Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Night Butterflies

Still from the same place I wrote about in yesterday's post ... Here, the butterflies don't only fly during the day, but also at night. And yes, I do think they look more beautiful at night.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Paris Van Java

During the early twentieth century colonial era, Bandung was known as "Parijs van Java" or the Paris of Java. The nick name was probably given because of the city's European atmosphere. Nobody, however, knows exactly when that nick name was first used or who gave it, but an excursion guide book for the Priangan area (where Bandung is located) published in 1906 had already used the name. Many things have of course changed since then. While the city still has some European heritage, the European feel has since then been replaced by more local colors. The name, however, is still frequently invoked to bring back the memory of the good old days when the city was a beautiful high land resort town of less than 200,000 population.

As part of the efforts to bring the good old days back to life, a resort lifestyle market place was built and completed in July 2006. The place is appropriately called Paris Van Java or PVJ as it is locally known. Located in Sukajadi area in the north of the city, this lifestyle mall occupies an area of nearly 5,000 square meters. It has four floors, green walk gardens and more than 200 European-styled shops and cafes serving a great variety of delicious international and local cuisines, including a huge cineplex, a book store, an open-air stage, and a couple of international-chain supermarkets.

The photos I am posting today are a glimpse of the place that many consider as an oasis in this busy and crowded city. The top photo is the gate to this open-air resort lifestyle place. The second and third photos are some corners of the place. I will try to post more photos of this place at some later occasions.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beauty Contest of the Street

Is this a beauty contest?

Looking at the participants' colorful clothes and fashion, it could very well be. The strange things about it are that these beauty pageants are obviously not humans and that the show takes place on the road side.

These colorful stuffed dolls are locally made (proudly made in Bandung) and many of them are sold at the road side like this. Of course there are similar dolls that are sold at supermarkets, fashion boutiques, and toy stores, but these street dolls are a lot more cheaper and are not necessarily of lesser quality because they are made for export. They may not be as perfect as those that are bound for sales in other countries, but they are still good and adorable.

Where can you find them?

This vendor is at Tegalega Square. You can also find similar vendors at Kepatihan Street near the city center and Cihampelas.

Monday, February 16, 2009

City of People: Knife Sharpening Man

One of the convenience of living in Bandung (and in Indonesia or other developing countries, for that matter, I think) is that you have different sorts of services available at your door steps whenever you need them. Everyday (well, nearly everyday), different sorts of tradesmen pass by my house touting their services. They offer services such as shoe or sofa repair, knife-sharpening, pruning out and weeding your garden, etc. All I need to do is call them in and they will happily give you the service you need for a small fee. This man passed by my house one Sunday when I was working on my front yard garden. He was touting knife-sharpening service, which I conveniently happened to need. The machete and garden scissors I was using were getting too dull for the pruning work I was doing. So, I called him in and voila, a few minutes later I had a sharp machete and scissors.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bandung Souvenir 02: Miniature Wayang Golek

These miniature "Wayang Golek" (Sundanese wooden puppets) are not real wooden puppets, but ball points housed in wayang golek wooden carvings - a petite version of larger carvings of souvenir wayang golek that I posted earlier here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Skywatch Friday Post: Bandung Western Mountain Range

The mountain silhouettes in the picture are the Padalarang-Rajamandala mountain range in the west of Bandung.

Please visit other Friday Skywatchers here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Anti-smoking Campaign

Despite warnings of smoking hazards on every cigarette package, many smokers do not seem to be deterred from their deadly habit. Perhaps it's because the verbal warnings cannot generate enough graphic description of the horrors of the hazards. A more graphic anti-smoking campaign like this will probably be more effective.

In this poster, underneath the photos of a healthy lung and a dark and nearly "melting" emphysemic lung is written: "Smoking Causes Lung Cancer". This poster is published by the Center for the Promotion of Health of the Indonesian Department of Health as part of a more intensive campaign to curb the increase of the number of smokers among Indonesian youths.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


These colorful cylinders contain natural gas fuels that are known to many as butane or propane. In Indonesia, these gas fuels are generically called Elpiji (the pronunciation of the English abbreviation of LPG or Liquefied Petroleum Gas).

The LPG sold in these cans is categorized as mixed Liquefied Natural Gas (it contains butane, propane, and other hydrocarbon gases in smaller proportions). Butane and propane are sold in cans that are specifically labeled as such.

According to the figures published by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia produced nearly 10,000 million metric standard cubic feet (MMSCF) of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) per day in 2008, with a significant increase is expected this year. About half of this production was for export and half for the domestic consumption.

Indonesia has nearly 100 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves or about 1.5 percent of the world's gas reserves.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Camel Ride

Camel ride at Bandung Zoo.

Bandung Zoo has quite a number of one-humped or Arabian camels (camelus dromedarius). Some of them are made available for a ride, like this one.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sundanese "Kendang"

This is a picture of "Kendang", the traditional Sundanese drum. Like any drums, it is a membraphonic percussion musical instrument.

Sundanese "kendangs" are classified and named according to their sizes. The largest of them is called "kendang gede" (the large drum), then there is "kendang leutik" (the smaller drum), and "katipung" (the smallest drum).

If you look at the picture, one side of the Sundanese drum has a wider surface than the other. The part with the wider surface is called "bem" and the one with the narrower surface is called "kempyang".

A standard "kendang" is usually about 60 - 70 centimeters (23.6 - 27.5 inches) long, with the diameter of about 20 centimeters at the "bem" side, 25 centimeters in the middle, and 15 centimeters at the "kempyang" side.

"Kendang" is usually played in a set, that is the larger "kendang" and its smaller "siblings". It can be played to accompany a dance (for example in "Jaipongan"), in a combination with other musical instruments like in "degung" or even in an ensemble of their own, which is called "rampak kendang".

To see how this musical instrument is played in a "rampak" (ensemble), please check out this 9 minute 24 second youtube video presentation courtesy of kocin. This "rampak kendang" performance was made by KABUMI, the performing art group of the Indonesia University of Education Bandung (my Alma matter) who was performing in Tokyo quite a while ago. (Note: The video includes an opening speech in Japanese by the host of the program. The actual performance starts at minute 1:15.)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Young Street, Bandung

Several questions thus raised when I saw this:

- What would be the opposite of this street? And is there such a street?
- Why is youth (young people, the condition of being young) often associated with shopping, fun, and hip?
- Etc., etc.

This street, by the way, is located at Ciwalk (Cihampelas Walk), Bandung.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Skywatch Friday: A Composition against the Sky

Unlike my other Skywatch Friday posts, where there's always a story behind the photo, today's photo is purely for my photographic interest. I took this photo at Braga Fest last December. It was getting dark as I was exploring the southern end of the street looking for interesting bits of the festival's events when I saw this warm light of the street lamp falling on the tent and against the bluish grey twilight sky. I took several shots, trying to get the best composition from different angles. Here is one of them.

Please follow this Skywatch Friday link to see other photos of the participating blogs.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baloon Vendor

A vendor of colorful baloons at Bandung Zoo.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Indonesian Endangered Animal: "Kalong" - The Flying Fox Bat

These are "kalong" (Javanese brown giant fruit bat), another collection of animals at Bandung Zoo.

"Kalong" (Pteropus Vamvyrus) is classified into the suborder of megabats (megachiroptera) or the giant bats. Because of what they eat and their behavior, megachiroptera is also called fruit bats or flying foxes. An adult "kalong" can reach about 60 centimeters in length (about 23.5 inches) and weigh about 1.5 kilograms (about 3.3 lbs) with wing span of about 1.5 meters (5 feet).

"Kalong" are fruit eaters (frugivores) and like most fruit bats they have big eyes and excellent sense of smell, which help them navigate in the dark - the time when they go out to eat - and find their food. For your information, most fruit-eating bats don't generally use echolocation.

"Kalong" is one of Indonesia's endangered animals and is protected by the law.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My World: Gatutkaca

Gatutkaca is a "wayang golek" figure. In the epic of Mahabharata - one of the main sources of the narratives for the Javanese and Sundanese wayang performances, Gatotkaca is characterized as a demigod superman whose power includes - among others - the ability to fly. So powerful this character is that it is said that his bones are made of steel and his muscles of wires.

Gatotkaca's power is said to be inherited from his parents: Bimasena or Bima of the Pandawa family, his father, is a fierce but kind-hearted hero, and Hidimbi (better known as Arimbi in Javanese and Sundanese), his mother, is a powerful rakshasa (giant).

The Gatutkaca in the above photo is not the one that is normally used for "wayang golek" performance, but a unique souvenir that you can bring home from Bandung and West Java in general. This souvenir wayang golek is made larger that the one that is normally used for the performance.

This post is Bandung Daily Photo's participation in My World Tuesday Meme. Please follow the link to see other participants' photos and stories.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Inside the Sundial: Infinity Mirror

Bandung's Sundial - whose photos and stories I have previously posted here, here, and here - is more than just a sundial. It is a "Puspaiptek" (Pusat Peragaan Ilmu Pengetahuan dan Teknologi or science and technology exhibition center). In it we can find a lot of interesting scientific and technological experiments and exhibits such as this infinity mirror.

The "infinity mirror" phenomenon takes place whenever we place two pieces of mirrors opposite one another and an object between them.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Indonesian "Kangaroo"

Here is another collection of Bandung's Zoo: The Agile Wallaby (Wallabia Agilis).

Wallaby is a marsupial that, together with the kangaroo and wallaroo, belongs to the family of macropodidae (macropod = large foot). There are currently about 30 species of wallaby that have been identified, some of which - including this Agile Wallaby - are native to the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua (formerly called Irian Jaya) on the island of Papua.