Dry to the bone


Technically, the rainy season in Indonesia is from November through April/May. That doesn’t mean there is no rain from June-October, just that there is supposed to be more of it from November-May.

Jakarta, for example, and most of west Java, have seen more than their share of precipitation this year, it seems. The capital has been battling flooding for two months, with many streets and sections of town under 2-3 feet of water at times. There are about eight rivers that flow through or around Jakarta, and every year they overflow their banks. Of course, it doesn’t help that many people build makeshift homes on the river banks. In addition, the city’s sewer system often is choked by garbage dumped into the streets and washed away, causing flooding when the pipes become clogged.

But Jakarta and Java are a long way from Batam, where rain has not been a problem since mid-January. The last rain we had in Batam was on Jan. 12, when torrential downpours flooded the Nagoya business district, even topping the curbs in kampung bule (bar district) and flooding the insides of some of the bars. That was 53 days ago.

According to one Web source, however, this dearth of wetness may not be that unusual. Historically, Batam gets only 2-3 inches of rain monthly in the first three months of the year. But almost two months without even a drizzle is unusual, according to long-time expat residents.

Not that I’m complaining. The days and evenings have been remarkably pleasant  – breezy, low 80s during the day and breezy, low 70s at night.  Lots of sunshine but not too hot. Very pleasant, really.

Since Batam relies on two reservoirs for its drinking water, and since those reservoirs rely on rain for replenishment, I wonder how this mini-drought is affecting water supplies. Nothing in the local papers, as yet.

Of course, now that I’ve put this down in writing, I’m sure the “I just washed my car” syndrome will bring a deluge soon. And the hot and dry season is just around the corner, so better enjoy the weather while it lasts.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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