Indonesia: A journey outside time

Selamat pagi… This is how the journey starts in Indonesia… this is the salute that everyone living here uses each morning. As soon as I have landed on Jakarta’s airport, it seems like I have infiltrate in another dimension that doesn’t have any time limits. The people are smiling, they give friendly welcomes and everywhere you can see leisurely gestures and a great deal of anticipation. People show compassion for those who don’t accept this “travel outside time”.

To feel the reality of any place, one must experiment the street life, must interact with the people that live, eat, sleep and spend their time right on the street. Once you are there, it is shocking to see the incredible traffic, a chaotic swarm of cars, motto-scooters and bicycles – all seem to be running without any sense what so ever, ignoring all rules and logic. All this hustle is inevitably frightening. Jakarta never sleeps. Yet, I did not see any accident… 

The journey to Indonesia started out with dreams and scenarios, expectations and the enthusiasm of stepping into a different world. It is the fascination of an exotic country about which I knew that overwhelms with paradisiacal landscapes and has the philosophy of a lifestyle taken out of the old story books. It is difficult to describe the variety of experiences and images that this corner of the world provides; this is one of the largest countries in the world and it has more than 17,000 islands and 238 million inhabitants. 

Looked from above, Indonesia is a poor country from the point of view of material resources but infinitely rich in culture and humanity. From the little they have, the Indonesians give out everything: hospitality and warmth, free smiles everywhere and a lot of faith. The rainy season often brings storms that trash the poor neighborhoods and rummage the small houses built from bad quality materials.

Natural disasters don’t bring unhappiness 

What seems to be a disaster is transformed immediately into the joy of the little things and an unexpected fun for the little ones that slosh in the huge slops as in the pool of a five star hotel. Just a few meters away, two men walk and laugh, trying to find shelter under the massive banana tree leaves, thus improvising some exotic umbrellas. 

One journey is certainly not enough to contain the aspects of such a diversity offered by the Indonesian archipelago. Smoking volcanoes, infinite rice terraces, the smell of frankincense and of the flowers of frangipan, music came like from another world, exotic spices, the children`s loud laughter, fire like sunsets, surreal sunrises, a blend of emotions; there are just a few state of minds and images that you can touch just by thinking of all these.

Read all the article in The Art of Living Magazine no 15 DOWNLOAD