Friday, November 22, 2013

There’s Nothing More Fun than Being at The Top (Part 2)

The paintings made by Hal Wichers on 1937 depicting the landscape, face Merbaboe mountain. The beauty of this 5th highest peak in the whole Java Isle has been famous for a long time ago. (source: geheugen van nederland)
Just like the titled so this was my 2nd summit that I've conquered ;) Its began when Mas Dimas wishes once He ought to succesfully climbed the mountain, and not so long after that I've seen a posters on my campus explained about Pendakian Massal (eng: mass climbing) upon the Merbabu mountain, the 5th highest peak in the whole Java Isle, organize by FEPALA, a student mountaneering club of Economic Faculty of UNDIP. Inviting another, then I got a company, consist of Kuni, my organization pals and Aji, my college pals.

Me and my team posed in the village of Wekas,
 the last village in the climbing lane to the peak of Merbabu.
On the morning of November 2nd, 2013, me and Aji walks from His dorm after got a breakfast to the assembly point before we picked up by trucks (sounds riddiculous eh? But its common here ;)) and met Mas Dimas and Kuni as well. Over there I met with Kuni's friends Deny, also my juniors Mamos and Rilo, the boy who before it once we met up on the campus bazaar events while we together participated.

The trucks starts to roll, and the journey to the Merbabu just began. Pretty hot during the trip, ya now I know the suffering of the soldiers during the war. The committee said its almost 47 participant and together with the committee, the total of this "challenger" would be 70. Some of the committee had already in the Merbabu ground camp, to prepared the accomodation to the participant. Around 12:15, We arrived at Wekas, the last village on the climbing lane to Merbabu. Got our lunch and also got a break before the climbing starts.

Right on 3.00 pm, the journey to conquered the Merbabu peak begin. Related to my unwell condition, because of couple days before it I was suffering for cold, and a night before it I even cant sleep properly. Thus, felt exhausted quicker than normally, made me always walks far behind the groups. Damn, but its true, its still the begining, the journey still far away, Mas Dimas and Aji always give the motivation, to always move and not to got rest frequently. Theoretically, a lot of rest, there will be more exhausted you'll felt, but ya, I just cant stand anymore at that time. 

through the storms, the visibility
not more than 5 meters
After three hours of walking, then I arrived in the 2nd post of Merbabu Climbing lane that used as camping ground. I'am the last man who arrived, and the sky already dark. A bread and a cornets curing my hunger, and a bottle of fresh water made me felt "alive" anymore. Me together with Aji, Mas Dimas, Rilo, Mamos and Dani become a one group and after choosing the tent, we prepared our equipment to cook but later we decided to sleep firstly and cook later, considering the queue from another group to used the stove. Our tent, its said normally enough to used by five person, but when we used it, only four of us, could occupied it. Then, Mas Dimas choosed to sleep outside the tent using  His sleeping bag. But then in the middle of the night, the storms struck the camp, and I saw the lightning blazing and affraid of the rain would falls down, I ordered Mas Dimas to moved inside and made us more likely a salmon inside the sardinnes can.  

Pretty cold on that nite, because its so windy, and we forgot our dinner. a bad start, because at 02.00 am we woke up and prepared to climb the peak of the mountain, in hungry condition! Only couple of bread we ate and we begin to climb to the top. The lane were so hard because of dominated by rocks, still I was the last man in the group. All of us want to catch the sunrise in the top, but for me it doesnt important at all related to my bad condition. There I realize why this mountain loss of many lives, because of the tracks were so dangerous and challenging. Near the peak there's a lane called Jembatan Setan (eng: the devils bridge). A rocky mountain that need an extra consentration to passed it.

Taking picture together in midst of storm at the
peak of Merbabu mountain .
Arrived at the peak of the Merbabu mountain in the height of 3412 mdpl on the 6:30 am I just could said "Alhamdulillah". I give a several toast to Mas Dimas, because finally we made it, conquered the peak of Merbabu and for Him, this was His first mountain to be climbed. Here in the top we wanna celebrated it with got our breakfast because of we havent got our dinner yet. But poor us, the gas can leaked thus set the stove into fire. Our chance to got our breakfast gone away, but its not only stop on it. Unluckily the storm struck again and made our way back not easy, and Kuni's wounded in the middle of the way back until its need to be evacuated by the stretcher. 

All of that is only the way to proof how strong are you. Later all of that could be handled of. Just like the wise man said "the show must goes on". In the hunger condition finally we could reach the camp and ate our "most delicious noodles" on our lives, and Kuni successfully evacuated. And at 3:00 pm, time's to go back to the village before transported back to Semarang, we had to move slowly becouse of Kuni condition, also the rain falls down made the way slippers, even severals time I got slipped and fallen. But we made it, we reached Wekas on 7:15 pm, because of the spirits and faith amongs the team. At last, inside the truck on the way back, I just realized not to be afraid facing the problems, there's people around who always support us, and thats what a solidarity stands for. Still, there's nothing more fun than being at the top! :)

The Real Mailbox

The photos from Leiden University Library depicted the women used the mailbox in the Bergota street. In the right is this "Brievenbus" which now is displayed as memorial in the front of Kantor Pos Besar building, Semarang.
Today, the interaction between people were very dynamics. For me, when I started my activity in the morning, I will worried if my cellphones were in low power condition/ inactive , rather than got my breakfast. Its getting common while people wake up in the morning, then firstly checked their gadget, as same as they gonna go to bed in the night. Yap getting "keep in touch" with others is one's of the common sense due to its real that human created as a social creatures. Long time ago, an effort to made this kind of communication activity were created. The correspondence through the mail was the famous way for long distance communication for a long way. 

One's of my Mom's collection, a
 postage stamp issued on 1962 by
PT POS Indonesia, commemorated
the 4th Asian Games in Jakarta.
According to the official sites of PT. POS Indonesia, as the official institutions about this business, the history of the postal services begin in Batavia. Inisiated by the General-Governoor G.W Baron van Imhoff on August, 26th 1746 with the purposes to securing the mail flows for the cilvilian and military as well. The services not only handled the services in East Indies region but also to the Netherlands. After its established in Batavia, four year laters, its established in Semarang thorugh the cities of Karawang, Cirebon and Pekalongan

This correspondence activity were survive for a long times after that. Even when the telegraph and telephone invented, its still the main ways for long-distance communication. This activity generated the philately hobbies which once so popular. Among the philatelist collecting the postage stamp from the various place in the world is the purposes, thus the correspondence activities not boring. My Mom, are also a philatelist during Her youth.

Talking about the postal history in Semarang city cant be separated from this Kantor Pos Besar, the head office of postal services in this city, located near the Kota Lama. Built in the 19th centuries, this former Post en Telegraf Dienst Kantoor still used as serving the people. There's a zero milestone in front of this building. There's a unique fact that most of the postal head office always existed near the zero milestones. Here in Semarang then Bandoeng, Pekalongan, Cirebon, etc all of them were near the postal head office in those cities. Maybe this was related to the position of those building which in the roadside of "De Groote Post Weg"(eng: the postal grand road). The Groote Post Weg, inisiated under the general-governor of Herman Willem Daendels, a dutch who become French colaborator during the Napoleonic war (1803-1815). The Daendels inisiated to conected the major cities in the north coast of Java in order to made the movement of the army easier to defend the Java  from the British. But also, its purposed to made the flow of the postal services quicker than before then it make a sense while most of them were located close to the zero milestones.

So, when is the last time you sent the mail through this real mailboxes? :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Van Dorp, The Famous Bookstores

Van Dorp Bookstores and publishers during the colonial era and the current condition on 2013. The inzet depicted the GCT Van Dorp & Co. logo. (source: Masyarakat Indonesia Sadar Sejarah (Mesias) and )
A bookstores is having an important role the societies. Because of books are the window to the World. Its made us able to travel anywhere in this world and beyond in the covers of a book. There is no limit to what we can experience while reading. It's an entertainment we can take with you anywhere, any time. Through readings the books, people will gain more knowledge deeply than others, even in this modern era's when the electronic gadget developed so fast, still on the educational sectors teacher as well as lecturer prefer to ask their students to read the books. Books writed by writers, edited by editors then printed and published by publisher until its "served" on the bookstores.

The ads about the watercolor boxes that
sold in Van Dorp Bookstores.
(sources: koleksikertasdjadoel)
Lately, I found a fact that once in Semarang, its existed the famous bookstores called Van Dorp. The complete names is that G.C.T van Dorp & Co. or simply called as Van Dorp, located in Kota Lama in front of the old Javasche Bank building. Van Dorp beside its sells the book, its also having role as publisher. Felt difficulties to found the records about this bookstores that based in Batavia (now: Jakarta) and has branches in Bandung, Semarang and Surabaya with the distribution all over East-Indies. But Asrul Sani on Arief Budiman's book entitled "Chairil Anwar: Sebuah Pertemuan" recount about His story and Chairil Anwar about its Van Dorp Bookstores. “In Jalan Juanda (Jakarta) once there's two bookstores that now becomes the office of Astra Company. They were Kolf and Van Dorp. The collection was extremely much. Me and Chairil often to stolen the books over there,” Asrul Sani recounts on the books. 

The fate of Van Dorp bookstores later nationalized by the government after the repatriations of the Dutch people following the tensions between Indonesia and Netherlands in West Papua conflicts. The glory of this bookstores found its ends. The new owners seems unable to managed the bookstores until its getting declined and the building taken by Sarinah International, and here in Semarang taken by Ikatan Arsitek Indonesia (IAI) but now were no longer used and abandoned. PK Ojong, the founder of Kompas Daily, one's of the leading newspaper in Indonesia wrote about this. For Him, the lost of Van Dorp Bookstores is one's of the evidences behind the failure of nationalization policy.

GCT Van Dorp building before its change into the art deco style on 1913.
(source: Leiden University Library)
"The soul of a company is not placed on the building, the furniture, the car, the truck, and the archive, but on the leader. What we actually do with this Van Dorp bookstores? The expertise, efficiency, we kick it out abroad. And that we have is only the building, the furniture, the car, and so on. We kick it soul, and the only things we owned just a dead objects", said PK Ojong.     

When the nationalization carried out in an emotional atmosphere, based on hate, based on revenge without a good and professional management, its means nothings. Just like the fate of Van Dorp Bookstores. abandoned, decayed, and no one's recognized it anymore.