Photo courtesy: J.J.H.G. Janneke Van Dijk — Wikimedia Commons

Years after I left Bali, I often wished I’d seen more of Indonesia. It wasn’t until well over a decade later, I landed in Jakarta with my nine-year-old daughter, planning to tour the whole of Java.

On our first morning, the azan greeted us. While beautiful, the call to prayer at four o’clock in the morning was not for me. Still, the thought of being in the second largest Muslim country in the world, was a new experience.

Jakarta soon dispelled any myths about Muslim women. There were no women covering their faces, though many, but not all, wore headscarves. We noticed their western clothing as they whizzed past on scooters, meandering through the endless traffic.

On our way to Tamin Mini, an outdoor museum of sorts, we walked beside a murky canal when my daughter pointed. There was mother rat, a big healthy mama, with her babies trotting behind her on a cement ledge. My daughter was terrified because this was her first trip to Asia and I could see the green escalating up her neck as she gripped my hand.

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