2016
08.05

AIRPORT WARNING SIGN

SYNOPSIS:  A few brief reflections on this trip.

17,000+ islands, 300+ different ethnic minorities, 500+ languages and dialects, 5+ main religious groups — how can anyone even begin to comprehend this country?  Not a lifetime of visits or even living here permanently, can accomplish this.

Indonesia is by all measures the most diverse country I have ever been to, and one of the most intriguing ones.  From a modern metropolis like Jakarta to the backwaters of Boti — and I have not even been really off the beaten path or got even close to groups that are truly remote from civilization, such as can still be found in the jungles of Kalimantan, or on the island of Papua.VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY

2016
08.04
NATIONAL MUSEUM OLD WING WITH ELEPHANT SCULPTURE

NATIONAL MUSEUM OLD WING WITH ELEPHANT SCULPTURE

SYNOPSIS:  About a day in Jakarta.  About a visit to the National Museum and a sermon at the oldest cathedral in town.

For forty five minutes I was screening every oversized ad lining the tollway leading into Jakarta as I have been screening every road for the last six weeks all over Indonesia  not a single smoking ad!    That was unheard of and quite unexpected.  I had hoped to add an image or two to my ever-growing repertoire.  In every mid-size town I have come through from Sumatra to Timur, cigarette ads were a sure bet; you could count on them in every village, too; but not on the main road leading into the center of Jakarta.VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY

2016
08.03
BETWEEN DOOM AND GLOOM

BETWEEN DOOM AND GLOOM

CURIOSITIES:  A boring day in transiting from Sumatra to Java with nothing to report, so I will add a few curiosities here, mainly in the form of a photo essay. 

I saw some pretty funny signs and a few other things I photographed just because they caught my attention for one reason or another.

I also became completely fascinated by all the smoking ads I saw plastered everywhere and am posting some of them here.  Smoking is a national problem and instead of combatting it  I saw a single public anti-smoking ad and one video campaign at the airport  smoking ads are using everything from sex appeal to macho imagery with interestingly an all-Western cast.VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY

2016
08.02
BEGGER - MUSICIAN

BEGGER – MUSICIAN

SYNOPSIS:  About a Zoo, a Museum, a Fort, and a bit more of Bukittingi.

The forces of nature spoke loud and clear:  On Tuesday and Thursday the weather was nice.  On Wednesday and Friday  both of the days which I had set aside for paragliding were cloudy, windy and unsuitable for that sort of activity.  I was deeply disappointed.  I had come so close!

Town still had a few things to offer:  There was a modest local history museum, a zoo, the remains of a Dutch fortress and there is always a stroll in the market if you have nothing else to do. 

The zoo was advertised in a nice, flashy poster.VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY

2016
08.01
BILLY AND HIS WIFE

BILLY AND HIS WIFE

SYNOPSIS:   In pursuit of more traditional crafts.  About textiles and a music performance.  A visit at my guide’s home.  About a girl who needs medical help.

Two nights in a row I visited a small performance hall in Bukittingi in which given at least 10 visitors in attendance nightly performances of martial arts and music were presented by a different crews of dancers and musicians.  Going twice was a good idea only when you have a point of reference do you know good from bad…  One night was definitely heads and shoulders above the other even though similar pieces were performed.VIEW PHOTOS AND READ THE WHOLE STORY