Saturday, July 21, 2007

My 27th day in Semarang

I, Walker

The air in Jakarta is so polluted that breathing it amounts to smoking two and a half pack of cigarettes per day. I don't smoke, but got addicted anyway. Here in Semarang the sky is clear. And I am going cold turkey.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day 25

Pointing fingers

In a split second I saw that they were going to disagree on something. I couldn’t hear what topic they were talking about – perhaps just some flower – but I was lucky enough to take the photo on the right moment. On the left is Donny Danardono, one of the participants in my philosophy workshop on an art of living and a lecturer at Soegijapranata Catholic University (the university is named after the first Indonesian arch bishop in colonial times), and on the right is Tubagus P. Svarajati, the owner of gallery Rumah Seni Yaitu (previously he was a pig farmer). (In the bottom picture Donny is on the left as well.)


This is Yanti, 37 of age. She became a widow two years ago. It is was then when she had to move to Semarang, her presence in her village was no longer appreciated. So much for sympathy for the departed and grieving. The other women in the village were anxious to see Yanti leave, because they were afraid she would steal one of their husbands. Now she works 15 hours a day in a warung (food stall) nearby the gallery (so I chat with her so now and then, and she talks a lot), her husband’s pension is only 250.000 Rupiah per month.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day 23

I got a cold. I've got a cold in Semarang. A cold in the hottest city of Indonesia. That must count for something. But I don't know what.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Day 18


This is Jalan Warung, i.e. Food Stall Street, in Semarang's China Town. In the weekends this street is closed off for traffic and is opened for food and karaoke lovers. Up to the seventies the buildings in this street had traditional Chinese fronts. The government issued a decree that traditional building fronts were no longer allowed, because modernization ought to be the goal. And the Chinese were afraid for repurcussions.

Semarang by night

These photos are taken from the unfinished fly-over (see day 9).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Day 15

Slowly slowly Semarang is sinking, not just because the Java Sea is on the rise, but because Semarang's soil is going down by a few centimetres each year.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Day 14

As in other Indonesian cities many old buildings are abandoned in Semarang. Many Indonesians are convinced that these old buildings are haunted. But sometimes this superstition gets a political twist: in Semarang a Novotel hotel is built on a spot where a kampung was located, so the people had to be evicted and as a punishment the people of Semarang are sure that this hotel got haunted by ghosts.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

My 13th day in Semarang

In Indonesian cities people use the streets extensively. Not because they are homeless, but because they have homes that are far too small.