Monday, May 31, 2010

The oldest steam roller?

This museum piece steam roller (steam-powered road roller) placed at the front yard of the West Java Provincial Office of Road Construction and Maintenance on Asia Afrika street could very well be one of the oldest steamroller in existence that is still intact outside the museum.

I have no information about the make or which year it was made (if any of you know, please let me know). But this steam roller is placed on the monument pedestal which marks Bandung Zero Kilometer and bears the following inscription:

N.W. DAENDELS, Governor General of the Dutch Indies (1808 - 1811) had one of his most important tasks given by his government, that was to build THE GREAT POST ROAD, DE GROOTE POSTWEG, stretching from Anyer (Banten) to Panarukan (East Java).

The main purpose of the construction of DE GROOTE POSTWEG was to intensify interprovincial communication in the frame of solidifying defense of the Island of Java.

When construction of the bride over the Cikapundung River was completed in 1810, on its inauguratin day, Governor General N.W. DAENDELS and the Regent of Bandung R.A.A. WIRANATAKUSUMAH II walked over it and reached this point. N.W. DAENDELS then struck a wooden rod into the ground while saying: "Zorg dat als igh terug kom nier een stad is geboud."

It means: "Make sure that when I return, a new city is built here."

At this particular point then people built a milestone signifying the Kilometer "0" (KILOMETER ZERO) point.

That moment twho hundered years ago when DAENDELS made the pronouncement is now considered to be the birthday of the city of Bandung.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

High Angle View of Street Life

A baso tahu vendor walking Asia Afrika street in the city center.

This photo is part of my Bandung street photography collection and project that I keep at my other blog Bandung Street [Photography]. Plese follow the link to see a bigger photo and more of my street photography collections.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Parahyangan Plaza

Plaza Parahyangan at Dalem Kaum street in the city center is one of the oldest malls in Bandung. Built in 1982, it was the most favorite shopping center in the city until the late 1980s and early 1990s when newer and more attractive malls such as Bandung Indah Plaza (BIP) on Merdeka street began operating.

Plaza Parahyangan was badly burned and its main tenant - the Ramayana Department Store - left in 2001. Until quite recently, it was practically a dilapidated shopping center whose only attraction was a rented fulsal court on its top floor. A couple of years ago, however, the new management decided to renovate and revive it and turn it into a Distro (distribution outlet/store) center. Now five of its six floors are all occupied by 450 distros and the place is once again a bustling place for the creative fashion's small and medium size businesses.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beach Monkey

Pangandaran is also the location of a small national park where a number of protected species of plants and animals live. Among them are Banteng Jawa (Javanese bull, boss Javanicus), kijang (barking deer), the endemic Javan Gibbons (hylobates moloch), the world's largest flower - the Rafflesia Arnoldii, and this common monkey (rhesus macaque) who often goes out of the forest to the nearby beach to greet beach-goers.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beach Caves

While at Pangandaran (see my post yesterday), I also had the time to explore some beach caves and admire their beauty. This one is at Batu Hiu, a rocky beach some fourteen kilometers to the south of Pangandaran where we lodged.

The name Batu Hiu (literally: shark's rock) is derived from a piece of rock shaped like a shark located some 200 meters off the beach (see the photo below).

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Grilled-Fish Party

A couple of weeks ago, my students, some colleagues and I went to Pangandaran, a beach about 250 kilometers to the southeast of Bandung (see this google map). We had a great time there. And this is one of the things I like best about the place: the fresh seafood. This grilled fish was the one we had for dinner party under the moon light the second night we were there.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Monsters and Aliens

Quite a few strange looking monsters and aliens have been lurking around the building of the Department of Fine Arts and Department of Music and Performance Arts of the Indonesia University of Education (UPI) for a couple of weeks now. Depending on how you see them (scary, funny, etc.), these brightly colored monsters and aliens have been "invited" or brought in by the students as part of their preparation for DJAMOE - an annual event where the students of the Fine Art and Music and Performance Arts Departments exhibit their works and creativity.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Off Season Umbrellas

Although rain still falls every now and then, the rainy season was officially over at the end of April here. Now it's the dry season till about October or November. For a while, we'll stow away our umbrellas and rain coats. But for those who have extra stocks of them - shops, vendors - they don't have much of an option but sell them at discounted prices. And here is what I saw at the Lapangan Gasibu (Gasibu Square) last Sunday. A street vendor displayed all the umbrellas and rain coats she had and offered them for much less than they cost at the peak of the rainy season.

The word "umbrella," by the way, is derived from the Latin word "umbra" (shade). More interesting stories about the umbrella may be read at this Wikipedia article.