Three more days to go to Eid here in Jakarta. And the holiday vibe is in the air for not only a week but five weeks!!!
So the countdown has started since the beginning of Ramadan. Everyone is looking forward to the big festivity which is a blend of secular celebration, consumerism at its most disgusting, and of course ceremonial religious observance here and there. That is four weeks.
And the other one week is the w-week. I have heard Eid el fitr has never gotten any bigger attention than in South East Asian countries. In Arabic countries, Eid el Fitr is way less popular than Eid el Adha, the day when muslims commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim and his dear son.
This w-week is just the ideal time when you tourists can roam Jakarta with much ease and less pollution to rip your lungs. This is the perfect week to explore any places in the capital after a riotous presidential election that has actually dampened because those politicians need to act as if they forgave each other. Which we will never find out the truth.
You may go climb the national monument in the nucleus of Jakarta if you wish to. Even if you will get caught in the act, I swear the response will not as swift as when you do it the other 51 week in a year.
But alas, you also have to deal with less convenience to find foods and drinks. Many establishments are going to be closed and stop operating for days.
And even if they are no muslims, still the distribution chains and most employees they hire are muslims. So chances are you have to be patiently awaiting until another week so the economy runs normally again. That means one week or two weeks after the Eid day.
For most of non muslims and muslims still staying and living in Jakarta during the massive temporary diaspora, it is quite a pain in the ass.
Life seems to be put in hold and concentrated mainly in public places such as airports and stations. Malls and restaurants are mostly closed and even if they open, they can only serve with limitations. You order foods you like but it turns out your favorite is not available just because the food distributor, the cook has not come to work just yet or some issues occur. All is caused by Eid holiday.
If you do not know what to do during the colossal recess, try taking photos of you lying down under the sun in the middle of Jakarta main roads which are nearly completely empty, free of maddening traffic we are always complaining about. That legendary, notorious traffic!!!