Indonesia’s Top Model

Top ModelJakarta has no shortage of “super mega” shopping malls. They are like small cities and attract shoppers from all over Asia. Places like Mangga Dua are like Costco on steroids.

Everything for sale in this massive complex is sold in bulk at wholesale prices and even importers from other shopping havens like Bangkok come here to take advantage of the deals.

Another mega mall is Blok M.

I visited Blok M to take in this vast gathering place where throngs of people not only shop but eat, socialize, listen to music, play music, and gather to pass away free time.

I took a seat at one of the many food stalls street side. Ordered a plate of nasi goreng with a raspberry fanta and soaked up the ever-building chaos around me.The guy on the loudspeaker promoting his 70% off sale competing with his neighbor, also on a loudspeaker, promoting his own 70% off sale. The car horns, the neon, the heat, the never-ending crush of people all conspiring to remove any possibility for relaxation.

I ate quickly and went through the automatic glass doors to an area filled with conditioned air. A place of quiet, relatively speaking, and comparative peace.

In this age of competitive reality TV shows in America it is not surprising to find that some of the concepts have journeyed abroad.

Facing me was a stage and runway where a shooting of Indonesia’s Top Model was set to begin. With camera ready and seat taken I was all set for my post nasi goreng entertainment.

The first contestant came down the runway strutting his stuff, yes I said his, with all the confidence in the world. Hair gelled in a spiky punk-like fashion. He was 4 years old. The second wore a pink dress and although adorable she lacked the swagger of the first. She was older by a full year on her competition and this seemed to diminish her cuteness.

If your gauge is crowd applause!

The parade went on for some time. Panicky mothers climbed onto the stage to retrieve discombobulated youngsters and calm those freaked out by the crowd, the lights, the tv cameras, and of course the celebrity it all brought to bear.

It was not what I was expecting but I learnt long ago that at those times when you assume one thing; don’t be surprised if something completely out of left field happens.

It’s a slice of life!

For photos of Indonesia click here.

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8 thoughts on “Indonesia’s Top Model

  1. I can totally relate to your stories as I grew up in the Philippines. Very well familiar with mega malls, food courts, hawkers trying to lure you in their shops with their deep discounts and the occasional fashion show or beauty contest in the middle of the entertainment center.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Engaging post! If I have to share my thoughts here, I honestly disapprove of having kids participate in such beauty contests. They are too young to wear heavy make-up as adults, and they are all beautiful with their innocence, not with their premature growing up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi, I remember modeling for a cookbook at that age, I asked my mom where was the money? No response. Hmmm!
    Oh my gosh where did the time go. That great Indonesian heritage is such a blessing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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