Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The World Cup Fever

Children playing football at the parking lot of Stasiun Bandung.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup currently being held in South Africa seems to have got everybody infected with the football fever. A lot of people would watch the live broadcast matches on television even late into the night.

Football aside, playing on a busy parking lot like this is of course dangerous. Unfortunately, Bandung doesn't have enough open spaces and parks even for children to play, and the goverment doesn't seem to really care about it. All they care is about building malls, hotels, and shops. Sighs.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A 1968 Vintage Vespa Scooter

A few days ago, while photograph-hunting on the streets, I came across this guy with his old vintage Vespa Scooter stopping on the northern part of Braga Street. Admiring his well-maintained scooter, I asked if I could take a photograph of him and his scooter. He agreed. I set my camera to sepia tone for the top photo to make it look old.

After taking the photographs, we talked a bit. He told me that he had two of them and that he was a member of the Bandung Chapter of Scooter Owners Group Indonesia. He also said that the group is an international group with branches in many other countries in the world. Members from other countries - especially those from the neighboring countries of Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia - often come here in search for old Vespa scooters, which, he says, are relatively easier to find and less expensive here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Student Theatrical Performance, Part II

Continuing on yesterday's post, here are the photos from the second theatrical perfomance produced by my students from a different class of Exploring Drama. The title they picked was "The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Commedy for Serious People" by Oscar Wilde.

I took these picture in the near-dark of the theater stage without the aid of flash lights. To get these pictures, I was forced to use the highest ISO rating my digital camera would allow. At ISO 3200, the digital noise is very visible.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Student Theatrical Performance, Part I

Last week, my students from two different classes at the English Education Department of Indonesia University of Education (UPI Bandung) performed two theatrical performances for the final project of their exploring drama class that I taught.

The following pictures are from their performance of Our Town, an early twentieth century play written by an American playwright Thornton Wilder. I am posting these pictures in honor of their hard work.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Largest Citrus Fruit in The World

This is pomelo (Citrus maxima Merr., C. grandis Osbeck; C. decumana L.) , the largest citrus fruit in the world. Indigenous to the Indonesian islands and other South East Asian regions, the fruit that is locally known as "Jeruk Bali" (Balinese Citrus) is about 15 - 30 cm in diameter and weighs 1 - 2 kilograms each. The pomelo tastes much like grapefruit, mildly sweet and juicy.

The fruit's English name - pomelo - is derived from the Dutch word pompelmoes. The Dutch, as some of you know, was the former colonial ruler of the Indonesian archipelago.

The fruit is now in season here and many street vendors are selling them on the roadside like this one. I bought one yesterday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Skywatch: Above The Clouds of Bromo

Being located in the path of The Ring of Fire, Indonesia has a lot of active and dormant volcanoes. Although they can become a source of disastrous volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, many of these mountains are also stunningly beautiful, like this Mount Bromo in East Java.

My family and I went there sometime ago. This is one of the photos I took there. The mountain protruding from the clouds in the foreground is Gunung Batok (lit. "coconut shell mountain," named so because of its shape and color) and the white fumes at the background are the crater steam (?) emanating from Mt. Bromo.

It's Friday, time for photobloggers from around the world who are participating in The Skywatch Friday meme to show the photos of their skies. Please visit their blogs and check out what they have.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chinese Checkers

Contrary to popular beliefs, the Chinese Checkers actually has nothing to do with China. In fact it is just a version of Halma, a board game invented by George Howards Monks, a Harvard Medical School's surgeon, in 1883 - 1884.

The name Chinese Checkers was given - in 1928 - by Bill & Jack Pressman, the owners of J. Pressman & Co., the company that popularized the game. Previously, the game was called Hop Ching Checker Game. It was first patented by Ravensburger, a German games company, under the name Stern-Halma in 1892, only a few years after Halma appeared.

Like any board games, the Chinese Checker is a mind-engaging occupation. It's fun to play when you have nothing important to do like these men.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Old-style Weighing Scale

These old balance-type scales are the weighing scales I used to see (and use at my mom's small grocery store) when I was a child. They are still very much in use in most traditional markets here, but I don't see them much anywhere else. Modern markets and supermarkets prefer to use electronic strain gauge scales because they are considered more accurate although, scientifically speaking, balance-type scales are actually more accurate because they are not affected by local gravitational force and/or temperature which can affect the spring type of scale, of which strain gauce scales are part. The cylindrical brass in the foreground of the picture, by the way, is called the masses. Here, their measurement is marked in kilogram scales: half an ounce (50 grams), an ounce (100 grams), a quarter of a kilogram (250 grams), a half a kilogram (500 grams), and a kilogram (1000 grams).

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This man is selling bamboo taraje.

Taraje is the Sundanese word for ladders. The Indonesian language calls it tangga.

Bamboo ladders like these are as sturdy as and a lot cheaper than their modern aluminum counterpart. Unfortunately, they are not as durable as the latter.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Skywatch Post: A Wet Summer

It's been an extremely wet and 'chilly' summer (or dry season) here. Rains have been falling at an unusually higher rate for the month of June, which usually sees a lot of blue sky and sunshine here. I don't know what causes it. Perhaps it has something to do with the global warming (?)

This is the railway track near where I live one late afternoon last week.

Please visit other skywatchers here and see if these somewhat erratic weather patterns are also experienced elsewhere.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another Example of Bandung's Funny English

Many of us (want to) use English because it's considered classy. Unfortunately, instead of being classy, some of us sound funny - like the English used on this billboard.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Inside the Museum of The Asian-African Conference

The Museum of The Asian-African Conference was dedicated by then the Indonesian President Soeharto on April 24, 1980 as part of the 25th commemoration of the conference. The museum has a library, an audio-visual room where visitors could watch documentary films about the conference, and, like any other museums, authentic objects, documents, and photographs relevant to the conference, including an excellent collection of multimedia profiles of the participating countries.

Here is what the inside of the museum looks like today:

Photo 1: This is the main hall where the plenary sessions took place. The flags in the front row are those 29 original attendees of the conference in 1955. Those in the back row are the flags of the countries attending the 50th anniversary of the conference in 2005.

Photo 2: A diorama depicting Indonesia's first President Soekarno delivering his speech at the opening ceremony on April 18, 1955. Behind him are the leaders of the initiating countries.

Photo 3: The globe in the main hall of the museum. The golden colored territories are those of the original 29 independent countries respresented in the 1955 conference.

Photos 4 and 5: The exhibit hall displaying photographs and documents relevant to the conference.

Photo 6: The hall displaying the 10 Bandung Principles and its translations into the languages of the original participating countries.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kembang Tahi Kotok - Tagetes, Spp

These beautiful flowers have an unpleasant name here: kembang or bunga tahi kotok (lit. chicken shit flower) because of their pungent scent. Anywhere else it's called marigolds (Mexican, French, or African, depending on the species). It is native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, and the South American regions in general and belongs to the genus of tagetes.

It is said that the pungent smell of this flower can deter some common insect pests. Hence, this kind of flower is often planted together with the main crops in tomato, eggplant, chili pepper, tobacco and potato gardens.

The marigolds grow well here. I took this photo at Cihideung flower village in the north of Bandung.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Heaven Can't Be That Far

The beach, the sunset, and a lover next to you. Heaven can't be that far ...

One of the photos I took at Pangandaran beach the other day.

This is a Skywatch post. Please check others by following the link.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Street Chess

Some people are so good at playing chess. But what good does it do if they don't have a job and don't make money out of it? So some of them have this idea of putting the challenge onto the street. They challenge any passers-by who feel they are good enough at the game to beat them in a pre-determined number of moves. Those who are interested to meet their challenge can put a bet and play. The winner takes the money. A fair game?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bandung's Irony 01

The writing on the blue billboard says: "Selling on the sidewalk and the street is prohibited. Bandung City Ordinance Number 6 of 1995." But look what happens. Corruptive practices (where it is said that some officers deliberately let these vendors sell on the prohibited areas in return for some illicit fees) and the lack of consistent law enforcement have turned many parts of the city into market slums that are - to say the least - unfriendly to pedestrians. They are often forced to walk on the body of the streets amidst the rushing traffic. "Pasar tumpah" (literally: spilling market, the name we give to this phenomenon) also seriously chokes the already congested traffic, especially during the rush hours and on holidays when visitors flock into the city in great numbers.

I am posting this in the hope that the city's government will soon be doing something serious and consistent about it. They need to negotiate terms with these vendors (like what has been done successfully by some other cities in Indonesia), provide them with proper spaces to conduct their businesses, and clean the sidewalks and streets so that they will be once again safe for pedestrians and motorists.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Locksmith at Work

An old locksmith at work on Banceuy Street.