All posts filed under: Southeast

Sarinah: A Compelling Restoration

Until three weeks ago, if you asked me if I would ever write a blog post about a mall, I would have certainly said no, or highly unlikely at best. That was also what I had in mind when I decided to revisit a decades-old […]

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Jakarta, Three Ways

Next month, the Indonesian capital will turn 495. Its position as the business and economic hub of the nation will likely stay for many years to come, although it will soon be stripped of its special status as the country’s seat of government. The administration, […]

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Why Tegal?

To my international readers the name Tegal might sound distantly foreign, but those from Indonesia would almost certainly have heard of it. It’s a city in the western part of Central Java whose residents speak a dialect of Javanese that is so distinct compared to […]

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Lessons from Kampung Naga

Modernity. This word has for long been associated with all things positive. It’s something communities aspire to, it implies progress, it’s the way to go. On a personal level, the word often goes hand in hand with the notion of freedom, of leaving old and […]

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Raw Beauty of Papandayan

Living in a place with the highest number of historically active volcanoes in the world (as per USGS), most Indonesians (except for those living in Borneo and a few other islands) have for generations been accustomed to living a life attuned to the deadly cycles […]

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Cisadon and A Look Back at 2021

In a post I wrote last year, I referred to 2020 as annus horribilis, the horrible year, for life as we knew it suddenly ceased to exist. Cities became eerily quiet, our movements were restricted, we could only meet friends online, and wearing a mask […]

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A Short Escape to Ambarawa

“Please take me somewhere out of town. I want to see something refreshing.” That was a request my mother made over a phone call prior to my week-long holiday in Semarang back in late May/early June this year. For months until my father’s death in […]

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Snippets of Yogyakarta

About one and a half years ago, we were all shocked into disbelief as the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic, and life as we knew it was abruptly turned upside down. In the ensuing months, we adopted new habits so that we could […]

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A Slice of Taiwan in Semarang

Kota Lama. That charming part of my hometown Semarang seems to know how to keep me visiting whenever I’m in town. Despite the haphazard “revitalization” done by the city government (although they will be quick to point the finger at the central government in Jakarta), […]

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Exploring the World, Pandemic Style

When I began exploring places far from home more than ten years ago, cultural sights and performances were always high on my list of things to see and do. I can’t remember exactly when it started, but my interest in cultures that are different from […]

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New Spirit of A Grande Dame

Part 4 of 4 For the longest time, Semarang was known as a place to rekindle one’s nostalgic memories of things from the past. Having traditional snacks that had become increasingly hard to find in other big cities and dining at vintage restaurants serving Dutch […]

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