Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Go fly a kite

It's common for people to describe Jakarta's weather as having two seasons - the "wet" and the "dry". In reality, it can rain any time of the year, so it's difficult to define when one season ends and the next begins. However, the easiest way to define the seasons here in Jakarta is to call them the "wet" season and the "kite" season. You can tell when most of the seasonal rains have disappeared when the skies are full of homemade kites fashioned from bamboo satay skewers and any kind of paper or plastic sheeting close at hand. Some fishing line or, more often, a fragile cotton line completes the project.

On any given day during the drier season you'll see kites flying all over Jakarta, at various altitudes, and as you drive around the sprawling metropolis you can count literally hundreds (and probably thousands, if you had the inclination to continue counting) of stranded kites hanging forlornly from trees, electrical wiring, television antennas and roofs.

Each weekend I recover several kites, some of which have been lovingly decorated, from my roof, upstairs verandah, and water tank tower, for redistribution to the kids who live in the adjacent kampung. Within 5 minutes the same kites are flying once again, and usually by the end of the day a couple of the kites have been marooned once again either on, or within view, of our house.

The wet season has gone, long live the kite season!


Blogger undercovercookie said...

but if you look, only boys fly kites. I've never seen a girl flying one.1

4:29 PM  

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