I (re)learnt my first lesson in the new year – stay away from crowds! I usually do avoid crowds, but we thought it would be cool to join the locals on the street on car-free night in the heart of Jakarta. A heavy meal, a slight drizzle, surprisingly low traffic made for a pleasant ride all the way from home to Jalan Sudirman. It was fun to weave through the pedestrians, all heading to the Grand Indonesia circle or to MONAS, enjoying street performances of pop, wayang and other music along the way.
Then I took a wrong turn, got separated from Souvik, and pressed into a mob of a few thousand for over an hour, trying to inch my way somewhere. As the clock struck midnight, I converted to Indonesian, stopped pushing, and just admired the fireworks standing where I was.
Full credit to all those thousands of Indonesians who were ALL well-behaved, never abusing, manhandling, pickpocketing or any of those horrifying things that could happen anywhere, more so in my own country. In the light of current events, it was a double blessing.
Souvik and I got together a couple of hours later, I vented out all my irritation of being stuck, took a shower, ate an ice-cream, and my good humour was restored! Looks like the new year will be happy after all.