New York is known throughout the world as the Big Apple. I'm not sure whether it's for its sweetness, juiciness, or tendency to turn brown on the slightest contact with air. Whatever the reason I feel that Jakarta deserves its own nickname too. It is just as big and is quite the metropolis in southeast Asia. I have therefore decided to call it the Big Durian in homage to the local pungent delicacy fruit that locals love and foreigners loathe with a passion: the first impression is the smell (or perhaps in the case of Jakarta the haze of pollution on the horizon); at first touch it's a hard and spiky, seemingly impenetrable and not worth the bother to investigate further; once you've finally opened it up you discover that most of it is comprised of inedible, useless ballast with only a small percentage of fleshy goodness; and when you finally get to taste it then it's a 50/50, Marmite-like epiphany of either love or hate. Jakarta is a lot of work and you may not even like it at the end of it.
|Is it a spiky, love-it-or-hate-it tropical fruit? or is it Indonesia's much-maligned capital?|