Indonesian Presidential Elections

Since everyone seems to be talking about the election in Indonesia today – I’d like to reflect on the other aspects of an election day.

With everyone having the day off to vote, there were amazingly few people on the road. It’s phenomenal how this impacts so many other things. I spent the day buying plants and flowers and landscaping my tiny yard. The first thing I noticed this morning was how quiet the streets were. This in turn, lowered the pollution levels immensely, creating a brilliantly blue sky. I know it sounds odd to dwell on such a simple thing, but believe me, if you saw how white the sky is day to day from pollution, you’d realize just how great it is when it dissipates – if only for a moment. The city had a calmness to it that I wish was seen everyday.

The election also holds the wondering of who will win, and if it will spark demonstrations and protests as has been predicted (especially if Megawati takes the vote). So far Megawati only has 40% of the votes, but that could change on a dime.

On another note – I’ve heard through sources that there has been credible information leading to the possibility of additional bombings in malls and religious spots. This warning has been posted on the U.S. Embassy’s website for two years, but the recent information is something new. Great, considering I live only 5 minutes from two of Jakarta’s larger malls.

I have also heard that sources have gained information that the suicide bombers may be hiding out in North Jakarta. Guess what? That’s my ground. Many of Jakarta’s expats live in the Central or South parts of the city, whereas we are located in the Northeast corner – needless to say, this information wasn’t too comforting.

There arenÂ’t many of my friends that actually have to plan their day around a bomb warning. Guess I can do without sushi and Starbucks for a while.