Friday, February 17, 2012

Bogor - First Day

We have been to Bogor enough times that we could declare it our 3rd home. Our Bogor friends have taken us to local sights in Jakarta and Bogor, including the Botanical Gardens and its Orchard Garden, Taman Safari, Taman Mini (Jakarta). Taman Mini has pavilions that represent Indonesia's different cultures. My brother told us that its main attraction, which we either didn't see or don't remember, is the "Suharto Museum.". It has a breathe-taking collection of all the state gifts given to President Suharto during his 32 year presidency. The collection takes three floosr; one visitor said to count on spending a half day viewing its contents.
During our last trip to Bogor we braved the traffic and visited a potter, from whom we later ordered candy dishes to give as gifts at Colin's wedding. (Traffic jams in Indonesia occur all the time, everywhere.) Other than the traffic our most vivid memory from that trip was when Titi announced that we were going to have "Emergency Dinner." Emergency Dinner was an "American Pizza" from Dominoes.
We have yet to see everything in Bogor and its environs. We started our day at the Katulampa Dam, a flood control reservoir. If the dam overflows Jakarta will experience floods within two hours. Two weeks before our trip the water had reach a warning level.
Katulampa Dam, Bogor

Structure is a "rural toilet"  River is also used to wash clothes (a lot less than we saw 40 years ago)

Road leading to dam. Barely visible is a gaggle of motorbikes to provide local transport
A recreational area with fruit trees and team building course
Bogor is a major handbag manufacturer, so a stop at SKI Tajur Katulampa was in order. It has separate buildings selling handbags, shoes, clothes, and souvenirs. For the families and kids there is an amusement area. I have few handbags and am not much of a shopper, so I settled for simply being blown away by the selection. It was Chinese New Year, a public holiday, and the place was packed. Indonesia seems to be full of drivers and shoppers. No worries if you leave SKI and regret not purchasing a handbag there are plenty of other opportunities to buy them in Bogor and along the way.

At SKI Tajur Katulampa - in the background bubbles with people in them

Later we drove around an upmarket development - nothing like the housing near the dam.
Typically Indonesians eat lunch between 12:00 to 1:00 (in Malaysia it is 1:00 - 2:00). We went to a Sunda restaurant. It was filled with tables on  platforms. Shoes are left by the platform and diners sit on mats. Our lunch included grilled chicken, gado gado, and baby fish. Titi, always quick with the right word, said not think "baby fish" but "small fish." Changing the adjective didn't work for me; I tasted but avoided deciding if they were tasty or not.

A baby fish was all that remained -
finger bowl in the background

That evening we went to Titi and Budi's house for dinner. As we went in we saw an electric motorbike - a transportation alternative to Budi's 30 year old Mercedes. Having a 30 year old car that serves as the family's everyday transport is a testament to Mercedes and demonstrates the wisdom of buying an expensive and reliable car.
We were awed by the living room furniture, many pieces were carved from a single tree - an evening with candy for our eyes and tummy. In addition to eating and talking we viewed pictures and videos of their son's wedding, a video of the eruption at Mount Merapi, and Titi and Budi's wedding photo. (They looked too young to get married - didn't we all?)

A table for all occasions - dinner now, signing important
documents in the past and future

A piece of furniture to envy
Another piece. And yes, there are more
Our friendships are more than seeing new things and eating new foods. Our friends are an important part of our lives - what we remember, how we interpret what we see, and what we look forward to. Our friends all work to improve the lives of their fellow citizens - we are proud to be a part of their lives.

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