The Power of 10 Million Smiles
Some cities are saddled with the worst of reputations. The mere mention of their names can make travellers shake their head and remark, “Nah, I’d rather visit the dentist”. For many, Jakarta is one of those places. So, it’s not surprising that when Jakarta popped up on Expedia’s Vacation Video Guide schedule, there wasn’t a stampede here at the TM office of writers offering to take on the script writing duties.
As a long-time lover of all things Indonesia, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited and worked in the Indonesian capital numerous times over the years, and promised my skeptical colleagues that this video would have overturn their negative preconceptions. Sure, the city suffers some of the worst traffic congestion in the world, its streets turn into canals every monsoon and it’s just about as crowded and mind-numbingly noisy as a city can be. But there’s an undeniable magic to this place which gets under the skin of those who linger.
“This is going to be a challenging shoot, but concentrate on the smiles,” I briefed our intrepid cameraman, Jon Reid, “because it’s those smiles which hold the city together”. A few weeks later Jon’s hard drive arrived in the mail, filled with fabulous landmarks and street scenes, but most importantly, filled with those beautiful Jakarta smiles I’ve come to love.
So come and check out our new vacation guide to Jakarta. It’s certainly surprised a few of the doubters here at TM, and it might just do the same for you. That’s the magic of ten million smiles.