indonesia chronicles: surabaya street

surabaya street is a well-known flea market in central jakarta.  after hearing mass at the cathedral, i took a cab and told the driver to drop me off at jalan surabaya.  the indonesian driver was a cheerful local who speak english started a small conversation asking where i was from:

me: well, guess where i’m from.

driver: singapore? (maybe a lot of tourists in jakarta are singaporeans?!)

me: nope.  guess once more.

driver: taiwan? (is he serious?!)

me: wrong.  i’m from the philippines.

driver: ohhh…  christian bautista! (lmao! was he that famous in indonesia?!)

we reached surabaya then i handed him idr 15,000 (was idr 11,000 in the taxi meter) for the fare and thanked him.  a few tourists were also looking for bargains as i walked beside the shops where the locals are seated at the curb either polishing brass or fixing items that they are selling.

there were a lot of items being sold like these antique-looking brass items.  my ma actually have a small collection of small brass vases but hers came from india.

i am not sure if the stuff they sell are authentic, anyway i was only there to look and take pictures.  one caucasian woman actually bought one of these supposedly world war II diving helmet made of copper and brass material.

then i passed by these wooden stick puppets which caught my attention.

i was hooked.  though i never had any plan to buy anything, these puppets are too artistically crafted that i wanted to bring one back home.

for idr 300,000 (about $30.00) i got these wooden stick puppets of rama and sita.  i think it was worth it having one for myself.

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indonesia chronicles: the tower and cathedral

after my visit to the museum, i walked for a few minutes going to the national monument of indonesia, monumen nasional. it is an obelisk-type monument that stands 433 feet and sits in the center of merdeka square, an area in central jakarta surrounded by government buidings.

the monument is the symbol of the country’s fight for independence. at the top of the structure represents a flame, weighing 14.5 ton called as the flame of independence, which is covered by 50 kilogram of real gold foil.

there is an underground passageway that leads up to the base of the monument, where you have to pay an entrance fee. inside is the national history museum.

The towering monument encapsulates the philosophy of Lingga and Yoni. Lingga resembles an alu rice pestle and Yoni resembles a lesung rice mortar, two important traditional Indonesian tools. Lingga and Yoni also symbolize eternal life with the lingga phallic symbol, representing masculinity, positive elements, and daytime and the Yoni the female organs symbol, representing femininity, negative elements, and night. The monument consists of a 117.7m obelisk on a 45m square platform at a height of 17m, the goblet yard. ~ from wikipedia

there is an observation deck in the tower where you have to pay another entrance fee. unfortunately the ticket counter was already closed at 3:00 pm and i was not able to get access.

the monument is open to the public everyday, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

the next morning, i attended mass at jakarta cathedral ( gereja katedral jakarta).

the cathedral is buit in neo-gothic style and was consecrated in 1901. there are three main spires where the two tallest ones measured 60 metres tall and are located in front on each side of the portal.

the buildings material consist of thick red bricks covered with plaster, roofs made of teak wood and the spires made of iron.

the large round stained glass called as rozeta rosa mystica, is the symbol of mother mary.

only 3% of indonesia’s population are catholics.

there is a statue of mother mary in the main entrance and a sentence written in latin: “beatam me dicentes omnes generationes” which means “all generations shall call me blessed”.

after the mass was finished, i bought some wooden rosaries in the cathedral’s bookstore to bring back home for my ma.  i took a picture of the cathedral from istiqlal mosque at the opposite road then took a taxi to surabaya street.