After getting my own passport for the first time, there was various choices of destination that I could visit with a year saving that I earn from working full-time as a project designer.

   Choices range from Singapore, Indonesia, and even Hong Kong. (saving was just enough to cover a week trip around this country)

   But I eventually choose Indonesia as a friend of mine invited me to follow him on a week trip to Indonesia to meet up with some of his friends at Jakarta and at the same time meeting up with some photographers for future collaboration on possible photography workshop and photo festival at Sabah. (At the time of writing, Kota Kinabalu Photo festival has went into its second edition back in December 2016 with numerous mentors being invited from Indonesia such as Agah Permadi, Erik Prasetya, and Romi Perbawa)

     It was a significant time to visit Jakarta as they are preparing for the upcoming election week with Jokowi being the locals favorite, Christmas is coming and New Year eve is just a week later.

   Personally, I didn’t do much research on Indonesia apart from the do’s ‘and don’t. As I will be tagging along with my friend. He assure me that everything is already planned, just standby enough money for the entire trip. No kidding, we even joke on being a millionaire overnight at the airport!.

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Arrived at Jakarta at night. Heading out to McDonald to grab some quick bites before heading to Pak Agah house. 

   Another thing to note that all the pictures taken during the trip was using Ricoh GRD III and the brand new Ricoh GR. It was a loan unit from a good friend of his and the camera perform flawlessly but I am not used to it at some point hence the blurry pictures. I had some problem with the Ricoh GR Auto ISO.

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It was late night and Pak Agah made sure that we got everything to stay at his house comfortably. 

   For the rest of our stay at Jakarta, I am quiet fortunate to received the hospitality from Pak Agah Permadi, a well known photographer himself, thanks to Mr Jebat for introducing him to me. The plan was to go to Bandung in the next few days and so far we will visit some of the place that is quiet favorable by photographers (more like tourist photographers).

On the next day, after we got our breakfast. We headed to the famous marine port, Sunda Kelapa. It has a lot history to it and to be honest, I didn’t know what to expect.

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Our first taste on the infamous Jakarta traffic jam. 

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The view from the rearseat. 

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There is a lot of big boats over there. Most of them are used for cargo, not fishing. 

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The happy man. He said he took some good picture here. 

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The guardian. I believe, some of them live inside the boat, travelling around. What a life. 

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There were chatting something about politician. Manage to chat with them a bit about the boat around the area. 

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Repainting the boat for New year. 

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They were carrying some stuff into the boat. 

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We took a boat to visit the village on the other side of Sunda Kelapa. I can’t remember the price but we are nearly scammed if it were not for Pak Agah. 

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Closest thing to visiting Venice. 

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Pak Agah is trying to pinpoint a good spot that he usually visit to take some nice saloon style picture. This was the only time that Jebat pull out his Nikon. 
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Kids nowadays should play more like this and less on computer screen. 

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Must be Germany. 

   After spending more than 3 hour at Sunda Kelapa, it was time to grab our lunch. The sun was high and its getting hot, we were lucky that it was cloudy during our stay or else, the sunlight would be very harsh. We grab some nice lunch where they serve local delicacy ‘Masakan orang sunda’ but I don’t know the name of the place. It was Friday and I decided to the church next to the Istiqlal Mosque.

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President of Indonesia at the time. 

  I regret for not exploring the area around the mosque but it was full of people and was super crowded, and I am afraid that I would run into problem since I haven’t got any local sim-card at the time. Istiqlal Mosque is huge and the design is fascinating for those who want to visit Jakarta.

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Jakarta Cathedral

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The interior was awesome. One of the finest Church design that I have seen so far complete with the Gothic detailing. The surrounding landscape is well maintained as well. 

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Guys please, Jesus is watching. 

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I almost got the newspaper because the layout and typography looks cool. 

The main agenda of the day was to visit Antara Journalistic Gallery and to meet with some of the person in charge for future collaboration. More info can be gather  here.

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As you enter the gallery, you will be welcomed by this guy. 

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A lovely aunty. She says her husband used to work for Antara News Office as a photographer. She is fluent in English by the way and not to be messed with. 

   Afterward Pak Agah bring us to the camera store nearby, there is an area where they sale cheap camera accessories. They bring me there because I ran out of memory so I bought the 16gb Sandisc instead which is cheaper than buying in Malaysia. Later, I use the Ricoh GR for the entire trip.

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Can’t tell if they were a nun or otherwise. 

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Going back home. 

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Going through our loots. Some nice purchase that we got recently. Jebat is checking the bus ticket online, either that or we are working on how to work the mobile network. 

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We are staying in a nice dense neighborhood filled with middle-class people of Jakarta. This is one of the many mural around the area. 

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Jebat was taking his picture but I am simply following him. He is a security guard I think. 

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That guy thought we are a customer. Ojek is like UBER but use motorcycle and doesn’t work on app. 

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Lovely fella, one of the quote when we chat with them “Dari Malaysia? indak apa, bahasa sama. Kita serumpun.”. Can’t argue with that. 

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This cart should be Indonesia main symbol for business and prosperity. 

   To be honest, we didn’t go to many place that day, the traffic was terrible and we don’t want to force Pak Agah to drive us around the place as it was inconvenient. That night we did have a plan to meet with Rony Zakaria, one of my mentor during IPA workshop in the last few months. He is also an award winning photojournalist for this awesome work around Gunung Merapi.

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Pak Agah is not only interested in Photography and Music instrument, but he has some passion for airgun where they use tiny lead bullet which is enough to kill a small bird. 

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Pak Agah eldest son in his room. 

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It already past 6pm and its quiet dark and I am hungry. I decided to walk around the area to take some picture but instead bought some bakso and sate instead. 

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It smells lovely. Cheaper than in Malaysia per stick.

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We meet up wih Rony Zakaria that night. It was wonderful to see him again after so long. 

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The man, Rony Zakaria.  He did show us some of his ongoing work on the Gunung Merapi and its in color. Thanks for sharing Rony. 

   In the next morning, I was told that we will accompany Pak Agah to get his youngest son, Qhairan, for circumcise. I was curious on how they do it here in this dense urban area and decided to tag along. I had nothing to do that morning anyway.

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He is not excited at all but everyone is being positive. 

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I ask him to smile before he went to take a nap. 

 

 

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Pak Agah tries to calm him down. 

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Still trying. 

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Qhairan is looking for his mother.  

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Almost a man.

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This is when the doctor inject some anesthetic. 

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There was a smell of burned skin everywhere. 

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They say they use a laser. All I can see is a thin wire with electric current going through it. 

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And he became a Man. 

  After our morning session with Qhairan circumcise (or Khatan) is done. Pak Agah bought us some food for lunch and it’s finally time to say goodbye as we will have to proceed to our next destination which is Bandung. We haven’t got the bus ticket but it can be bought easily since it was not fully booked that day. Funny thing is that we got the entire bus just for ourselves.

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Pak Agah showing his photoshop skills and also some of his famous work. 

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We can sit anywhere. 

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One last snap before we head to Bandung. 

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Halfway toward Bandung. 

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I can feel the similarity with Kuala Lumpur here. 

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Silver kid. First interesting thing that we saw when we got to Bandung. Not even close to our hostel yet. 

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Took a cab to our hostel. The driver have 3 wives and Jebat was excited to listen to his story. Our hostel is located at Bukit Dago Utara.

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They have a lot of dogs and pets around the hostel area. 

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One of the coziest place to stay. 

   The main agenda for our visit to Bandung was to meet up with the local ‘underground’ photographer that is led by Sari Asih. We didn’t manage to meet her but instead we did somehow were welcomed by Tandia Permadi and Aditya Pratama (he runs Unobtainium selling photobook in Indonesia).

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I knew his name before on facebook trying to sale his Leica to fund his trip to Angkor as he won the workshop grant. We did discuss a lot on photography issue and he is a terrific photographer. 

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The restaurant have a nice pool table that the customer can play for free. 

   On the next day, we are accompany by Aip. He is a good photographer with a rather interesting body of work. Can’t recall his website though. He did show us around the town area and also gives us the direction to some of the custom boutique where Jebat is planning to make his club t-shirt at.

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Complimentary breakfast. The coffee is good and nicely made. 

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This is Aip, our tourguide/photographer.

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Some of the random snap in portrait format. I took a lot of picture in portrait format during the entire trip. 

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Rock and Roll.

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The other side of Bandung during that time. I heard its getting better under the new Mayor recently. 

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We took a ride inside a small cramped van, but it was cheap. 

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Look at the hand. 

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Buying our return train ticket to Jakarta. We only stay at Bandung for 2 nights. 

Our stay in Bandung was lovely, although we didn’t get to visit some of the famous places due to the warning from the geological department. Nevertheless I bought some t-shirt, jacket, and a nice black jeans which later I wear for the next 3 years.

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Bandung is a town with temperate weather, and during that time it was slightly colder than usual with all the rain. This is the water heater and it use gas instead of the usual electric system. Notice the flame in the middle of the water heater?.

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At Bandung Train station. 

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Kucing Bandung.
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The train.

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One of the passenger.
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First time on a train in a foreign country.

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“Selamat siang, ticketnya Mas”

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The landscape outside the train. I walk through the cabin and snap a lot before I went to sleep. 

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Almost reached the train station, in the next 15 minutes. 

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One of the last stop before reaching the main train station. 

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It was a funny scene, I took an Ojek while Jebat ride on Pak Agah motorcycle. The luggage is heavy and we have to go through the crazy Jakarta traffic for this. 

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Its very much like in Malaysia. 

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I need a selfie to be hip. 

   It was on New Year eve and thing is getting interesting in Jakarta. The traffic surge like crazy towards evening and noise were everywhere. Pak Agah did warn us that it is not a good idea to go to the Tugu Monas as the traffic is mad and you wont be able to go back home on time afterwards. We really want to go there but we don’t want to trouble Pak Agah either so instead we spend the night at his house instead. We are tired from the train ride anyway but the sounds of the fireworks towards midnight makes for some interesting visual and sight.

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It’s not even 12am yet.

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Some of the neighbor around the area. 

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It’s midnight and the entire area sounds like a battlefield. I should had look for a better angle to show the scene around the area.

As this is our last day at Indonesia, again there was nothing much to do as the traffic is getting busier but Pak Agah told me that it is so much better than usual. Apparently during holiday, most of the people will go back to their hometown and most of those who stay at Jakarta is only the local that are doing some odds job.

We did manage to visit the high-end area of Jakarta and Jebat got his Hardrock cafe t-shirt from Jakarta. It’s a stark contrast to the other part of Jakarta though.

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We meet up with Ridzki, Tommy, and Rony that day. It was nice and there is a lot interesting photobook being pass around. The cafe is lovely as well. 

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A must have picture. We are heading to Jakarta Hardrock Cafe. 

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Another side of Jakarta. 

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I thought this would look interesting so I took a picture of it. 
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We joked that they look very lovely together.

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Then I realized that the joke is on me and I don’t have a girlfriend. Okay, it says Ground Floor. 

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A few hours before our flight, clearing our stuff and ready to go.

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Pak Agah has been very nice to us. I personally grateful to meet such humble person. He is seeing us off at the airport. 

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To get to our plane, we need to take a bus. Very convenient. 
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Goodbye Jakarta, until we see you again. 

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