Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blackout in Jakarta

As I got back from work at around 7pm I passed through streets without lights. Usually around this time you would get the full mosque loudspeaker rap with 'Allah the super great' but today it was spiritual silence. What a rare and beautiful moment. Mohammad, I am sure, would have loved it. 

Jakarta, September 2009.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kaki lima or food everywhere

Jakarta, (street I use every day when walking back home), August 2009.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Tricycle shock absorber

Cirebon, West Java, July 2009.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

African sunset

Chobe, Botswana, September 2009.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bloody Pussy Cat

Pussy after a meal.

Chobe, Botswana, September 2009.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Elephant ears with lion

Elephant in water with lion on top.
Shinde, Okavango Delta, Botswana, September 2009.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stony beach

Cassis, France, September, 2009.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

French stereotypes

Meyrargues, Provence, September 2009.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Newly wed umbrella dance

Aix en Provence, France, September 2009.

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Monday, September 21, 2009


Meyrargues, Provence, September, 2009.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to repair a tricycle?

Jakarta, April 2008.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Balut: All you need before a good night's sleep

As Ramadan is reaching its heights and the chanting, preaching and recitation sessions become overwelming (ie disturbingly noisy) I often remember a missing, more earthly shout from Manila. Every night, yes, every night this fellow came along shouting 'balut' to indicate what he wanted to sell. 

Guess what, he sold many of these magical eggs called balut, making many people very happy.

Manila, November 2008.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Spiritual guardians

Jakarta, March 2009.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Morning ritual: Security guard training

Satpam training, one of the usual sightings in the morning hours in Jakarta's business district. 

March 2009.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bamboo transporter

Close to Wonosobo, Central Java, June 2009.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Modern Javanese beauty

... or better tradional
Jakarta, July 2009.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Portuguese galleon in Sunda Kelapa

The first European fleet, four Portugese ships from Malacca, arrived in 1513 in Sunda Kelapa (Jakarta's earliest name and nowadays the name of its old harbor) on their way to the Spices Islands. In 1522 the Hindunese Kingdom of Sunda signed a peace agreement with Portugal by allowing the Portuguese to build a port with fort to contain the growing power of the Muslim rulers of Demak from Central Java. A few years later in 1527 the Portugese lost their outpost as the Kingdom of Sunda lost a battle against Fatahillah, a Sumatran Malay warrior from Demak. The new rulers renamed the city to Jayakarta...

By digging in old Sunda Kelapa very recently a stone relief was found. The stone relief showing a Portugese galleon is now resting in the garden of the Stadhuis which serves as Jakarta's historical museum. Now one can hope that this treasure will find a better place than just being stored in the garden exposed to pollution, heat, and shiting birds. It's remarkable how history can be treated.

As I am not an expert on galleons it may be worth learning more about the origin of this stone relief. Any help out there?

Jakarta, March 2009. 

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Javanese countryside street scene

Somewhere in East Java, March 2009.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Asmat fun

Beriten, Asmat, Papua, April 2009. 

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Petronas Towers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, January 2009.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Work, rest, work, rest...

Malang, East Java, March 2009.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Room with a view

North Jakarta, August 2009.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Toraja dumpsite?

In Tana Toraja the alive live with the dead and life is considered to be only a preparation to death. Certainly a wise observation. Anyway by visiting graves many earthy items can be spotted ranging from plastic bags to plastic water bottles. Offerings for the dead or transfering garbage to them?
Similar ancestor cults exist throughout South-East Asia, in particular among the Strait Chinese.

Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, May 2009.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Offerings to the dead: send flames onto the family

The Chinese do a lot of offerings to the deceased. These offerings are made by burning fake money notes, known as hell money but also paper versions of what the deceased enjoyed on Earth or what the ancestor would have loved to have. Some families burn paper houses, cars, credit cards, flight tickets to give to their dead relatives. The Chinese feel that these offerings reach the ghosts and help them live comfortably in their new world.

Sometimes they also burn 'themselves' as seen below to foster the continuing relation between the alive and the deceased.
Malacca, Malaysia, July 2009.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Trash collector

Jakarta, July 2009.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Traditional Javanse beauty

Woman in sarong and kebaya (traditional blouse-dress).

Jakarta, July 2009.

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Parking assistance

Services you might not have asked for but which always come to you. 

Cirebon, May 2009.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Baby grave: how the dead grow with the alive

Losing a child is probably one of the worst kind of losses anyone could possibly go through. The way Torajan people bury babies may offer some comfort. Babies less than six month old are buried in big trees. A square hole is opened in the tree trunk and the little corpse put inside. The trees must have a white sap, so that the dead babies can feed on them like on breast milk. So can they, who were denied the opportunity to grow on themselves, grow with the tree that carries them.
A tree can have as many as 20 graves in it. A special ceremony has to be performed for such a funeral. The food cooked has to be eaten at the burial place, and will not be distributed to outsiders.

Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, May 2009.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mystical Cirebon

Cirebon, West-Java, June 2009.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Kaki dua

However, most 'food walks' have five legs...

Jakarta, May 2009.

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