Indonesia Raya

Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of Indonesian independence. As it’s ramadhan, there was no big event at the ambassador’s house in London this year, just the flag-raising ceremony and the reading of the proclamation of independence. I couldn’t help but remember where I was this time last year. I was in Jakarta watching my baby cousin (I say baby, she’s 17) take part in her school’s Paskibra (the ceremony of raising the flag) and bursting with pride. Every independence day, local neighbourhoods throw a day-long party including sports competitions and live music and everyone has a fun and chilled out day off from everything.

One of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold.
March 10, 2010, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Asia, City, Europe, Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

A few more photos from Istanbul before I forget to put them up here. At the moment I feel like I want to photograph everything, but everything around me seems so dull and uninspiring (I know I’m totally missing the point – please indulge me). I’m so sick of the freezing cold weather in London. Even when the sun comes out, it’s still so cold that I can’t bear to subject my hands to the numbness and I lack the dexterity to work my camera with my mittens on. Also, most days after I finish work I get straight on the tube so I can hide away at home. There’s something about this time of year – the transition between winter and spring – that really irks me, and it feels like many Londoners are just as grumpy as me. Someone told me that this is meant to be the worst time of year for Seasonal Affective Disorder because it’s at the very tail-end of winter. Perhaps London’s mood will pick up once spring stops dragging its feet and actually arrives.

Cold Turkey

I had a very good time in Istanbul last weekend. The people were really friendly – the young men were sometimes too friendly but never stepped across the line. People spoke to me in Turkish a lot of the time and, as in Mexico, I felt really bad when I couldn’t reply and they looked disappointed. There were many occasions when I felt we would have been ripped off in other cities, but we weren’t. People just chatted to us in the street because they wanted to know what we thought about their home city. It’s an amazing city – its history is visually layered and interwoven and I got a real sense of what had been. I would definitely go back.