Many cities in the world have a bridge as a tourist attraction. There is the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the Tower Bridge in London just to name three of the many we all know. Today, let me introduce you to one more: Jambatan Ampera or Ampera Bridge if you want it translated.
I agree that it really isn't in the same category as the other bridges we know but it seems to be REALLY FAMOUS in these parts. Whenever I meet somebody new and they find out that we're expats here, one of their first questions is going to be "Have you been to Jambatan Ampera?" If I meet Indonesians while outside of Indonesia and they find out I live in Palembang, "Oh wow! Have you been to Jambatan Ampera?" Local tourists from Sumatra and other islands in Indonesia actually, come to Palembang to go take a look at this bridge and enjoy some 'fresh' air at the park next to it.
I've been here for close to 10 months now and only just decided that I should go to Jambatan Ampera. My driver was very proud to drive me there and show me around. He did make a wrong turn and we didn't end up at that park so things were much more interesting.
Under the bridge is a wholesale market. In the past, Chinese were not allowed to own any land so they built their houses over the Musi River and then traded on the banks. This has now become a major wholesale market.
And here's an idea of what the 'fresh' river breezes would have smelt like:
These children are playing right next to the scene from the photo above.
I can't help but think how dirty, stinky and probably diseased this area must be and then impose my set of standards on these happy kids (they were squealing with delight with each dive into that water). More often, I don't know what to think. Yes, they should know better and not pollute the water that their kids play in. C'mon, their outhouse is RIGHT THERE.
Finally, here is a photo of the houses along the banks and the pollution in the background.
I enjoyed my trip to Jambatan Ampera even though my driver was apologetic that I didn't get to the park. I'm not here to see a park. Its the local lifestyle and day to day goings on that I'm interested in.