THE MEANS TO HOLD ON

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Jatinegara
It is more than just textbook learning that informal sector was the saviour of Indonesian economy during 1998 financial crisis, where it became the hardest hit country among other Asian neighbors as it sustained a much longer period of monetary difficulties at the time when others had gradually recovered. In those period time of difficulty, the unemployed population struggled to make a living. Some opted an easy way out: begging. There was a time when beggars, either exploiting self-pity looks or the desperation that justify violent behavior, crowded busy intersections across Jakarta, living beneath elevated roads, taking economic refuge in every bit of space in the city. Many other chose to pull themselves together by struggling  to sell  goods on the streets. Fifteen years later, they still endured. On papers, the year-to-year numbers indicating the achieved economic growth has set the claim that the country has gone past the crisis and is currently at a better condition even compared to the pre-crisis era. But these people who carried the weight of pain since the past decade, or even long before the crisis, feels the same way about the way they carry on with lives.

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George Town

George Town

For all its heritage, George Town depends on its ubiquitous, well-preserved old buildings to present a “Truly Asia” experience, a tourism jargon created by its host country, Malaysia. Some of the epic buildings were inherited from the past British administration, located near the main harbor, but Chinese architecture dominates the greater part of the town.

Malaysia cashes in from their tourism sector through basic steps of optimising what they have best to offer: nature and history. In the case of George Town, no less popularly called Penang, the government could foresee the incoming of foreigners from closer region if they could improve the general quality of infrastructure compared to the neighboring countries.

The sidewalks are narrow and not in their prime conditions like what other major sightseeings are supposed to be, but they are in relatively good shape, providing the basic infrastructure for a tourism city.

The cost for conservation

Colonial buildings are typical to any other places in Southeast Asia, as these countries share similar past of western colonisation. But simply maintaining conservation has paid off. It costs considerable taxpayers money, but the reward for the citizen and the country’s image as a whole outweighs the small sacrifice.

The Golden Pavilion

Born in 1984 and living in Osaka, Japan, Shinya Kagomoto has a specialty in the approach to architecture photography, among other subjects. He moved to Beijing, China, as an exchange student from 2008 to 2010 and befriended many Indonesians. He mainly speaks Japanese, but at work he also speaks Chinese and English. Kagomoto-san looks forward to seeing the blooming international relation between Japan and any other countries. He hopes that many more people will come to Japan to feel the country’s spirit of modenisation with traditional wisdom.


Golden pavilion 1

I like to travel in autumn. It has good temperature (not too hot, not too cold), leaf color is changing to yellow and red. Kinkaku Temple, or also called the Golden Pavilion, Kyoto, Japan, was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994. I want to go there to see gold contrast against autumn color this time around.

This gold temple is in north of Kyoto. There is no train station near this temple. The best way is by bus, which means that it is inconvenience for us to go there. But many foreigners still visit this gold structure. Ginkgo leaf changes to yellow.

Maple leaf changes to red in autumn. Japan has a lot of mountains. So, we can feel that autumn is coming when these trees change their colors to yellow and red everywhere.

The Golden Pavilion
See more images in think archipelago V5 Feb 2014. Click picture to subscribe.

THE DROUGHT

Drought 01

“Only farmers that the world needs the most.”

Li Zhao Xing, Former Foreign Minister of People’s Republic of China

40 million Indonesians work in agricultural sector. If one must support 3 family members, then there are roughly 160 million people who depend their livelihoods on this pillar industry. That is more than 50% of the country’s population. Farming is one of Indonesia’s major production outlets, contributing to its sizable economy. This is a conventional wisdom held for centuries. However it entailed also the basic problem that loomed large over the majority small income peasants, encompassing 40% of the total agriculture workforce. Continue reading THE DROUGHT