Musim Hujan: The Season of Love

Ah yes, the rainy season in Indonesia. Flowers and fruit suddenly hang off the trees in abundance, the air is cleaner and more comfortable, the earth seems suddenly more alive. It’s like a tropical version of Bambi, Disney love ala equitorial island.
But instead of cute little bunny rabits and shy deer, we have… toads. Huge, loud, and bountiful toads.
The sun set last night, a light rain continuing to fall into the evening. It finally subsided, leaving the world of Kukusan damp and cool, in a deep darkness that seemed to absorb all light and sound. Until, all of a sudden, out of this deep calm, rose an orchestra of chirps, croaks and near growls as thousands of toads began emerging from wherever they had been hiding. I walked out of my kos, and the sound reverberated off the walls like a locomotive that never finished passing. At the bottom of the stairs, filling the road and the yard, was an orgy of toad passion, swarms of them ribbitting in passion and ecstacy, ambling clumsily across the pavement or falling into the grass, flinging their massive, gnarley bodies into crowds of their comrades, hoping to land on top of a willing partner.
rain season bug.jpg
And then there are these lovely little fellows, the large-winged, blind-flying insects that have suddenly become ubiquitous. If my sources are correct, they have a life span of about two hours, which is apparently enough time to find a mate, make a whole bunch of babies, fly around and annoy me, crashing into my face once in a while, and then seemingly die in mid-air so that their big wings are scattered all over the floor.
One final note of rainy season wildlife in Jakarta: The gutters, previously dry and supposedly comfortable, are now filled with water on a daily basis. The rats that had been living there, peacefully out of sight, have now taken to the streets in protest. Some the size of a large cat, they are not nearly as shy as one would hope – people living at the street level don’t leave their doors open, anyway…

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