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Jakarta: 3 reasons why to wear a mask

A couple of days ago I arrived at my friend’s house in Tangerang. Wednesday morning we took a train downtown. Here are 3 reasons why to wear a mask in Jakarta.

While heading downtown …

I asked my friend: „Why is nearly everyone here in this train wearing a mask?“
Mariska confidently answered, „Anna, there are two reasons for that: The first one is the poor air of Jakarta, the second is fashion.“

Why to wear a mask in Jakarta

Personally, the first reason was the one and only reason to wear such a monstrosity on your face and Jakarta’s air is indeed not known as the best. But the air in the train wagon we sat in was fresh and cold, with either incorporated fans or air-condition inside.

At the next stop two young girls entered the train. I was sitting on a bench next to my friend Mariska, when both girls placed themselves in front of us, standing and talking to each other. The girl on the right hand side had her hair tied together and she was wearing a simple monochrome mask.

Her friend instead, standing on the left, was wearing her mask on top of her headscarf. When she noticed me watching, she shortly turned her head into my direction while continuing talking to her friend. This little movement of hers, as a result created a hilarious picture to me:

I faced a yellowish Angry Bird wiggling and talking to me through a moving mask.

I scanned my environment and felt, that the variety and colors of all mask models around me existed to an extent I could not fully capture at a first glance. While I was still wondering how people could be able to communicate, because the mask digests nearly half of their voices’ volume, I understood that by now I must have completely arrived in Jakarta. The second reason must be this trending fashion.

All of a sudden a nasty smell spread the room’s air and the ones not wearing a mask, including me, started to pull their shirts up over their noses, or use their hands to quickly cover their airways. My friend laughed at me and said jokingly, “Haha, this is probably the another reason for people wearing masks!”

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