Hang Out and Have Stupid Fun

Rainy afternoon, Starbucks Cafe terrace, Plaza Senayan. Sitting outdoor, full ashtray and half full cup of espresso. I can't remember what she's having, maybe some bottled fruit juice as usual or her favorite hot beverage which is hot chocolate. As always, we ended up here or some other cafe after thinking of where to go simply because of the lack of some public facilities like park benches in the whole city.

This then led to this stupid deep conversation about surrendering to consumerism and getting trap in the segmented niche of a black and white area for the simple pleasure of just hanging out to have stupid fun. "living between two lines" she said, I can't really understand what that actually means. Is it because of the lack of public space provided by park benches where you could just sit alone for hours with your thoughts or to take long walks on the wide clean sidewalk for hours till you return to the same exact spot you started hours ago?. Whatever it is, for sure our beloved city of Jakarta doesn't have either one.

Could this be the reflection of a 3 C's principle most Singaporean believe? Credit Card, Condo and Car?. Hell, at least Singapore has plenty of park benches and sidewalks in the midst of promenades of endless shopping malls. Options then are available whether you want to stay outside or go inside. Smoking publicly is a problem, but I think I could still live with that. Well, maybe I can't, but then there is still Kuala Lumpur. There are plenty of park benches and clean side walk there too. New York would be an ideal place for park benches and long walks but it's just too far away to think about Central Park, Greenwich Village and SoHo.

I don't know where can she find her park bench in this city other than some long wooden benches you would see in some street - stalls selling cigarettes. I don't know how can she finds her sanctuaries with her own thoughts thinking outloud and smiling within. Staying in the grey area observing from the outside to seek something out of the box. Maybe that's what she meant by "living between two lines", preferring the grey area instead of the black or white segmented niche dictated by a consumptive society.

In the mean time, a few tables from us there is a good looking woman in red turtleneck sweater sitting by herself with a cup of something in front of her. She seems to use the Starbucks' chair as her own private bench escaping to her own calm oasis and completely oblivion to the surrounding chaos of traffic noise from the street. A private calm oasis that cost her a cup of something from Starbucks, not to mention something inside the branded shopping bag lying next to her.

Urban Planning

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