Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shiva, Buddha, Ganesha and Others....

The National Museum in Jakarta has an amazing collection of statuary. The moment I walked into the courtyard -- I was surrounded by Hindu deities, the Buddha and past kings of kingdoms in Sumatra, Java and Bali. Here are some of my favorites.

This guy is used in ceremonies to communicate with dead relatives. Inter-galactic phone rates apply.

Above is a Dong Son drum -- un-earthed in Indonesia. Made from bronze -- they were produced from about 600 BC or earlier until around the 3rd century AD.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jakarta - Nothing to Do, But Shop

Jakarta is not a pedestrian-friendly city. Sidewalks can be scarce, but you really don't want to walk in Jakarta -- the exhaust fumes are so bad -- just walking along the road side feels like you are French-kissing a tailpipe. No, the best thing to do is to take a taxi -- and stay indoors.

My respite was Grand Indonesia -- a massive shopping mall -- with everything including the kitchen sink. It is at least eleven floors of shopping -- including a multi-plex on the top floor -- where you also get a terrific view of the city-scape.

There's an amazing number of restaurants and the ones I tried were very good -- and good value. Turkish doner for lunch, Thai food for dinner and Haagen Dazs for dessert.

It's impossible to see all the shops in one day, so I returned for a second day today. I think I've spent too much time in Dili -- where there is a serious lack of shopping -- and perhaps I needed a bit of shopping stimulation -- I'm not normally drawn to shopping malls.

It's not all been shopping -- the National Museum is also here -- and it's a must-see. More on that visit -- next time.