Come Back, King Canute! More Jakarta Flooding?


Hey, that post a few days ago was just a trifle over-confident, thinking I’d escape the flood curse that descended on Jakarta. 

Banjir Uang! Jakarta’s Ahok Turning Off the Tap? 

It just kept on raining, and the little grassy area across the street soon resembled something like a miniature Great Lakes. I’d like to say it reminded me of my last boyhood fishing trip up to Georgian Bay, but it didn’t.

banjir-transjakarta-koridor-viii-masuk-tol-kebon-jeruk Jakarta flooded street, 2014

Instead of fond memories, it was a case of recalling last year (above) and busily rooting around for any materials that might serve as bulwarks against the waters, which had, by noon, covered the road surface outside to a depth of several inches and were advancing, seemingly inexorably, towards my garden fence!

Old clothes and towels etc. were bundled together and kept in readiness by the front door. My shoes on the rack outside the door were moved to the top and even indoors, things on the floor were raised up to higher positions, my briefcase and shopping bag slung over my bookcase, the cat’s dish shifted to sit atop the chest of drawers.

She didn’t help, but at least had the sense to make herself comfortable on the table!

My most pressing concern was cigarettes, my supply dwindling – when you’re stuck at home with nothing much to do, you smoke.  As you do when contemplating the inundation of your living room.

The dismal deluge continued into the afternoon, until the waves were lapping at my garden gate.

Recalling the tale of King Canute, I stood there, knowing that my countenance, however grim, could not face down the foe.

Then finally, last one smoked, the downpour eased.  When the billows outwith my home subsided sufficiently, an expedition was mounted to the minimart.  

Since that day, the  weather’s been patchy, even affording me a chance to sunbathe now and then.

But now the media here are warning of action replays ahead.

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6000 evacuated in Jakarta after floods

The Straits Times10 Feb 2015
Flooding is a chronic problem in Jakarta, made worse by 13 rivers cutting … evacuation shelters after the worst floods so far this year inundated …
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And although it’s bright at the moment, as I await the arrival of today’s visitor, there’s a party across town tonight. I’m aiming to leave mid-arvo, to ensure I’m not delayed by any further cloud-bursts.

And I continue to be thankful my area’s not been hammered by floods like so many other poor people in this unpredictable city.