Monday, August 31, 2009

D-Day in Bali

... and then they arrived.

Tulamben, North-East Coast of Bali, August 2009.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Swinging baby...

... with grandfather.
Our street, Jakarta, August 2009.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Heavy vehicle

Cirebon, West-Java, June 2009.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunshine under water

Ahmed, Bali, August 2009.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Celebrating iron day in a car

Pagerwesi or 'iron fence' day is celebrated every 210 days (ie lunar year) and everything made of iron is decorated and offerings are being provided to keep the universe in balance. Further, iron is seen as a barrier against evil. Our car, naturally an iron car, had its offerings on the bonnet. As shown above you may spot the banana in the basket.

Below the banana is learning to fly. Not shown is that the banana landed on a biker. Unfortunately her month wasn't open.

Sanur, Bail, August 2009.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eggs for the army

Give peace a chance:
Use eggs as weapons!

Northeastern part of Bail, August 2009.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Walking the pig

Somewhere in the North-East of Bali, August 2009.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Defreezing a gecko

A Sunday tropical story

After opening the fridge to get some eggs out for a wonderful Sunday brunch we noticed a gecko on one of the eggs. Usually geckos which are in abundance in our home are somewhat green. This fellow was more grayish with eyes closed making it clear that it spent at least the whole night in the fridge. We observed the gecko for a little while and then it opened its eyes and the rescue began. We brought it out into more temperate climate—around 30 degrees Celsius currently—to defreeze the gecko. It started to open its mouth and its tail made first moves. We did our best in providing water; we even got a fresh mosquito for it. Moreover, we made sure that ants got not too interested in the now light greenish body. We fought for two hours but lost the battle. Now we check the whole fridge before going to bed and stop arguing in front of an open fridge if it would be better to have wine, beer or whatever with the dinner.

Yesterday at home, Jakarta, August 2009.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rejecting evolution: Mola Mola

Since having seen Ocean Sun Fishes or Mola Mola in aquariums of Barcelona, Lisbon and Monterey I always wanted to dive with them. The place to go between July and September is Nusa Penida, an island close to Bali. Last year it worked out and this year again. Mola Mola somehow rejected evolution and it feels as diving with a weird kind of dinosaur. The Sun Fish above measured about 2.50 meter in length.

Nusa Penida, August 2009.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bali's garden eels

Tulamben, North-East Coast of Bali, August 2009.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Our world!

Child beggar having a pause...

Jakarta, July 2009.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tau-tau effigies overlooking the land and the alive

In Tana Toraja rocks used for burials can be located on the fields, in the forest, or be high cliffs. People buried high up in cliffs are people with statute or noblemen. The graves are chiseled out of the cliff, accessed through bamboo scaffoldings to put the coffin in, the door to the grave is closed and the scaffoldings removed. When the rocks are accessible, the doors are locked with padlocks to prevent burial goods from being stolen.

People of high birth often choose to add a tau-tau on the cliff where they are buried. A tau-tau is an effigy of the dead person, and reminds of her/him. Big buffalo sacrifices are to be made (at least 24 buffaloes) for acquiring the right to have a tau-tau.

Royal graves in Suaya (close to Makale) with very old tau-taus.
Tau-taus from Londa below.
Below tau taus from Kete Kesu (south of Rantepao).

Unfortunately, many tau-taus have been stolen to be sold in art galleries. Most of the accessible tau-tau are now “behind bars”.

Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, May 2009.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rafting Bukit Lawang

Rafting was the prize after a good hike through the rain forest. The biggest reward, however, remain the orang-utans...

Bukit Lawang, August 2009.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Healing lady

Jamu ladies can be seen everywhere in Java. Jamu ladies practice traditional herbal medicine with recipes handed down from generation to generation. Roots, leaves, grasses, stalks, tree barks are mixed together, steamed, boiled to produce liquids used for all kind of treatments. Some may even bring relief to this worker from Sunda Kelapa after long hours of working in the harbor.

Want to know more about Jamu, ask Lita.

Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta, July 2009.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Selamat pagi, Mister

Lost the game. Sometimes I am damn slow.
Cirebon, West-Java, June 2009.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kampungblaster for the kids

Cirebon, West-Java, June 2009.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

R.I.P the Torajan way

In Tana Toraja there are several methods of burial: the coffin is being (i) put into a cave, (ii) placed into a carved stone grave, (iii) hung on a cliff, (iv) placed into a house or (v) the deceased baby is being buried in a tree. The latter methods allows for further growth in the afterlife. Buried are some of the possessions the deceased may need in the afterlife.

The wealthy are often buried in a stone grave carved out of a rocky cliff. By visiting Tana Toraja people can often been seen hammering into such cliffs, often they have to do it for months depending on the size which can reach living room sizes.

Pictures above and below show hanging coffins. When a coffin is broken and the bones have to be moved, an animal (mostly a pig) must be slaughtered before been alowed to touch the bones.

The picture below is showing a mass grave with possessions of the less wealthy.
Wood-carved effigies, called tau tau, are usually placed in the cave looking out over the land.
A rante is a burial ground (shown below) where funeral ceremonies take place. During the ceremony, the dead person remains on a provisional house built for the occasion. The megaliths of this rante (in the village of Bori) have been here for at least 600 years. When a family wants to bring a megalith to be allowed to use a rante, at least 20 buffaloes have to be slaughtered.
Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, May 2009.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Bed in the woods

Orang-utan in her nest.

Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, August 2009.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Take away list

Please click on the picture above and you will see all the items you can buy from this hotel room in Semarang. As TV, fridge and bed are not mentioned it seems that these items are free. Enjoy the shopping...

Semarang, Central-Java, June 2009.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Post office Semarang

Colonial heritage.
Semarang, Central-Java, June 2009.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How to clean a house

Jakarta, June 2009.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

21st century fashion

Solo, Central Java, April 2009.

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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Men of the forest

The village of Bukit Lawang, close to Medan in Northern Sumatra is famous for its orang-utan rehabilitation center. However, the Bohorok rehabilitation center is not operating any more in its old function but people continue to care for about 30 semi-wild apes living in its vicinity.

Young orang-utans are often kept as pets and once grown up most ‘owners’ don’t know what to do with them. In the last three decades in Indonesia an estimated 2,000 orang-utans have been confiscated or turned in by private owners to rehabilitation camps. In rehabilitation centers orphaned organ-utans have to relearn skills to survive alone in the forest.

Orang-utans are the largest apes living in trees and the only apes living outside of Africa. The word orang-utan derives from Malay and means person of the forest and explains very well how close these apes are to humans. Some recent research is even suggesting that orang-utans are closer related to humans than chimpanzees. By observing these forest people and how they interact with us many similarities become obvious. Many of the orang-utans are only a few kilometers away and some of the usual suspects can be found within 3-4 hours time.

Orang-utans give birth in their nests high up in trees after nine months. The reproduction rate is slower than humans as they give birth only every 5-7 years after the offspring is able to live on its own. Suma standing below is in her seventh month.

Sandra with her killing eye lashes (click on the picture below) eating one of our rambutans.
No make-up needed...Baby orang-utan playing in the trees.

We visited Bukit Lawang in 1992 for the first time but the cottage we stayed in before was washed away when a flash flood hit the town on 2 November 2003 causing more than 200 (human) deaths. The river is now a bit tamed around town. Gone are the times when people could jump into the water right next to their cottages…

In Bukit Lawang day trips and week-long trips can be booked, some may even bring people closer to the rhinos and tigers which also could be found in Leuser National Park.

Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, August 2009.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Two of a kind

Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, August 2009.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Rural biker

Somewhere in East Java, April 2009.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Street attactions

Jakarta's streets don't invite for walks as everything comes to you. A shop rarely stays longer than 20 minutes before it's moved to the next tree. Any need for combs, barrettes and clips?

Our lovely street, Jakarta, June 2009.

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