Flooded market


It was sunny today, thank heavens, so we went down the street to the Benhill market to check on the flooding there. The water level seemed to be going down, and people were starting to bail out their shops and houses.


More rain is forecast, plus, some parts of the city are much worse off than Benhill, with water too deep to walk through. But hopefully today was a bit of a breather for most of the city.

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Still fine

The flood stories are getting worse, and they look to keep getting worse for at least another day or two, but things are still OK here in our bit of Pejompongan …

Bastions of tyranny


Malls are the least democratic places in the world. I’ve been kicked out of so many of them in the US while trying to gather tape for radio stories, even on subjects as innocuous as “How are you surviving the current heat wave?” They don’t want anything like reality to intrude on their customers’ shopping haze.

I snapped this cellphone picture of weird pink-haired mannequins at a kids’ store in Senayan City, and then the manager rushed out and told us we couldn’t take pictures. Maybe they thought we were gathering intel for a competitor.

Flood season

After a weirdly sunny and hot January, the rainy season has arrived with a vengeance. It’s been pouring for much of the last two days and parts of the city are badly flooded — hospitals evacuated, buses stranded, etc. The TV is full of flood news.


Luckily our neighborhood is doing OK, as is our apartment. There’s some seepage in the walls and ceiling but no recurrence of the big drippy leaks we had before. The rain has stopped and our street is actually dry now.

Palmerah Market: Snakefruit


Snakefruit is a crazy little fruit that really does have a textured, snakelike skin. The Pondoh variety, which is supposed to be the sweetest, has been in season for the last few weeks.


The skin is dry and thin. Once you get it off, you find three to five segments of white fruit, of which the larger ones have a stone in the middle. The flesh is similar to an apple in texture, and sweet, but there’s a muskiness there too — like a hint of rot, although definitely nothing on the scale of the infamous durian. It’s good, but it’s moodier than a sweet, easygoing mango or papaya.