Monday, February 29, 2016

Postcard from Jakarta City




The city is steeped in musk & rings of ancient religion.    The mosques against the sky, colorful sarongs and batik, veiled hair of women,  and noisy street chatter made me realize that though I am in a nearby Asian country, I am a foreigner.   I have tried to learn a few words and phrases prior to my arrival but the spoken language is different to my ears.    It is spice on rice congee & noodles, fiery red peppers mixed with rice, sambal (hot sauce) besides every dish, curry & peanut sauce (satay) on grilled meats.   My tongue is not used to the spicy foods & other meats (aside from beef & pork & chicken), that I felt it is always burning like hot coals. 

I have arrived in Jakarta City to train and coach our counterparts on behalf of my company. But it is I who became a student & bought a pair of Indonesian puppet dolls as a souvenir.   Between broken English & Bahasa Indonesia, I found kinship specially during our informal conversations.  I learned that if one looks for similarities, then we will find that we have a lot more in common than differences.         


jasmine white flower
on my lapel, smell of rain-
drops on hot afternoon



Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday - Recalling my trip to Jakarta, Indonesia, more than 15 years ago.  Thanks for the visit ~

24 comments:

  1. I especially love the wisdom of similarities... I think we all need to spend our time in a city and become students once again... To sit down and talk... When abroad I always reach into people by eating their food... The image of a white flower and the smell of rain gives so much additional life to the poem

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  2. Have a wonderful time, Grace. Enjoy the sights!

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    1. ha, just now saw your note....well, it sounds wonderful anyway!

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  3. Indeed, we do find the similarities wherever we are. I like the smells and sounds of this haibun, the sights. And I like Indonesian food! I too bought Indonesian puppets and a necklace of Jasmine blooms from a young street vendor. I can still smell that jasmine when I think of that trip. I love this!

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  4. A treat for the senses, written from recall, rife with sights & sounds of authenticity; very nice; thanks for sharing the journey with those of too in-firmed for travel beyond road trips.

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  5. There sure are a lot in common, if only one takes the time to look.

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  6. This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing this journey and what you learned on it. Peace, Linda

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  7. Lovely memory Grace and yes communication is important no matter how we achieve it....

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  8. I love your presentation of the food, and how it connects to language. I'm also quite partial to the commentary the poem makes about culture. So very true.

    The haiku reads so delicate and real.

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  9. It is so true--we learn from those who we visit--especially if we are fortunate to spend a while in their country. I enjoyed your description of the food but now I'm hungry.

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  10. It is true we have more in common with one another than we imagine.. the rain drops on a hot afternoon is a such a perfect description of the tropics. Loved it!

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  11. The colors, sounds and smells of the city were so clearly portrayed and I could taste that spicy curry. The similarities of people around the world can inspire our hearts. Lovely, Grace.

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  12. I took my kids to Europe last May ... and they felt the same ... kind of ... so much 2 learn 4 them ... smiles ... ya ... Love, cat.

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  13. Wise words, gorgeous imagery!

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  14. You made my mouth water - for the travel, the sights, the similarities and the differences. I love satay, and haven't tasted it for years. A very good friend who had lived for years in Indonesia but used to spoil us with these wonderful dishes.

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  15. The main impressions are of religion, colour and food, but the lasting image is in the haiku - lovely.

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  16. I love Indonesian food, and you've brought back some lovely memories for me.

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  17. Similarities will be found...but for some reason, we tend to look for the differences. Lovely write, and beautiful haiku!

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  18. I like the message here, the message of tolerance and looking for similarities, while experiencing the differences in positive light. I enjoyed your food/tastes description.

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  19. More in common that the skies and stars. You brought Jakarta to life for me and I am better for reading this piece. Thank you, Grace!

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  20. I greatly enjoyed the memories this brought back – though I was in other Indonesian towns and cities, not Jakarta.

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  21. I tasted this, Grace. And it was delicious. Thank you.

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  22. Hot spices are something I don't like so I'd have a problem with food but would look forward to the sights and sounds.

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  23. Travel oF heARt..
    stay close to
    human.. travel
    Of culture strays..
    not far from sOul
    oF BeinG..

    SpiRit Flows
    ONe
    travels near..:)

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Thank you for your comments and visit. I appreciate them ~