Tangkuban Perahu is an active volcano that is about a two hours’ drive from where I live. It is about 30km north of Bandung, and it is a hub for local merchants. The shot above is of all of the shops, both retail and food, that line the northernmost part of the trail. There are at least five times as many shops on the total site, but this shot offered the best vantage point of the shops and trail.
I shot this from the window of the bus as I traveled from Jakarta to Bandung. We, my family and friends, went to Bandung for three reasons: outlet shopping, viewing a live volcano, and watching an angklung performance. On the way up, we passed a number of rest stops, but this one came with its own masjid, or mosque. Very beautiful, for a rest stop.
Ooh, it’s nearly the end of Friday here, but it’s just beginning to be Friday where so many of my friends and family live. For Photo Friday, here’s a little reflection from my life.
If you’ve seen Mr. Bean then you know he’s unpredictable, but today he showed up in Jakarta.
Okay, so that’s not entirely true, but the mall attached to our school opened, officially, today and one of the anchor stores, Debenham’s, decorated with Mini Coopers and, apparently, Mr. Bean.
It’s definitely the weirdest school situation with which I’ve been involved.
Worked, ran on the treadmill, had a brilliant taco salad, played tennis, had heart attack when I thought Ben had lost his iPod, felt relieved when we found it, read an inspiring and challenging article, sent emails, now posting photo.
How was your day?
Oh yeah. The buildings are from Central Jakarta, outside the Grand Indonesia Mall.
That’s it. It’s Monday and I needed something that made me feel happy. Orchids make me happy. Thanks orchid.
I’m a comic geek. Not a surprising confession to most who know me, but for those who don’t know…I am a comic geek.
There’s a plaza near where I live called Plaza 88. It has the most demented sense of design I’ve ever seen. Outside the plaza are three (I think?) horses in a fountain spewing water from their noses. The horses continue inside the mall – decorative horse heads act as supports for each floor above the ground floor. There’s a deer (?) with big antlers above the entrance. There are soccer balls and basketballs all over the interior.
The stores inside the mall continue the eclectic theme with a Baskin-Robbins, a coffee shop, an illegal DVD store (which I love and frequent and feel like a giant hypocrite when I watch them), and a woodworking shop with pieces from Lombok.
So…what does this have to do with comics? Outside the mall, crawling up the wall, is Spiderman. Hulk and Superman are hanging out inside the mall, and there’s this guy, the Spiderman above, crawling up an interior wall. It looks like it was put together by children with great imaginations.
As I was leaving my apartment this morning, I looked out my window and there he was, this lone supermarket worker walking through the parking lot. Hmm…it’s almost like he knew I had to meet this challenge.
Well…it is here in Jakarta. I know that many of you are just waking up to find my post and are thinking that there’s still a day left to go. I have already worked my Friday and made it home and have been enjoying some family time for the last couple of hours.
The view below is my view down Kemang Selatan I as I near home. It’s the moment when, in my walk home, I know I’m nearly home.
He works on the corner of Kemang Selatan V. It’s a lovely little street, with little traffic. He has few teeth, but an incredible smile. I see him on my way home in the afternoon. I call out, “Selamat sore,” and he smiles this grin that makes his eyes all squinty and returns the greeting with one a little louder and more excited than mine.
We barely know each other, but I feel like we’re friends.
PHD is Pizza Hut Delivery. They are delivery only. There are Pizza Hut restaurants all over South Asia, but in Jakarta there are Pizza Hut Delivery joints that are delivery only. That sounds like a good idea, but the pizza is kind of dodgy. The all-meat pizza has “sausage” on it, but I swear it’s hot dogs. The stuffed crust is pretty good, but I’ve yet to find a really good pizza here in the Big Durian.
I do, however, love their delivery guys. They fly around Kemang Raya (for those just tuning in, that’s the big road we’ve got going on here) delivering pizza very quickly riding on this fleet of red motorcycles, as you can see above.
…actually, it’s the same pretty flowers, just from a different angle and with a bit of a different process.
What do you think?
This is an orchid. Friends of ours bought it for us. It is watered once a week and likes diffused sunlight. It may only live for a short time, but it will bring beauty and happiness while it does.
I don’t know…is there a lesson in that?
…therefore not a mistake.
This little guy was also at the Ragunan Zoo. He went missing in my files, just like the elephant from a few days ago.
I think my subconscious was trying to repress my memories of the day. I may have to go back through all my files from that day and see if there are any other animals lurking on my hard drive.
I posted this photo yesterday, but in full color. My question to you is: which looks better? Yesterday in color? Or today’s in black and white?
Btw, this is the life I’ve come to accept as my everyday life here in Jakarta. I had no expectations when I moved here, but I’ve found a routine that seems to work well enough and shows me scenes like this on my commute to and from my school.
Pretty typical scene on Kemang Raya, the big street near my house in Jakarta. Two guys on a motorcycle. A myriad of shops in the background. A small mosque (masjid). Some construction. Yup. Daily routine right there.
I don’t know how it happened. I took this photo of one of the elephants at Ragunan Zoo just over three weeks ago. Somehow, I missed this photo of an elephant. This monstrously large animal lumbered around its habitat, but I was able to shrink it down in a photo, and then it disappeared on my hard drive.
Hmm…is there a lesson in this?
Alright. After today’s post, I’ve got to start shooting, and posting, some new stuff. Here’s the end of my walk to school:
One quick note here. I love these guys. Our school has a security guard on practically every floor, and they greet me as I enter the building. I’ve struck up a bit of a rapport with a few of them, Pak Setyo especially. He and I have agreed to trade language lessons. He learns English from me, I learn Bahasa from him. It’s a nice trade-off, but I like the relationship more than the lessons. The security guards are one of the many joys of working at SPH International.
Tiga. Number three. The third part of my commute. Here it is…no words.
I met this guy coming down one of the last stretches of my commute before I turn towards my school. I think he was trying to duck out of my photo, which is why he’s nearly not in it.
…I haven’t the foggiest. The gates on yards here in South Jakarta are often pretty, sometimes elaborate, sometimes looking like they were cobbled together with what might have been a nice gate at one point and then beefed up in security by slapping barbed wire and corrugated metal on them.
This one, I thought, was pretty nice.
So…up the hill. The motorcycles, which my wife and I are now looking at purchasing, race down the hill to the school past me, the big white guy, and the guy over there on my right. He, and many others like him, moves around the city collecting anything from the garbage. Anything that’s worth keeping is kept, and all else is burned on the street when it makes too big a pile.
Then past Kemang Barat, a road that we used to walk until we knew there were other ways to get to school. It goes off to the right.
Past Barat is where the tailors and shops start up. It’s also where motorcycles, cars, and bicycles really get to interact.
Then, on past the New Zealand International School on the right and the stone lions on the left.
Then, Kemang Raya. See you tomorrow.
I take a twenty minute walk to work each day. I am going to show you my walk to work, but it’ll take a few days. It’ll also take quite a few photos. Here’s the first part. We live in an apartment complex that’s part of a much larger complex of condominiums and townhouses. We’ve got lots of security. You’ll see them soon.
We walk past our security gate and some really nice guards every morning. I used to walk with headphones in my ears all the time, but I hear, “Selamat pagi,” so often in the morning that I keep my headphones out until I’m well on my way up the hill away from home.
We’re past security and on the way to school, and so are a lot of other people. Our school is a couple of kilometers away, but another school, an Indonesian National school, is located right outside our Villas. From what I understand, this education is free, and so many students and families want their children educated that they send them to a school that is so overpopulated that they run two schools in one – one that starts at 6:30 and another that starts at 12:30. I feel hope and sadness at the same time.
I don’t know if you can see them, but the bajaj drivers are waiting for my wife and children, who drive to school, and then I start up the hill. Once I crest the hill, the rest of the walk is easy. Flower shops on the left, miscellany on the right.