Tuesday, 18 August 2015

#alivegurlmudik: Perpustakaan Bank Indonesia

Okay, last post from Surabaya, I'm afraid. It feels like our trip lasted longer than it did with all this posting. But, don't worry, our last destination was quite a humdinger. If you know me well, you should know that this place is quite short of heaven for me. You guessed it: it's a library! Of course, if you're Indonesian, you could've read that in the title. If you're not, the title means "Indonesian Central Bank Library." At first, I thought it meant that we got to read old financial archives of the country - which might sound boring but intrigued me anyhow - but apparently it's just your run-of-the-mill library. It houses all kinds of books from scientific books, novels, comic books to children books, newspapers and magazines. The building itself was built in 1921 by Dutch architects, with its unique rooftop, taking the shape of a tumpeng. It was first the dwelling of Indonesia Central Bank's CEO but changed functions. In 1975 it was turned into the Mpu Tantular Museum, which houses many cultural artefacts until 2014, when the building was returned to its rightful owner - the Central Bank - and turned into a public library until presently.

Asos pinafore dress // hand-me-down shirt + tights // Urban Outfitters hat // Kmart purse (Sis's) // DF Fashion shoes // photos by Akita

Unlike in Germany, where libraries are still quite popular, in Indonesia not many people go to libraries. Maybe not even those in universities. Library is a lost art, it seems. Personally, libraries have always been my favourite places to be. It started out in elementary school, when our school remodelled its library and I kept renewing my card and spending my recess there, reading various books from folktales, pop-culture, even translated classics. That's how I developed this fondness toward literature and language alike. In middle school, although I didn't spend as much time in the school's library, I often visited the public library behind our school. Dare I say that the best books I read are usually from a library, including The Count of Monte Cristo, which I borrowed from my high school library. When I moved to Germany, every time I moved town, the first place I needed to check out was the town library. My favourite ever was the one in Karlsruhe! It was incredibly high tech - they have a friggin' ATM for returning books! - and architecturally gorgeous! This trip encourages me to look for more libraries in Jakarta. Fingers crossed I'll be able to find some good ones! Finally, that's it from my trip to Surabaya. From here on out, it'll be my daily life again. If you have any suggestions for my next trip, let me know in the comments!


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