Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Petromax

How many of you know or even remember this kind of lanterns?

I had not seen this kind of lanterns for a long while, so I felt somewhat nostalgic when I saw it at the Jatayu flea market recently.

Yes, it's the Petromax or lampu petromaks as we call it here. Not many people use them anymore these days. But in the old days when electricity was not as widely accessible as it is today, the Petromax was extensively used as the preferred lighting in the villages because it produces brighter light and consumes less fuel than the ordinary lanterns.

The Petromax was invented by Max Graetz (1851-1937), the President/CEO of the Ehrich & Graetz firm in Berlin, in the early 20th century. It is basically a pressure petroleum lamp, hence the name Petro (from the word petroleum) and Max (the name of the inventor).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chicken Butcher

A chicken butcher at Ciroyom, one of the largest traditional markets in Bandung.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Crisp Chilli Salmon

And this is what I had yesterday at the dinner with our Australian students: Crisp Chilli Salmon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

lighting fixtures (luminaire)

Yesterday night we had a welcome dinner for our new Australian students at Roemah Keboen restaurant on L.R.E. Martadinata (Riau) street. Occupying an old heritage building, it's a cozy restaurant with a very nice interior. This is one of the things I like about it: the lighting fixtures (luminaire).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Presidential Book Signing

I went to Gramedia - a four-story and the biggest book store in the city - on Merdeka street this afternoon. I was just browsing through the books I was interested in when suddenly there was this bit of commotion. Frankly, I was a bit disturbed. But then there was the smooth and pleasant music of angklung. I began to get curious and asked a nearby shop attendant what was going on.

Apparently, there was a book signing, and the author doing the signing was BJ Habibie, Indonesia's third president, who had just recently launched his second book after he retired from presidency. The book, entiled "Habibie & Ainun", is about his true-love story with his wife, Ainun.

He wrote the book after Ainun, his wife for 48 years, passed away in May last year, and out of deep bereavement he was diagnosed with severe pyschosomatic malignant. His doctor suggested three options to treat his illness and one of them was to write what later became this book.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Handcrafted Guitars

These handcrafted guitars are locally made. They are made in Bandung. The company that makes them is called Secco. It makes electric as well as accoustic guitars.

The accoustic guitars in the bottom photo are made of mahogany, spruce, and rose wood.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Sky of Yesterday

This is what the sky looked like over the north of Bandung as I got out of my office to go home late afternoon yesterday, January 13, 2011.

Other skywatchers from all over the world are also posting the pictures of their skies this week as they do every Friday. Please check them out here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gedung Pakuan

This is Gedung Pakuan (lit. Pakuan Building or Mansion) on Jalan L.R.E. Martadinata No.1.

Gedung Pakuan is the official residence of the Governor of West Java Province. It was built in 1864 upon the order Van der Moore (then residen or governor of Priangan) when he decided to move the capital of Priangan from Cianjur to Bandung.

This piece Indische Empire Stijl (Indian Emperial Style) architeture was said to be designed by the head engineer of Departement van Burgerlijke Openbare Werken (Department of Public Works). Unfortunately, of all the books I've read about it, none mentioned the name of the person.

Gedung Pakuan is considered to be one of the most important pieces of Bandung's architectural heritage and, being the official residence of the governor of West Java, one of the best preserved.

Many head of states and important public figures have stayed in this mansion. The list includes the King of Siam (Thailand) Somdet Phra Paramendr Maha Chulalonkorn (1901), the Prime Minister of France Georgeos Clemenceau (1921), Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (1971), the President of Yugoslavia Josip Bros Tito, the Soviet Union's President Voroshilov, The United States' Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and even Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Look who is (are) watching?

Do you sometimes feel that you're being watched by invisible eyes when you're walking pass a narrow urban alleyway at night?

That's eerie!

But look for the invisible eyes no more. In one of the alleyways on Kebon Sirih street, Bandung, the watching eyes are visible; and they belong to funny cartoon figures painted along the walls.

I don't know who painted them, but I think they add a nice touch to the otherwise grey urban concrete scene.

Here's another one:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Holiday Aftermath

Bandung is a favorite holiday destination for local as well as regional holidaymakers. In fact, a large chunk of its economy is based on tourism and tourism-related industry. However, the city's infrastructure, especially the roads and public transportation system, can only sustain so much that during the holiday seasons, the city's streets can become so packed with motorists that in some places they can literally become jammed.

Here are a couple of pictures I took on Sunday, 2 January, the day before the long weekend and new year holiday ended. Jalan Cicendo (Cicendo street), the street that leads to Stasiun Hall - Bandung's main railway station, the airport, and Pasteur Toll Highway exit, was packed with cars trying to get out of the city.

In a situation like this, even motorcyclists can't get through and the naughtiest of them were tempted to invade the sidewalks.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Terminal Ledeng

Terminal Ledeng (Ledeng Bus Station) is one of the stations for the city buses and angkot minibuses (the main mode of public transportation in Bandung). It is located in the northern end of the city on Dr Setiabudhi street.

As you can see in the picture, old city buses like this - some as old as 25 years - are still operating in the city. Comfort and pollution are out of questions. Indeed this city direly needs to overhaul its public city transportation.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Baby Cuddle

Iteung, a female cat that a friend of mine asked me to adopt last year, gave birth to three cute little kittens a few days ago. Here's one of them. I haven't given them names yet. Any ideas?