Ships at Sunda Kelapa, Old Port Jakarta / by Jessica Lee

She was born on a brightened pier to a gypsy mother and a bucket of tears

I've always been drawn to ships and sail boats, even at a young age before I learned how to sail.

These photos were taken at Sunda Kelapa, which is the Old Port in Jakarta. Though these photos are from almost a year ago during my trip to Indonesia, looking at these pictures brings back memories of a sticky hot summer, dust between my toes and the taste of Nasi Goreng.

I hired a local paddler for $3 CAD, which is probably a rip off for me since you can get someone to pedal you on a bike a fair distance for $1. But I think I was feeling less talkative that day and more contemplative, so I just said yes to his offer of $3.

He paddled in between the bigger ships and showed me around the port.

It was interesting to see how others live. I'm trying to imagine myself living a life at sea. I think I would enjoy it, but I also think it would change my life forever, as all good adventures should.

As always, here's an obligatory feet photo:

You know how there is graffiti on the streets of just about every city?

This is Jakarta's version of it.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be to balance on a boat while spraying a can of paint.

Here are some majestic big ships.

A rickety boat.

And workers balancing on the sides of the boat.

It was strange to tour the port and see the workers living their lives. I saw someone shave and get out of a shower (he was wide out in the open okay?) and realized the contrasts between first world life and East Asia are huge.

In developed countries, we have expensive gyms which a large population use (and pay for) to keep physically fit and to shape their physiques, while in Indonesia, the workers are naturally fit from exertion and manual labour. It makes me wonder about the actual need for modern gym equipment. Gym equipment seems a little like excess given that you don't actually need machines to keep you physically in good health.

Isn't there a little irony in that manual labour in North America is frowned upon, "get a white-collar job", says everyone, yet the white-collar folk regularly pay money to do manual labour aka "work out"?

I am not saying that we should not get white-collar jobs. Maybe we need to rethink the whole "I need to sign up for a gym" mindset and just regularly volunteer time to help with manual labour instead.

Anyway. There's my thought for the day- all inspired by a half-naked, ripped Indonesian man. Enjoy the rest of the photos. And leave comments!