I was born and lived in Bogor, a city located close to Jakarta. 40 minutes by car from Jakarta. The city was so called The Rain City because of its highest precipitation rate (around 4000 mm per year).
24 years living in this city has made me deeply in love with this city. I’ve been passing my bitter-sweet life in this city. Tons of memories happened in there, my childhood life, my teenage life, and soon.. my adulthood life.
Photo Source : http://danielyunhx.com/2012/03/14/the-feel-of-rain/
Unfortunately, I saw that Bogor has rapidly changed from such a heaven to a soon-be-hell city. Heaven, I mean, is when Bogor still give me some fresh air (in the morning, afternoon, and night), and also many beautiful landscapes and sights to see..
When it comes to rain, Bogor is quite romantic. The dark sky, the soil’s smell, the raindrops.. Local people wears jacket or sweater.. use umbrella. Bogor is a historical city, In the center of the city, Bogor Palace stood up beautifully. Supported by English garden, Bogor become such a more than a heaven of the earth to me. The green grass lies like a carpet, the huge old trees stand up manly, and the brown deers walk around slowly. I bravely could compare Bogor as beautiful as European cities.
Heaven also means when Bogor is not fully over-populated, where you can take a ride with public car, and rarely stuck on a traffic jam. When I was a child, Bogor is just like a small city with less high-end shopping place, when you can enjoy the big old trees around the street. Bogor is far more different than Jakarta, which we may know as a huge, crowded, polluted capital city.
Forget about my childhood memories about Bogor. For now, the condition of Bogor is almost competely like Jakarta. I can only find fresh and cool air only in the morning. Don’t expect to get some fresh air after 9 am. Dust and air-pollution will go to my nose. Traffic jam also come to every corner in the city. In the weekend, do not expect to have a pleasant trip with personal or public rides. I may get stuck on stuck for a couple hours. Normally I can go to a place only for 30 minutes, but when it comes to traffic, I may need more than an hour to get there.
Sadly, the explosion of motorcycle riders just made this city become a stressful city. From my previous experiences, I found a lot of riders with no driving ethics to pedestrian. They took pedestrian street as their way so they can avoid traffic, it makes the pedestrian become uncomfortable to walk in the pedestrian path. Another experiences, most motorcycle riders (sometimes car also) don’t want to give a chance to the people who want to cross the street. They just passed through the street so fast, without giving any chance for the pedestrian to walk. This is a sad thing for being a pedestrian like me. How come this city become fulfilled by people with no ethics, tend to be selfish?
Another change that happened in Bogor is the building. I do agree that development of city needs to build a lot of infrastructures and buildings. As a bachelor of landscape architecture, I think that the physical development in Bogor tend to unplanned, yet chaos. As example, the new hotel that recently built in the heart of city, close to the Kujang Monument. It was bad. very bad. The hotel is blocking the view of Salak Mountain, and blurring the existence of Kujang monument because of the height of the hotel was too high and unproportional. From this case, It makes me aware that the government don’t understand enough on how more important the culture and historical value than the money (or maybe politics?).
Bogor is now become a dynamic city, which I hope that the dynamicity can show more positive impact to the people, not going to negative. I do hope so.
As my hometown, I always in love with Bogor, as long as the character can be preserved. A lot of unseen assets that makes Bogor as a loveable city. The nature, the social, the culture. No matter what happened, Bogor is always in my memory.
I will always be a … Bogorian.
The Rain CIty girl.