We LOVE breakfast. Culturally speaking, “breakfast as dinner” is a strange concept. In Indonesia, a meal is not a meal until rice has been eaten. My students eat Nasi Goreng (fried rice) for every meal, it seems, and my idea of having certain foods only at certain times of the day is seen as strange.
This was my breakfast this morning – ham and egg muffins and a piece of grilled toast. The eggs are scrambled with a bit of milk and ham and dropped in muffin tins for about 17 minutes at 350 degrees. The toast is a piece of bread, buttered and grilled, as I still have not purchased a toaster here in Jakarta. Probably never will, either.
My love? Breakfast.
I took this shot at the Taman Sari Bali resort in North-western Bali. I got up hoping for a beautiful sunrise. What I got was this…not what I was looking for, but still kind of pretty. A little illumination from the sliver of sunlight.
I resolved to get to know my city a bit better. I bought a motorcycle in the early days of December, and, now that it’s finally licensed, I’ve been driving it around my neighborhood. I bought it so that I could get to and from work more easily, but it’s offered so much more than a commuter vehicle ever could.
Jakarta is an immeasurably large city. There are five areas, as far as I can tell, that actually make up the city of Jakarta: South (where I live), North, East, West, and Central. Then there are all the other towns, villages, cities that have been absorbed by the greater Jakarta area. On top of that, the council of people who plan out how the city develops seems to be non-existent. Streets start and stop, lead to suicidal corners and dead-ends, narrow to daredevil dimensions. If rhyme and reason play any part, they are a funeral dirge to the hopes of newcomers wishing to get to know their new city.
Add to all of that the “macet” (literally translated as “jammed” – referring to Jak’s horrible traffic), and buying a car was out of the question. So I bought a motorcycle. What’s great is that, in the three or four days of driving it around my neighborhood, I’ve already scouted a number of places I had no idea existed.
What you see above is an example of one of those places. I particularly love the juxtaposition of the mosque and the graffiti.
I get why Monet was inspired by these.
Pretty flower. Delicate flower.
There are two seasons in Jakarta, maybe in all of Indonesia: hot and sunny(ish – it’s not always easy to tell with the smog), and hot and rainy. The rainy season is a bit of a debate – most people have their own definition of the rainy season: oh, it’s from November to January…no, it’s from October to December…no, wait, it’s from December to March. Then, wait, it’s from March to April. No one seems to know. The consensus right now is that we’re in the rainy season. This is what the sky looks like after it rains.
Yes,it’s full colour. Yes, it looks like it’s been shoved through a filter. Not, it hasn’t been.
The technique here is to turn the camera upside-down and rest the bottom of the camera on the ceiling of the vehicle in which you’re riding. The camera is inverted. Your camera will turn everything back right-side-up afterwards.
This way, I always get the ceiling reflection and the people in the train.
This was shot on an airport transfer train of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Well, I’m not American, but every day is a good day to be thankful. Having spent my life in Canada, and just having moved to South Asia, Jakarta specifically, I have had much…more than much…for which to be thankful. My walk to and from school makes me remember that I am in a privileged spot in this city, this country really. I have a lovely, relatively un-decorated, large apartment, a beautiful family, a well-appointed job, a couple of motorcycles to buy (this week, hopefully), and a well-stocked kitchen, even though we don’t always eat at home. A ridiculously high number of people in this country don’t have that, any of that. I am colossally, universally, cosmically thankful.
This was shot, by the way, at the Ragunan Zoo back in August. If this is any indication of the massively disparate economies of this country, it cost my family 14000 Rupiah to enter this zoo. That works out to about $1.50 Canadian, or American for that matter. All four of us for $1.50.
I like the green in Indonesia. There is so much, and so little, in Jakarta. Jakarta has palm trees and greenery everywhere, but no parks, no lawns, no big green spaces. Travelling out to Yogyakarta was very refreshing – lots of rice fields and parks and green spaces.
The mountain in the one shot is Mount Merapi, Yes, the one that blows up every few years with devastating results. It’s lava and ash are what make this ground so great for growing green things. A blessing and a curse, I guess.
A sunrise might be a bit of a cliche for this challenge, but it’s what I’ve got sitting in my files and is recent…about six days old. It’s the inlet at Palu, Sulawesi. I posted another sunrise photo earlier this week, but that was taken about fifteen minutes before this one.
Just a quick one…second photo posted today…for the WordPress Photo Challenge: Geometry.
I think it’s the strange geometric shapes of rice fields that appeal to those of us foreign to Asia. The idea that someone took the initiative to re-carve the landscape to fit their needs is impressive, but it’s a little like seeing the Canadian prairies for the first time from the air in miniature.
Very visually stimulating.
This is a shot of the Prambanan Temple complex near Yogyakarta. It is part of my (adopted) country, but being both Hindu and over 1000 years old, it is foreign to me.
Maybe it’s not the most traditional silhouette, but I snapped this within minutes of the lights of the Petronas Towers, in Kuala Lumpur, going on. The evening sky served as the perfect background to the ever darkening towers.
What do you think? Does it count as a silhouette?
My family and I went on a trip with thirty (or more) of our closest new friends here in Indonesia. We travelled to Bandung, a city not too far from where we live, to visit a volcano, do some shopping, listen to some music, and have some fun. It was a good day and left me with some really happy memories. Hooray for everything, right?
These are my kids. They’re mine. They’re also my wife’s, but they’re mine. Mine, mine, mine. Until the day comes that they leave the house, decide to get married, and move far aw…nahhh…they’ll still be mine.
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.
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.
I think the implication in the challenge was to show photos that showed depth. I find that a large aperture (meaning low f value) gives a feeling of depth by blurring the background and keeping the foreground sharp.
What do you think?
There is a myth here in South Asia, the myth of the Monkey King. He was incredibly fast, amazingly powerful, and willing to learn. One of my favorite versions of the Monkey King myth is in the graphic novel American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang. In his version, the Monkey King grows from an enlightened monkey into an arrogant and destructive practitioner of god-like powers to an eventually humble devotee of the Buddha. He learns from his time trapped under a mountain that he need only accept himself for who and what he is in order to free himself from his terrible burden. He realizes that in order to be free, he must freely give his allegiance and subject himself to someone else’s will. To be a free spirit, he must freely choose to help others.
The photo, above, is of the Monkey King, or one of his many incarnations. This is the Indonesian version, who appeared in the Ramayana. He is one of many wayang that I saw at the Wayang Museum in Old Jakarta.
I’m in Kuala Lumpur. For those of you who don’t know, the photo above is of the Petronas Towers. They are at the heart of Kuala Lumpur. This city is pretty amazing. There are definitely some big high-rise canyons around here. The towers are actually mostly on their own. Not entirely, but the developers here have at least left them mostly alone, not surrounded and smothered.
Oh, and if you get the opportunity to take photos of them, hang around late enough to shoot them at night. They are magnificent.
This is what it looks like when a person – in this case, my son – merges with our pool. Well, the pool that belongs to our apartment complex here in Jakarta.
Oh, and yes, this was as fun to shoot as it looks.
Another mall. You’re going to start thinking that all I do is go to malls, but you’d be wrong. I don’t. I also go to school, donut shops, and banks. Although, all of those could also be in malls. So…maybe all I do is go to malls.
I chose to go with growth of mind and intellect. This spot has been featured before, a little over a week ago, by a reader. Today, on my walk home from basketball at the school, I found another person reading in the same spot. Perhaps I should ask why that spot is so perfect for reading.
I love that he’s reading R.L. Stine. It’s not the highest level reading, but it’s reading.