Monday, April 24, 2017

The 2 A.M. Big Bad Wolf Book Run

I have a love-hate relationship with my hometown. One of the reasons is that living in Jakarta is never boring. You always have something to do, even in the middle of the night. We have two long weekends in a row where public holidays fall on Monday. And we have that 24-hour Big Bad Wolf Book sale. Perfect.

Despite being not as enthusiastic as when the Big Bad Wolf first came last year with their books, I pushed myself to go. Mainly because last year we found Garfield comics and hoping this year the book collection would be as interesting. But the reviews had come back with long queue reports, especially on the cashier area. The only time to go is hours before dawn. So I threw the offer of “stay up all night” to Dudu and to my surprise, he agreed.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Batik Village of Laweyan, Hidden Treasure Behind Surakarta's Street

In many of our frequent visit to Solo, we found a Kampung Batik (Batik Village) hidden behind the city’s main roads. Solo is dubbed the City of Batik, as written upon arrival at Adi Soemarmo Airport. So one morning, when Dudu is busy swimming at the hotel with the cousins, I went with the moms to Kampung Batik Laweyan.

“Where do you want to go, Ma’am?” The taxi driver asked. Apparently Kampung Batik Laweyan consists of different shops and stores stretched along the long yet narrow street. Because we arrived by car, the driver took us to a shop called Batik Putra Begawan, accessible by car and have several parking spaces. From the store, we can either walk or take a tricycle to different shops in the area. The Batik shops are practically next to one another, selling different Batik items in different shape and sizes. From the air-conditioned modern store like Batik Putra Begawan that we went into, to the one inside a traditional Javanese Joglo houses. Some of the shops are located inside small alleys, fit only for pedestrians and bicycle, right next to Batik workshops. Unfortunately, the workshops are having their day off on Sundays and I was there on Sunday morning. Otherwise, visitors can learn more about Batik’s creation process and watch how the painted ones are made.