Curung Cilember near Jakarta
This panorama was taken during my business trip to Jakarta in March this year.
When I arrived in Jakarta I was quickly overwhelmed with the amount of traffic, the pollution, the impact humans made on the environment here, leaving very little room for the nature to thrive.
Before visiting, I learned that it was home to over 28 million people... but unofficially that number could actually be closer to 35 million.
To put it into perspective: take the New York City metropolitan area, shrink its size twenty eight times (28x !!!), and add extra 50 to 80% of its population to that newly created area. Voila!
After a week of noisy and smelly motorbikes driving just about everywhere - including the walkways, I needed a break; I needed to catch my breath again. It almost felt as if I was staying underwater for the whole time holding my breath, feeling as if my lungs were about to explode from holding it for too long.
But where to go? Where to escape the endless river of motorbikes? Well, the great thing about the nature is that humans actually have to put a lot of effort to modify the natural environment in order to suit their needs and to keep it that way. The nature is constantly trying to take back what was taken away from it, and you can certainly see it in the tropics. If we humans, have suddenly disappeared from Earth, it wouldn't take long before the nature took over, and only a decade later one could hardly recognize the places humans used to exist in.
And so there I was - only few kilometers away from one of the busiest metropolises in the world, standing right in the middle of what looked like a totally different world, with thick rainforest - with just about each and every shade of green there exists, beautiful rippling waterfalls, birds chirping, and the most beautiful butterflies you can think of - gently gliding through the air...
What a feast to the senses and soul!
Enjoy the views...
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Asia is the biggest continent on Earth, a darling little gem floating around in space.
Hm, what is Asia? Who's in on it?
China and India are safe bets for Asian nations. Korea, Japan, Thailand, you're fine.
Europe? No. Europe would sort of be on the "Asian continent" if not for those pesky Ural mountains dividing things up in the middle, and then also the whole lineage of kings and wealth and nations and the EU and all that "give me my respect" stuff.
Russia would probably be happiest as its own continent, so for now we'll leave it in "Eurasia" and just hope the natural gas supplies keep flowing.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are dang close to Asia, but politically they show up in "Middle East" news stories an awful lot. Verdict: Eurasia.
I guess we'll actually have to consider everything from Turkey on eastward to be "Eurasian", although the moniker seems overlappitory of the territory.
The Asian economy is now officially raging like a wild furnace of lava that consumes everything in its path. Japan has had the largest individual economy in Asia for decades, but it is forecast that both India and China will outstrip Japan within twenty years.
China is the largest holder of United States debt and is positioned to become the world's next superpower, provided that Godzilla doesn't return and decide to stomp everybody back into the Shang Dynasty.
Text by Steve Smith.