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Life in Jakarta back to normal after bombings LIPPO CIKARANG - It was just a short visit to Jakarta, just one night, but it took place after the first bombing in a number of years in Indonesia. Where media all want to talk about the results for Indonesia - as if the country is as small as Luxembourg or Brunei, and even that is still too big - locals seem to go on with their lives as they did before. While the area around the two hotels, J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton was still partly closed off, the rest of Jakarta looked like a Saturday morning when it was Saturday morning.

When the bus from Lippo Cikarang drove into the city at just before ten in the morning, barely more than 24 hours after two suicide killers blew themselves up in the hotels, eventually killing nine - including themselves indeed - the city was as quiet as it normally is on a Saturday morning, maybe a little more quiet as it was the first weekend after the long school holidays. Nothing out of the ordinary, no nervous people at the bus stop, no extra security visible on the streets and no people beating up people with laptop bags and backpacks because they just might be terrorists.

I went on doing my things as planned. I went to the post office were I had a little chat which soon became politicized by the fact that president Yudhoyono had insinuated that the bombs must have come from a "group of terrorists", seemingly pointing to his political opponents earlier during the presidential elections. A conversation I soon cut off because it's risky to talk about. Furthermore I had little time to do so as well, as I still had to meet two people here. The third one was in hospital with demam berdarah. Not contagious but too far to bring a visit to the hospital on top of the fact that I hate hospitals.

In the early evening I took a taxi from Hotel Ibis Slipi to the Pecenongan area in North Jakarta. The area is quiet run-down but business went on as usual there as well. Already too far away to feel the influence of a bomb of any size going off somewhere in the Mega Kuningan business district. The taxi back to the hotel was quick enough, since there was no traffic jam. I didn't see one the entire day. Again, not because of the recent bombings but because it was a Saturday.

Later that evening, everything went as planned as well. I met with the last scheduled meeting - earlier just set to 'this Saturday' with a time to be advised later. Aphrodite Restaurant & Bar did look a bit more quiet on this normally very crowded Saturday evening - one of the most important evenings for going out in Jakarta, together with the night directly after the bombings. However cricket was all over the big television screens, some Australians might just have chosen to stay home for tonight. Just to be sure

Before midnight my girlfriend and I left for B.A.T.S. in the Shangri-La Hotel. Also five-star, but not in the hands of an American company so less of a terrorist target as it seems. It was here that I noticed intensified security. Normally there are two or three people checking each car, including one with an electronic 'nose', looking for certain chemicals. Now there was an extra security guard holding a fairly large gun. This used to frighten me when I was eight when I went to France with my parents, but is okay by now. I have never seen B.A.T.S. so crowded. Life goes on, and that is how it should be.


Link to related event Related event:
Terrorism in Indonesia

Related blog entries (category 'Terrorism') Related blog entries (category 'Terrorism'):
18 July 2009 · Malaysian eyed as possible suspect in twin bombings
17 July 2009 · Bomber caught on CCTV camera in Ritz Carlton
17 July 2009 · Active but unexploded bomb found at J.W. Marriott room
17 July 2009 · At least eight killed in Jakarta hotel bombings
17 July 2009 · Six dead as two bombs rock Mega Kuningan area in Jakarta


Posted in Terrorism @ 19 July 2009 12:15 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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