Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Journey Part Twelve - Jakarta Old City

After a morning tour in Pramuka market, we all heading to Jakarta Old City.

We found that the museum very beautiful and the BATAVIA café is so tourist-centered, with the touch of glaour and classic of fifty era, makes me feel like a swing jazz star :).

We have an hour taste the coffee, fruit punch, talk and cheers.

Then.. we decided to take a fast tour in a biggest retail in Indonesia, MANGGA DUA.

The Journey- Part Eleven - Bird Vendor

On the next day, I, Marion and Anton still have another task.. Visit Pramuka Bird Market in East Jakarta area.

It was amazing to saw the people did not wearing any protection equipment to protect their self from the bird flu viruses since Indonesia has mentioned at the second bird flu fatality in the world.

“We all immune of that virus,” they said proudly.
Marion said that he found some interesting birds. “They are so many and beautiful,” she said.

The Journey - Part Ten- Discussion

Back to the hotel, we got a short warm discussion at the hotel, John gives me some merchandise from Australia, and it was a pair of beautiful pearl earrings and has a
dinner at Thailand Restaurant around Menteng.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Journey Part Nine- Gus dur

On the next day we all were visiting the Pantau Magazine office in Utan Kayu. It was really odd, because the founder was could not attend the meeting and no one can give the proper answer. Luckily, Janet Steele was on location and willing to meet us and explained what Pantau is and why this magazine was really important for Indonesia journalism world.

We continue the schedule to meet Gus Dur, he looks well and he proofs his superiority by mentioning some confidential material that I can not explain here, since it was an off the record materials .. Sorry reader hehehehe..

The Journey Part Eight - Jakarta

On the first day in Jakarta, I was very tired but I can manage my self to attend the dinner

On the second day in Jakarta, we were visiting Australian Embassy. John was very neat and we all dressed in a formal way as can be. But, our out fit didn’t make any effect to the news material that we want.. We can say we got none. The material was off the record and we can not take any pictures… what a boring session (sorry my Australian friends..) I though it was just my only feeling but then I got the sense that every body feel disappointed with the discussion session.

The Journey Part Seven-Police Academy

We only had an 2 hours tourism activity in Semarang, then we visit the Academy Police in Semarang.

After waiting for about one hour, finally the Director of academy come out, we all startled by the outfit that used by the general. Marion describes the outfit as Lime Tie, Mint Skirt and Forest Pants. I notice that the shoe was Versace and his coat was green mixed with a colorful square.

Anton was the first person who responded to the appearance of the director.. “Oh my God, I love green but not in this kind of order,” he said.
“It’s a little bit… Yucky,” Marion whispered to me and it was really hard for me to keep my laugh in silent.

The director said that it was hard to produce a high quality police officer because the cost was really high and the state did not provide enough budget.
I wonder, how if his just sale all of his shoes collection and donate it to the academy…

After have a small touring in the Prestige Academy Police complex (TX to Mr. Joko) we are heading to the airport. Yes we will fly to Jakarta.

Journey Part Six- The Semarang Old Temple

I wake up late and having a fast breakfast, then I planed to go to the Semarang old city. I Change the plane when I heard that Anton has never heard about big famous old temple in the hearth of Semarang, so I change the route and asked the taxi driver to go to Sam Po Kong temple.

And yes, it was a very beautiful and photogenic temple… I will show you some proof :D

Journey Part Five

After visiting Merapi, we all heading to Klaten just to pass the devastated Prambanan from outside the complex and having lunch in a very nice restaurant. The food was really good, except that they cook really long.

At Magelang we enjoy Borobudur, it was a cloudy day … Simon get a very warm welcome from the girls :) They though Simon as a football player...

I buy at least 10 batik hand phone case as merchandise with a very low prize, they were offering me Rp.20.000 per item but I said Rp.3000 per item and then they agree (unbelievable!!!).

Photo by Anton ...

We continue our journey to Semarang. We stay overnight in Patrajasa Hotel. It was a strange place with a funny smell. Anton said it was haunted, he saw some of them. I just glad that I didn’t see any of those creatures

The hotel had a warm lobby, actually ;)

Journey Part Four

After doing some small tour at Malioboro Street and did some shopping, we have a very nice dinner at Gajah Wong Restaurant.
The girls were interest to the things I’ve got from Malioboro and they asked me to assist them on the night tour. It was really a fun tour, I can get half price for some items 
We back to the hotel by becak..

In the next day, we were heading to Merapi Mountain and visit the bunker in Babadan, oh it was already four years since my last visit and it looks the same, unless the dust and the quiet atmosphere.

We take some pictures outside and also inside the bunker, some just not so good but I will display anyway :D

The Journey Part Three

We stay overnight in Mercure hotel, it was a classic hotel with European, Chinese and Javanese mixed in one luxurious scent. “Amazing, this is the best hotel we found since our trip in Malaysia, ” the Australian said.

I spend my night in Yogyakarta by visiting internet café and make a report for my senior and also browsing.. I just miss the virtual world some times ;) I got dinner just near the internet café, it was a very nice steak restaurant with a college student standard price.. Hmm..

It was a bright day in Yogyakarta ..

In this old city, We were visiting the earthquake devastated area

Fiona cheers the girl with a kanggoroo finger doll and make her a pony tail

We also visit Muhammadyah head office and meet former Chairman of Muhammadyah, a very wise Prof Syafii Ma'arif. (He also has known as Indonesia President consultant and US President Source for a Moslem perspective policy consideration.

He explained that Muhammadyah has formed as a second Muslim organization in Indonesia with 30 million followers and has become the largest Moslem social-educational organization in the world.

“There’s a thousands of Muhammadyah school complex in Indonesia and hundreds of hospital, but please don’t ask anything about quality,” Mr. Ma’arif said.
About Soeharto, Ma’arif said : “Because of the Soeharto’s health and condition it would be better for his children to return the state wealth and declare the apologize to all Indonesian people, I think Indonesia will accept his apologize,” Mr. Ma’arif said.

(Amanda and Simon chatting in the Muhhamadyah Headquarter Loby)

The Journey Part Two

From Solo, we were heading to Yogyakarta passing Prambanan. We saw a perfect full moon and I can not resist take some pictures. Not so good, but I will upload them anyway ;)

Ps : Tx to Anton for being such a good model, you're quite good as a new comer hiihihi...

The Journey 1

Our first tour is in Solo, we are having a coffee break at one hotel in Solo ( I can not remember the hotel’s name). But it was a very beautiful place.

After freshen up we were visiting some famous Pesantren like Al-Muayyad Pesantren in Windan and Al Mukmin Pesantren at Ngruki Village, known as Ngruki pesantren and called as hardliner Moslem Boarding School.

At Windan, we meet Ridwan (23), he explain that the pesantren that he represent is a special pesantren with the college student inside, not senior college student as usual.

There a funny story in this Pesantren, Marion and Amanda (I think) was sitting on the little table that they tough as a chair and every one was warn them to sit down in the carpet.

In Ngruki, we meet Pesantren Secretary, Ustad Irsyad Fikri. He explained that the founder of Ngruki Pesantren, Abu Bakar Baasyir will soon return home and they will welcome him in the simple and peace atmosphere.

"We from Pesantren, even did not make any special celebration party but the Solo Moslem community has made a special committee to welcomed ustad Abu. But I didn’t know so much about the welcome party, only that Abu Bakar planned t o give a charity to the displaced people caused by the earthquake in Yogyakarta,” he said.