Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Proposal: A Bike Lane in Semarang

For your information, I have been biking to work since 2008. Besides, I have been active in joining bike to work community in Semarang, including promoting to society about how important to reduce global warming by biking. I don’t bike to work every day, though. I bike to work at least 2-4 times in a week. The number of bike to work members is getting more and more every time. Moreover, bike to work has some ‘branches’ in Semarang: bike to school, bike to campus and folding bike community. Actually, there some other bike communities in Semarang: PCS, SOC (Semarang Onthel Community), Samba, Gagak Rimang, Tend Beer, etc. Some of the mentioned communities gathered this morning with some prominent officials discussing about bike lane in Semarang. Is that possible?
There were three speakers in the talk show, A Proposal: Bike Lane in Semarang, Mr. Joko from Sugijopranoto University majoring Transportation, Mr. Cahyono from Sugijopranoto University majoring in Environment and Mr. Gurun from Transportation Government Department. Basically, they agreed to have a bike lane in Semarang. The problem is there are still many things to prepare such as the infrastructure and the awareness of Semarang people about bike lane. There are some bike lanes in some parts of the streets in Semarang, however, the people make use of them for parking, for street vendors (mostly a semi permanent building for selling food). As the result, the cyclists prefer using the lane for motor vehicles to using the bike lane.

During the talk show, there were some questions from the audience. Some of them were about the complaint of the unavailability of bike parking in malls and other places and the unfair treatment of some people to cyclists especially on the street. Therefore, we all expect that by realizing bike lane in Semarang, the people will open their mind that we, cyclists exist and need to be treated fairly.

At the end of the talk show, Mr. Gurun from Transportation Government Department promised us to meet him after the major election that is going to be carried out next week. He invited us to discuss to realize bike lane in Semarang. Well, wish it would be realized soon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Simpang Lima, the Five Junctions

What is the special thing from Simpang Lima, especially on Sunday morning? Hmmm…. Those people who happen to drop by in Semarang must have been to this place especially on Sunday morning. Simpang liam actually is just like a common park that people can find in the heart of a city. It becomes special on Sunday morning since there are thousands of bric-a-brac sold there. ‘Awul awul’ market that’s how some people call it since the price is considered ‘awul2 or very cheap, or at least negotiable. A friend of mine who was born but dwell in upper town of Semarang has never been there was surprised to see how almost anything can be found there.
Let’s see the first seller, a cassette seller. So far, I have found at least two or three cassette sellers. They sell old cassettes, and most of them are old or second hand. People can get one for Rp. depending on the rarity and the demand of the cassette. Once a friend told me that he got Iwan Fals—a legendary ballad singer—for more than Rp.70.000!!! From my observation, with the spread of mp3 in internet, they still get some loyal customers. I myself, used to be one of their customer.
Let’s move on to the second seller, clothes sellers. Kinds of clothes in various designs, stylish, fashionable are spread everywhere in Simpanglima. People can find outfits for babies, kids, teenagers, adults, including accessories such as slippers, shoes, belts, hair pin, head band, brooch, rubber band, necklace, rings, bling bling, glasses, hand bag for ladies, well, you name it. You can get a very great bargain as long as you can do negotiation.  But, some sellers apply fixed price for their stuff. Time and place sometimes matter here. I mean, sellers apply much cheaper price for their stuff when the market is about to close, around 8.30. and the place, well, Simpanglima is very spacious so that everyone can choose their place to sell their goods. Some of them who take in the center of Simpanglima have a tendency to sell much cheaper since the place is not too strategic.

I recommend you not to have breakfast if you want to take a walk on Sunday morning in Simpanglima. Why? There are lots of food offered there. Nasi ayam, chicken satay, soto, meatball, kacang hijau, gudeg, pecel, not to mention the snacks. Hundreds of snacks can be found there. Take example: oily food (mendoan—kind of fried tempe), tahu isi, bakwan; crackers, traditional food such as leker, klepon, gethuk; even some modern food offered, too: burger. One food that can recall my memory is manisan. I don’t know what is made from, but the color looks tempting, pink, light blue and others. 
Simpanglima can be a good place to increase book collection since there are some second hand books, magazines, comics. They are in an amazingly good shape. Once I got a novel that I used to read when I was kid; Noni, Famous Five, The Three Detectives, etc. some of them are used to be people’s private collection of book rental. I found people’s name on it or the address of book rental that no longer exists.

Semarang theaters are not really up to date with the latest movies. Whereas, some of Semarang people, especially youngsters are movie freaks. However, the income rates is so good that they cannot afford to buy the original DVDs. That’s why, many pirated DVDs are spread around Smpanglima. And the consumers? They are mostly youngsters and young adults. The latest movies can be sold out in hours.  Mp3 CDs are the second stuff people seek. Karaoke VCD is another option. The price? People can get one for Rp. 5000 (a half dollar!)

Simpanglima on Sunday morning might be the perfect place for parents to introduce kinds of pets to their kids. I often see parents with their kids—about two to five years old—point at some pets in their cage, such as rabbits, fish, hamster, chicken, and cocoon.  

Not only pets become the attraction for kids, but also kinds of playing ground with various toys to play with. Look at the pictures how kids got their great happiness when they got on them: odong2, ATV, small train, etc. Not to mention great variety of dolls, puppets, bubble soap, etc.

In brief, Simpanglima is a great place to visit for everyone. Thousands of things are offered there. Just pick one and get a good bargain…

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mother's love Conquers all

Another picture that I bet will rise a lot of critics.
A mother who taught her child a sort of lesson before the child went to school. Perhaps, the child was about to get an exam on that day while she didn't have to time teach her at home.
The problem was the not only endangered their life but also the others *sigh*

The picture was taken in Dr. Cipto street by

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Indonesia has celebrated its 64th birthday and Semarang celebrated its 460th birthday last year. However, this kind of problem exists....

I took the picture in front of a sore in Bulu market one morning. I didn't have any courage to get closer since the man was not  really asleep 

Need a Great Gut

This kind of scene can be found in Indonesia, especially in Semarang. I'm not sure they risk their life and others' lives for the sake of being economical (they don't want to spend money to take taxi or truck).

Bumpy...Bumpy road....

Holes in some Semarang main roads have been problems for Semarang dwellers. The pictures were taken when I was biking on Bubakan street. The one way road is mostly crowded in week days by public transpositions, private vehicles and passers by. One morning I was about to fall down from my bike because of the holes.

Well, Semarang is about to have general election for local major. All of the candidates promise to manage problems on the street: flood, pollution including holes on the street.

Let's see in the next two weeks for major general election