As part of the research we were doing a couple of weeks ago, we went up to a neighborhood in North Jakarta called Muara Angke. It’s the fishing part of town, right next to the water, and the first thing we saw — and smelled — when we stepped out of the taxi were long rows of fish drying in the sun.
Notice the trashunder the tables. With its location on Jakarta Bay, Muara Angke is the unlucky recipient of tons of garbage from the rivers that flow through the city. A portion of the town is actually built out over the bay on a crazy system of stilts and improvised walkways, but there’s so much garbage everywhere I often couldn’t tell where the land stopped and the water began.