First off, sorry for a quick post yesterday. We had to run out quick and catch a taxi before yesterday’s thunderstorm rolled through Jakarta. We are fortunate that we found one. On our ride home, the streets were so wet that there were motorcycles abandoned everywhere and cars were unable to use some of the lanes of traffic.
Idul Fitri is upon us, officially beginning sometime in the next couple of days, we think Saturday. It doesn’t matter exactly when, because Indonesia Inc. is shutting its doors for a much-deserved vacation. Idul Fitri, you’ll recall, is the festival that celebrates the end of Ramadhan. That means that people can smoke, eat, drink non-alcoholic beverages, and sin between sun-up and sun-down again. People get very excited at this prospect, and have a big party to celebrate it. There’s also probably some sort of religious significance. Starting tomorrow, the Freedom Institute will also be closed until November 21st. Officially, tomorrow (Friday) is an institutional holiday, Monday and Tuesday are the official national holidays for Idul Fitri, and the following Wednesday through Friday are bonus days off because everyone will still be traveling. We are not quite sure what to expect. We have heard that the massive exodus of people who pulang ke kampung (go home to their village) leave the city relatively empty. Perhaps this means that there will be no traffic (good), but also that everything will be closed and it will be hard to get a taxi (bad). As we mentioned earlier, this would be a great time to travel in theory, but in reality all forms of transportation will be nightmarish. Only in Indonesia can the country shut down for ten days.
Since internet will no longer be free-and-always-on when the Freedom Institute is closed, we may not be posting as often as we have been lately. We’ll be sure to keep you all up-to-date on any interesting happenings. We also have made significant progress on two classic Indonesian dishes–potato croquettes and deep fried things–but have yet to perfect them. When we do, we’ll put the recipes up.