1 / 175 Jakarta

Jakarta 1-2/175

I still can’t believe it! We did it!

This trip is something special for me. I was traveling in Asia already. I’ve been to Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. But this time Anna and I have planned to go crazy spending 6 months abroad. Yes, 6 months, 175 days full of adventures, surprises and spontaneous decisions. Our first stop is Indonesia, then probably Nepal, India and finally Myanmar in January 2019. But who knows where we end up. Hostels are full of people who have interesting stories to tell and for sure will influence our travel path.

We booked a flight to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. A megacity that people recommended us to leave as soon as possible. They told us it is crowded, chaotic, full of traffic jams and pollution. And I have to admit, these people were right. BUT what they haven’t mentioned is that this city is full of lovely, charming, happy and smiling people. Of course many of them suffer poverty, but I can just say what emotions I have recieved during the first two days of walking through Jakarta: it was the warmest smiles full of love and joy.

I was really curious how I will handle my huge overloaded Backpack, which should have around 25 Kg in total. So we decided to take the train from the airport of Jakarta and walk from the train station to our hostel to test our weak office bodies. It was just a walk of 45 minutes, but we took every occasion to have a rest in one of the many parks in Jakarta that were on our way. We even went through a rally of a muslim party by accident. „Allahu Akbar!“ was shouted out loudly by the demonstrants. For those who don’t know: it just means God is great. I guess I will write another post about the political situation in Indonesia, and especially the history, which shocked me deeply.

As we arrived in the Capsule Hostel in Old Batavia it was evening already and my legs were pudding. Even better to have had a cozy double room with a comfortable bed and air condition. At first I was wondering why do the little window was a wooden plate, but after I closed it the loud street noise almost disappeared. The rooftop was really cozy to hang out. There was a Pool table, chess games and a bar with cold drinks and tasty food. Lucky as usual we met some great people to talk to. It is a good feeling to sit next to people from so many different continents sharing political views, travel stories or just a cold Bintang beer. Oh yes, our conversations got deep after a few of them. The staff was very charming and helpful, the environment clean. I would definitly recommend this hostel for a short stay.

The next day we started walking around the city without a plan where to go. We landed up in a poor housing area. It was a weird feeling to pass so many living rooms, having an insight of peoples private sphere. But instead of looking angry at us almost everybody has greeted us with a big smile and hello. Some even wanted to take a selfie with us. 

After a while we took a tuk tuk to this big green square on the map, which was the national monument of Jakarta. Would have loved to get on top of the observation platform of the monument to take some pictures from above. But as the cue was endless and the polluted air does not allow you to see further than a few hundred meters anyways we just had a short rest and went on.

The harbour was our next destination. On our way we suddenly saw a huge truck full of flowers and a huge Soundsystem next to it. A band was playing on a stage, a camera crane was filming it. We saw a beautiful decorated booth with a child sitting on a golden throne. I had no idea whats going on there, a wedding maybe? But then someone got in contact with us and asked me to take a picture of the young guy. It turned out that they were celebrating his circumcision, and now we were too. His family invited us to some delicious food, asked us to dance with them and welcomed us like their own family. Especially the little guy who was around 10 years old was almost as happy as we were to share this event.

Still having the harbour in mind we walked along a street to get there, a street that seemed to never end. What looked like a walk of an half an hour on the map took us almost 2 hours. Suddenly I saw the fish market and got reminded of the lovely atmosphere of the fish market I have visited last year in Casablanca. Not only by the really bad smell ^^. Especially the fact, that fisher men are thankful photo motifs who stand tall and proud. I got stopped by almost every second fisher man in the market to take a picture of him and his catch of the day.

A few hundred meters behind the fish market we found a slummy village built on water. It appeared as a chaotic mosaic of corrugated iron, wooden pillars and plastic rubbish. Everything of this ensemble seemed to fall apart, but still it withstands year after year. Later on I talked to a fisher man who told me that he was living there since many years. Life on the fish market seems tough. Work hard – earn little. 

Right next to this place I saw an old man sorting out sun-dried crabs on a jetty. I would love to have just a little of his patience…

After this day I have to say that Jakarta is totally worth a short visit. There is so many hidden corners to discover. So many people sharing their smiles with you. So many interesting ways of life.

Next chapter: SULAWESI

6 months of traveling Asia / Heavy nerdy packing list

6 months of traveling Asia! wohooo! A dream is coming true. 

For those who don´t know me, I am a Nerd when it comes to photography and technology. There is nothing more exciting to me than having free time to spend in nature or crowded cities, hunting with my camera what catches my eyes. As you can imagine I got confronted with a dilemma that probably all long term tourists have. Finding a balance between having with you everything you really need while travelling and reducing the weight as much as possible to avoid back ache. 

As you can clearly see I am totally bad at finding this balance ^^ 

I will try to explain to you why all those things are necessary for me to unfold my creativity on site. Lets start with the most important things from the top left:

I-pad pro: 478g – the perfect screen to fly the mavic pro. Also Anna is using it together with the keyboard to write her Blog. And i love to sketch on it with the I-pencil. 

Macbook Pro: 1830g – As I produce tons of photos and also Videos day by day I could not resist to take my Macbook with me to handle all the data. Also I will accept some remote jobs from time to time – f.e. architectural visualisations to keep my wallet bulging. 

DSLR Timer: 150g – one really important tool to take long time exposures and timelapse movies. 

Spare Iphone: 180g – always good to have – I am good at breaking or loosing my phone. 

Actioncam GoPro Hero 6: 118g – I bought it just 2 days before we left. I was sad for not being able to have more than 30 fps with my Canon 5D III, also no 4k and no underwater possibilities. With the Hero6 I got what I wanted with just a bit of weight. 

Powerbank Anker PowerCore+ 20100mAh: 581g – This powerbank is quite heavy, but totally worth carrying it around the world. With the USB-C connection it is possible to load even my Macbook Pro. 

RAVPower 16W Solar charger: 449g – with this helpful and foldable invention I can load up the Powerbank when I am lost on the beach. 

Drone Mavic Pro Platinum: 740g – my favorite toy. Every flight is an adventure, i felt in love with aerial perspectives and smooth tracking shots. Also the remote, 2 spare batteries and 4 packs of spare propellers are packed. 

2x Lumecubes: 748g – This little, quite expensive, waterproofed light sources are a new toy to me. I have a mount for the Mavic, so the plan is to use the 3000 lumen to light up a scene while taking a long time exposure with my camera. So excited to paint with light in my photo composition. 

Camera Canon 5D III: 945g – I carry this thing around for almost 6 years now. I enjoy this camera a lot. 2 extra Batteries are enough. 

Lense Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L: 1450g – This lense is huge and heavy. Not suitable for travellers. But anyway I could never leave this beast at home. It is my favourite lense.

Lense Canon 24-105mm 4.0 L: 670g – This lense is a great allrounder. But I mostly use it for long time exposures during daytime, because I have some nice ND filters which fit on it. 

Lense Sigma 20mm Art 1.4: 945g – This lense is quite heavy for its size. But it is just the perfect lense to take photos in dark environments – especially for taking pictures of the milky way – so much looking forward to! 🙂

Extender Canon EF 2x III: 227g – This one was hard to decide. I use it very rarely, but sometimes its just fun to use it. With the 70-200mm I get 400mm, which I imagine to be very useful in regions like the Himalaya.

Tripod Manfrotto Befree: 1400g – When you are into photography you will know how essential this tool is for taking pictures in the dark. Longtime exposure photography is the supreme discipline! 

Audio Recorder ZOOM H4nPro: 294g – I realised the importance of high quality sound when cutting videos. As I play around with music a lot these days I planned to record sounds of urbanity and nature to create music with it. 

Sensor Leap Motion: 32g – This infrared sensor is a wonder of technology. I already used it in some interactive music and light installations. It lets you control midi signals by hand gestures. I took it with me to program some new synthesizer sounds with it. And maybe… maybe we will find a jungle rave somewhere, where I can spontaneously do a light or music installation. You never know 🙂

Hard drive Samsung SSD T5: 80g – This tiny and robust Solid State Drive is perfect to have enough disk space with you without getting to heavy loaded. 

Portable Backpack Matador up beast28: 558g – I got this backpack recommended by a friend – thanks Berno. I really love this tiny backpack as hand luggage or backpack for day trips. It offers enough space for my 15″ Macbook, the drone, one extra lense and provisions. Highly recommended!

Hammock Ticket to the Moon: 600g – One of the most important things for a relaxing holiday. Since many years I am a big fan of this companies hammocks. Sometimes it even helps you out to have a comfortable train ride when the seats are full. 

Cable Salat: weight unknown – All the listed equipment is useless without power or the possibility to transfer the data to my Laptop. Nowadays there is tons of different cables. USB, mini/micro-USB, USB-C, Adapters and many more. 

Dry bag XXL: 80g – Mostly used to transport dirty, used clothes I bought this bag to be safe when transporting my equipment on little fishing boats. 

Cable Salat: weight unknown – All the listed equipment is useless without power or the possibility to transfer the data to my Laptop. Nowadays there is tons of different cables. USB, mini/micro-USB, USB-C, Adapters and many more. 

Mosquito Net Ticket to the Moon: 450g – To be totally independent when travelling it is obligatory to have a mosquito net for the hammock. When the only hotel in town is not worth the money, just say goodbye and sleep on the beach 🙂 

Of course I know that I am a little crazy to take all this stuff with me. But that´s how I like to travel, packed with everything I need to realise my ideas. Do what you love and the back ache wont hurt too bad.