grown in my country’s soils – and to top it all off all of the baristas in the cafe are women. Bonus point added!
From a little experience at a quaint coffeeshop among the hustle and bustle of Jakarta doesn’t make this metropolitan city all that bad. There are certain charms in this city where you feel like you’re chasing and living a dream. The little things you find here will make you slowly fall for Jakarta, so try and explore the city by going to more than just shopping malls, especially for all of you who live your days out here. Don’t let high consumerism baffle and mesmerize you by thinking that you have to be clad from head to toe with the best brands. You could be yourself without all of that and you’re just putting aside the struggles of 30-40% of the population that are living under more unfortunate conditions than us. I really do hope that our capital city will improve and flourish with huge economic gaps are slowly being healed. Of course it definitely wouldn’t be easy but nothing wrong with hoping, right?