The Jakarta that greeted Ann Soetoro and her son was a tapestry of villages — low-rise and sprawling — interwoven with wooded areas, paddy fields and marshland. Narrow alleys disappeared into warrens of tile-roofed houses in the rambling urban hamlets called kampungs. Squatter colonies lined the canals, which served as public baths, laundry facilities and sewers, all in one. During the long rainy season from November through March, ca nals overflowed, saturating cardboard shanties and flooding much of the city. Residents traveled mostly on foot or by bicycle or bicycle-propelled rickshaws calledbecaks. Power outages were common. There were so few working phones that it was said that half the cars on the streets were ferrying messages from one office to the next.