Here in Indonesia, I live in a bit of a bubble. Less than a kilometer away are the huts and swamps and broken down walls and children playing shoeless in the street, but I live on the 50th floor a building across from a mega-mall and within walking distance of a golf course.
Generally, I like my bubble. It’s comfortable. Other times, I have an overwhelming urge to break out of my bubble. I venture out to the warungs, or street food stands, to buy roasted corn. I take my motorbike on drives through the dirt streets and over the speed bumps of the villages. I shop for my green beans at a traditional market.
This is a part of life that has gone majorly undocumented thus far, because I’ve always been nervous of being an intruder. As my time in Indonesia starts to wind down, though, I’ve realized how little of “real Indonesia” I have pictures of! I wanted to share normal life, too – not just the trips we took for holidays or the fancy nights out.
My friend and I recently took a few hours on a random holiday to drive into the surrounding kampungs, or neighborhoods, and visit a market. We were scared at first of intruding, of looking like eager tourists with a camera obsession. On the contrary, when I asked a lady for permission to take her picture, the floodgates opened! Everyone in the area called to us, asking us to come over and photograph them and their goods. We had a great time, and I think they did too!