At home Otto and I took our dog Roxy for a walk every single morning, once we moved here without Roxy (she is being cared for and terribly spoilt by a family friend) I found that I missed that hour in the morning when we were both our getting fresh air and meeting new people.
Three days in and I wasn't missing it, I was going crazy! I quickly sussed out the best walking around the hotel and off we set. The first one was a bit of a mission, I thought I could take the pram, I soon worked out that prams and footpaths don't go together here, they aren't cared for and Otto nearly got thrown from the pram a few times. A quick trip back to the hotel and the trusty ergo carrier came to the rescue. Quite a crowd of sellers had gathered by this stage, watching the 'bule' (white person) try to maneuver around the back streets of South Jakarta and we all had fun laughing at my expense.
Since that first day, Otto and I head off each morning after breakfast for our walk, we see the same people each day and are always greeted with a warm "Pagi" (morning) and wave. The curious thing is that we are our very own tourist attraction, I had assumed that with the large expat population here we wouldn't be a novelty, but Otto and I are constantly having our photo taken by people, not one morning has gone by where at least 2-3 people ask for our photo, I have to admit, I certainly don't look my best at that time of the day.
The sights we see when we are walking and the cheerful people we meet make battling the pollution and traffic to get to the suburban area worthwhile, Otto has made friends with the local dog walkers and we stop and pat the dogs at least once during our walk, he has also made friends with a little boy whose mother owns a shop along our walk, it has been so sweet watching them learn about each other together, pointing out shoes, belly buttons and eyes, they don't speak English and I don't speak Bahasa yet but it is lovely to see them having fun.
Soon we will move from the hotel and while I am sure I will find another walking route, I will miss these people that helped me find my feet in these first few weeks in another country, even though they have no idea what help they have provided, these walks have been the highlight for me.