Monday, August 22, 2011

Indonesia - West Timor

Went to West Timor last week for a site visit. I’m too ignorant, I thought the island is far under developing and people are still living mostly in thatched huts … Utterly wrong. The capital Kupang and other big towns were quite well established. Asphalt roads, relatively clean, all basic infrastructures are available. No shorts of hotels and restaurants. At countryside the population density is low. Majority is embracing Christianity.

The weather is dry, the land is semi arid like savannah. It is hot in the daytime but temperature drops at least 10 Celcius at night in higher altitude places like Kefamenanu. Agricultural products were scarce in the dry season.

I was told plenty of NGOs station in Kupang providing assistance such as medical and foods to the locals, but not in regular basis. The local economy is picking up since manganese mining activities kicked off 2 years ago.

Index of development in a city.

Semi arid land. Greens will sprout in the rainy season.

Traditional architecture.

Kupang town view, on the coast but very hot.

Face of local people. Our driver Yanto.

Sweet young coconut costs Rp.4000 (USD 0.45).

Monday, August 15, 2011

Scenes in Jakarta

Food pushcarts can be seen anywhere. A drastic contrast to the huge shopping malls and luxurious hotels in downtown.

Manual ferris wheel.

Street tattoo. Is it hygienic?

This Weekend in Jakarta

Too lazy to travel far from Jakarta. So I picked the National Museum which is quite close to my hotel. It comprises 2 connected buildings. The collections were quite boring… as usual and expected - textile, historical sculptures, ceramics, musical instruments etc. The tribal cultural section was quite interesting, displaying the country’s rich culture diversity. Another highlight of the collection was the skull of the Flores Man (a dwarf human) dated at around 18000 – 30000 yrs ago.

I visited the so-called China town in Jakarta, and went to the Petak Sembilan as recommended in Lonely Planet. Frankly I didn’t feel good to walk alone there. I don’t say it was disorder, but better be cautious, as per advice given by my local colleague. Though there were things/ scenes I found quite interesting for photographing, I kept my camera shielded instead.

Historical sculptures were left on the corridor and unprotected from visitors.

A tribe in Papua, strange rotan apron and the penis gourd (koteka).

Skull of Flores Man (dwarf human, about the size of 10 yr old kid nowadays).