Sunday, January 31, 2010


Salvaged motorcycle body parts for sale at Jalan Ibu Inggit Ganarsih (Ciateul) flea market.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

stop and text

Stopping to check your phone is good. Thinking that children don't need a helmet to ride a motorbike is careless.


Have you stopped at the right place?

Friday, January 29, 2010


A young pengamen (singing beggar, busker) entertaining a couple of park visitors at Alun-alun Bandung.

The word pengamen used to refer to a traveling performer or group of performers who make a living from the tips given by their audiences. In this sense, it is the equivalence of the word "busker" in English. However, the shifting emphasis of the practice has changed the connotation of the word. Different kinds of non-artist performers are now roaming the streets for money. This includes children and those who do not have the performing art capability. Thus the practice is now considered only as a trick of beggary.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


There is something cultural about WC Umum (public toilet), Musholla (prayer room, mosque), and flea picking.

Location: Stasiun Hall Angkot terminal.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


An old passanger of the KRD commuter train sitting by the open door and looking out at the passing scene.

The KRD can probably be described as a "pariah" train. Crowded, dirty, smelly and heavily populated by panhandlers, this train is nevertheless a popular mode of transportation among the masses because it is very cheap and because there aren't many other better and economical options available. One only needs to pay IDR 1000 (about USD 10 cents), for example, to travel between the satellite town of Padalarang (18 kilometers to the west of Bandung) and the city.

Like all other Indonesian cities, Bandung currently still does not have a working mass transportation system.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

street division

How is the street divided?

How about one third for parking, one third for street vendors, and only the remaining one third for the traffic? Pedestrians can always conveniently go in between those three divisions anyway as the sidewalk is also reserved for street vendors.

Monday, January 25, 2010

rainy day at braga

A peek at Jalan Braga on a rainy day that ruined the ill-prepared Braga Fest 2009 last December.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

in good use

This pedestrian crossing bridge connecting Jalan Stasiun Timur and Jalan Kebon Jukut streets is quite probably the most well-used crossing bridge in the entire city.

The secret?

It significantly shorten the distance between the points that it connects. And underneath it is a fenced double track railways.

Most other pedestrian crossing bridges in the city are just useless accessories that often become a sore to the eyes as most pedestrians prefer to jaywalk than use it. The streets in this city are generally just not too wide that using a crossing bridge takes more time and energy. As you will see in many other photos here, safety and orderliness are not generally in the minds of most of this city's citizens. Convenience is. Unfortunately, they don't always go together well.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


A sate (or satay) vendor walking the streets on Jalan Kebon Jukut, Bandung.

Friday, January 22, 2010

urban scene

Steel, concrete, and the menacing sky: the urban scene often feels gloomy and suffocating. But it's alive and vibrant.

Pedestrian crossing bridge connecting Jalan Stasiun Timur and Jalan Kebon Jukut, Bandung.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

down time

These vendors are resting in between the train cars at Padalarang train station in the west of Bandung. They will get on board when the trains are ready to move.

On board vendors sell different kinds of things: foods, fruits, snacks and beverages, utensils, stationaries, books, newspapers and magazines. The economy class and commuter trains are in fact a veritable mobile market. For some they are a convenience, for others a nuisance.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

getting on and off the train

Getting on and off the commuter train is a harzardous thing in this city. Passangers getting on board don't usually wait for those alighting it. Everybody rushes. In addition to this, the passangers' platforms at most of the stations are not at the level of the train's doorways but at the level of the rail. It's hazardous for the able-bodied people much less for children and the elderly. And it's certainly is almost impossible for the disable.

I took the above photo at Gado Bangkong commuter train station in the west of Bandung.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


A handyman on Jalan Banceuy. He can fix quite a few things, but his specialty is plumbing fixtures.

Monday, January 18, 2010

road-side eating

A baso tahu cart vendor and a couple of his customers enjoying the food on Jalan Sumatera.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

a lonely sewer

A lonely sewer at Jalan Dulatip in the center of the city.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

nimble hands and feet

Nimble hands and feet playing soccer balls on the road side.

Friday, January 15, 2010

invisible #4

By law, they can't stop there! But street markings and signs are invisible in this city. Thanks to inconsistent law enforcement and the bribes you can pay the police officers if you should ever get caught.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

mobile persib

PERSIB mobile shop at Braga Fest 2009.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"gang becek" (muddy street)

The muddy street junction of Jalan Dulatip and Jalan Tamim near the Pasar Baru area in the city center.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


As I said, jaywalking is a norm rather than an exception here. Sometimes it looks scary like the one on this photo.

Monday, January 11, 2010

invisible #3

By law, they are supposed to stop behind the line. In a city (and country) where there is no effective law enforcement, however, everything can be chaotic. The street (and this kind of scene repeated all over the place) is only a tiny reflection of it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

blessing in a traffic congestion

For most people, traffic congestion is annoying and frustrating. For some, it's a blessing.

These street vendors were swiftly moving among cars and buses selling foods and drinks to drivers and passangers trapped in a traffic congestion at Padalarang toll exit.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


A city is an ecosystem. In it are various organisms living off and from one another. And here is an example:

A group of street musicians playing their music for tips to the passangers of angkot stopping at the traffic stop of Parapatan Lima. Two minutes is all it takes for them to entertain their audience and get the tip.

I took the photo a couple of years ago. But nothing has changed since then. So, it's still very much a picture of Bandung's street today.

Friday, January 8, 2010

invisible #2

Most street markings like this pedestrian crossing have largely become "invisible" in this city. It doesn't have any meanings to this street vendor, nor does it to the pedestrians in general who prefer to jaywalk than use it to cross the street.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Not neccessarily!

In this city, drivers know and sort of expecting it. And this man knew it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

danger in motion

First, the fruit vendors occupied one third the street. Then the angkot stopped almost in the middle of the street to wait for passangers. Then one of the vendors who wanted to go had to go to the middle of the street to avoid the angkot that stopped right in front of his cart. What happens next? What are the possibilities?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"rambutan street"

A long row of rambutan vendors at Jalan Astana Anyar. They occupy at least one third of the street body. On a holiday [I took this photo on the 1 January 2010] when the street was quieter than it normally is, it's ok. But on an ordinary day they make the congested street even more congested. These rambutan vendors sell different seasonal fruits at different times of the year.

Monday, January 4, 2010

jalan banceuy: the auto part street

Jalan Banceuy, where road-side small to medium scale businesses selling auto parts thrive.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

impossibly romantic

The sticker on the rear window of that angkot (lit. city transport) reads "romantis" (romantic). But of course there is nothing romantic about a means of public transportation that can stop to pick up and drop off passangers anywhere, even at the pedestrian crossing like the one you see on the photo. Angkot is a necessary headache to the city. It provides the necessary means of mass transportation that many need and don't otherwise have any other choices. However, it's erratic behavior is one of the main sources of traffic congestions and chaos, which over the long run will be too expensive to bear by the city and its citizens.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

yippee! (viva PERSIB)

These PERSIB (Bandung football team) supporters from the satellite town of Padalarang in the west of Bandung used the KRD commuter train to go into the city and watch their favorite team play. Along the way they would do this and shout and tout "viva PERSIB!".

Friday, January 1, 2010

go against

A becak (pedicab) is going against the one-way traffic on Jalan Astana Anyar. This kind of behavior is not an isolated incidence but rather a pattern that can be found repeated throughout the city, particulary by becak, ojeg (motorcycle taxi), and motorcyclists.