Asian Geographic PASSPORT No. 31

Issue 2/2014

Table of Contents

Twin City of Amsterdam

By Renata Sherly, by way of Chriswan Sungkono

Every relationship with Jakarta is a love-hate one. Well, it is not called the “Big Durian” for nothing. Those visiting the city for a day or two might easily be turned off by the “bad rep” around it. For a megalopolis accommodating more than 12 million people, Jakarta’s pollution is nothing short of stupefying. Its traffic jams are relentless and diabolical enough to merit suicidal thoughts.When in season, the floods are of biblical proportions. Though its expatriates brag about the degree of decadence they can afford to wallow in here, in the same breath they whine about its poor, nearly-nonexistent public services.

Twin City of Jakarta

By Bram Belloni

Amsterdam’s golden years were from 1500 to 1600, when the Dutch flourished as a trade nation. You can still see and feel the signs of that era: the small shops, the handicrafts and the city’s maritime heritage. At times it feels like sailors from that period rambling through the city have been replaced by today’s tourists looking for a great night out.