16 Jan 2013

Well, it has been an awfully long time between my blogs! have read many friends' blogs and felt very guilty at my lack of "blogging effort".  I refuse to acknowledge the date of my last blog...so I shall not look!

It "hit me" as I sat watching snippets of the Australian Open (my 5yo son who is home sick is insistent on watching cartoons - bleccch!! Stupid Sponge Bob I say!!) that we have survived an entire, whole year here in the "megalopolis" of Jakarta! I was remembering about how I would sit and watch last year's Australian Open while we were still living at the hotel.  How things have changed...mostly thankfully for the better.

Currently Jakarta is in the grip of the wet season.  There has been non-stop rain - and by that I mean "jungle-strength" rain - solidly for the last week.  Our yard is mud, the chooks are paddling (poor bedraggled things), the pool nearly overflowing and no doubt any second will be green and swamp-like, but our problems of course really are inconsequential.  We still have a substantial roof over our head, running water, power and we are dry. Roads are flooded...mainly in North Jakarta apparently, houses and businesses inundated and there have been at least 10 fatalities reported.  Knowing how poorly records are kept here, and how "reporting" doesn't really happen at all, I am sure that the fatalities from this will in reality be certainly far, far higher - and sadly no doubt be mainly the vulnerable...elderly and the young.

A big thunderstorm came through this morning at around 2.30am our time, and had me awake for over an hour.  The thunder here is mega-mega-loud...the loudest I have ever heard in my life! The huge noisy storm that came through a coupe of early mornings ago was so loud it set the car alarm off and gave everyone a massive scare...picture many crying children in bedroom then in bed with parents...groan!! (Bing moment: That is why I am so tired this week!!) 

The storms here are quite different to home.  Here there is much thunder and lightning but not obviously so much in the way of wind and blusteriness.  No one here has ever heard of hail, and trees generally only fall over because the ground becomes so saturated.  Many "houses" here are very poorly built with corrugated iron sheeting lust laid one on top of the other with tarps and similar things layered over and just loosely secured. These still seem to stay in place even after huge storms and downpours, unless of course they are washed away in floods.

Traffic here becomes even worse when it rains (is that possible!?...YES!!).  It was so bad one night last year that it took me 4 hours to get home from work...a journey of only 20-28km (depending on the route taken)...normally a journey that takes about 45 minutes! Very frustrating and a total waste of time.

School have just cancelled all sport and activities this afternoon because there has been so much rain...

Stay safe and well everyone...