February 21, 2009

Obama pizza

I am amazed with Indonesian food. There are so many to choose from, reflecting the diversity of cultures Indonesia is made up of. And so many of them are absolutely delicious. However, I cannot lie. All the Indonesian dishes cannot beat a pizza, my most favorite food (I blame my childhood for this).

Luckily, there are many pizza joints to choose from in Jakarta. You have the international brands such as Pizza Hut (of course, they're everywhere), Domino's (just recently opened) and Pizza Marzano, and then there are a few local brands :
Papa Ron's, Fast Eddie's and Izzi pizza. Although these 3 are local brands, all of them are actually founded by foreigners.

Yesterday, I went to Izzi pizza & found out that they had a special menu called "Obama pizza".

Obama-mania certainly hit Indonesia during the campaign period, where the local media kept emphasizing that Obama went to school in Indonesia. After the elections, there was a small incident where Obama answered in Indonesian during a state department visit. This incident was also quite talked about...and now that I've seen this pizza, I can't help wondering: Is there an SBY dish anywhere?

SBY = Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia's current president

February 14, 2009

Semarang "Religious" Tour - part 3 : Hindu & Buddhist Temples

The next 2 places mark the end of my "religious" tour of Semarang.

5. Pura Giri Natha
Address : Jl. Sumbing 12

I didn't intentionally wanted to go here. I asked the taxi driver to take me to Vihara Watugong & maybe he noticed that I had been hopping from one place of worship to the other, so he suggested to stop by here on the way up to Watugong.

Pura Giri Natha is a Hindu temple, which is the main religion of Balinese people. If you've been to Bali before, this place may not take your breath away since it is not as large as the temples in Bali.

However, because it lies in "Semarang Atas", you can get a nice view of the town. Semarang's topography consists of a coastal/lowland area referred to as 'Semarang Bawah' (which means Bottom of Semarang) & a mountainous area which the locals call 'Semarang Atas' (meaning Top of Semarang).

This temple made me feel as if I was in Bali

View of Semarang

6. Pagoda Avalokitesvara
Address : Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan

This pagoda is located in the Vihara Buddhagaya Watugong complex. It is 45 meters high, making it the tallest Pagoda in Indonesia. It is intended for those who want to pray or worship the goddess of mercy Kuan Yin (Kwan Im), therefore there are in total 25 statues of her on this pagoda.

Left : Statue of Kwan Im, Right : Intricate design of the Pagoda's pillars

Statue of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, sitting under a Bodhi tree

February 1, 2009

Semarang "Religious" Tour - part 2 : Mosque & Church

Continuing my previous post of Semarang's places of interest, here are other locations I visited.
Note : The photos may be a bit dark, it was late in the afternoon when I got there.

3. Grand Mosque of Central Java
Address : Jl. Gajah Raya, Gayamsari

This mosque is the biggest mosque in the province of Central Java.

In front of the mosque are 6 huge umbrellas that are retractable such as the ones in Nabawi mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The taxi driver who took me there said that the umbrellas are rarely opened though, only when there is a special ceremony going on.

Umbrellas in front of the mosque

Nearby the mosque is a tower 99 meters high which symbolizes the 99 names of God. Unfortunately I didn't know that you can go up the tower. Later on, I read in a blog that the view of Semarang from up there is quite beautiful and that on the 18th floor there is even a revolving cafe. (Gosh, it really is build as a tourist attraction!)

On the right: the 99m tower

4. Blenduk Church
Address : Jl. Let. Jend. Suprapto no. 32

This is the oldest Christian Church in Central Java which was built in 1753 during the Dutch colonization. The name comes from its dome-shaped top.

It lies in the old town of Semarang. I found the buildings nearby the church quite interesting, reminded me a bit of Europe. Many were not in good shape although there was one which was restored and turned into a restaurant.

I love these old-styled lamp-posts.

It was a shame that many of the buildings were in poor shape

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