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October 27, 2010

GOT GRATITUDE?

Blurry Photo, Clear Smile (Photo: Jason Schwary)

There’s not one thing that's “quaint” about Jakarta, not one!  Jakarta is dirty, the buildings are falling apart at the seems, the food doesn’t taste good, the air pollution is stifling, the traffic is relentless, there’s absolutely no peace or quite whatsoever, the parks are unfamiliar with that green stuff called grass, the flowers are few and far between, there’s an omnipresent oder if described as a color would be yellowish-brown, the rivers are strewed with trash, the weather is off the charts hot - and the humidity in the air makes matters much worse, sidewalks are either non existent or lay in serious need of repair, crossing the street involves seriously risking your life, there’s a tear-dropping sadness between the modern-world skyscrapers and the shanty towns that engulf them, the health conditions are sickening as witnessed when we passed a man on the street that looked like a shark had attacked his leg and was in imminent need of an amputation, and the overall absence of continuity and suppressive energy is one of fatigue and never ending constraint.
Smiles Come Cheap and Easy (Photo: Jason Schwary)
But, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but, but!!! - That’s exactly 101, buts! And down below comes number,102!

Go Ahead, Tell This Man He Needs a BMW (Photo: Jason Schwary)
"But", for a city as accurately described above, the people that inhabit and call it their home did one thing more genuinely, more freely and more consistently than any other city I’ve ever seen...S-M-I-L-E!!! These people, despite their surrounding and living in the most incredibly difficult city-dwelling conditions known to the Western world, knew how to do it more than any other place I’d ever been. The smiles that graced their faces were so beautiful it left me feeling both extremely happy yet deeply sad at the same time. I don’t need to spell it out for you, I know you get where I’m going with this, but just in case, I’ll leave the rest up to my photos to communicate the remaining 999 words.
More Smiles Than Toys (Photo: Jason Schwary)
Before I end this short, yet important post on my experience in Jakarta, I would like to ask one small favor on behalf of the people that live there and the disturbingly awkward experience I encountered. Please, please, think twice the next time you or someone you know complains about the cable guy being late, frustration over a 32 oz. T-bone steak being overcooked, or worse yet, sadness due to a missed episode of Entourage. Instead, remind yourself of one of the many smiles you see here in these photos and thank God that you’re so fortunate to have the problems that you find in your daily life. Do it for those of Jakarta, do it for yourself. I guarantee you, you’ll be better off if you did!
What's He Gotta Smile About?! (Photo: Jason Schwary)
Good bye Jakarta!  Good bye to all those smiles that left an indelible mark on my soul and once again provided me an opportunity of what it is, and why it is, that I should be so truly grateful.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to renew my sense of gratitude, the one word, that in my book, trumps all other blessings........G-R-A-T-I-T-U-D-E!

1 comment:

  1. I've read a lot about Indonesia, Jakarta is definitely the first city I'd want to visit. :D

    Thanks for sharing the photos, some boys look worried. :O

    ReplyDelete