Thursday, August 5, 2010

Obama in Jakarta?

I would always have weak knees everytime I am at Jalan Surabaya. It surely feels like I am a kid in a candy store; I just could not make up my mind of what I want to have. If I have my way, I would buy the whole candy store myself.

But then again, I also knew my limitation and my limitation has always been financial.

It has been more than a decade since I last went to Jalan Surabaya. I just could not juggle up my time every time I am in the city, as Jalan Surabaya shops tend to close earlier than the end of my normal appointments.

So after more than a decade of absence, I decided to go there this week and look for the gramophone needles. I used to have the spares, but I guess I must have lost them or misplaced them, and not knowing anywhere else to buy in Kuala Lumpur, I headed to Jalan Surabaya.

May be I do know a bit more about Jakarta than Kuala Lumpur.
So this bapak sold me ten pieces of the needles, while trying to entice me with his record collection, especially a 78 rpm vinyl consisting of two Minang song, which I thought is quite interesting, but declined it due to the fact that I was going to travel quite a bit and did not wish to have such fragile stuff with me.

But then I stopped at this shop, and I got rambang mata.
There was so much there - not that I have not been at this end shop before. I guess being in Jalan Surabaya rekindled my interest in everything old (and black I guess). There are just too many to write and many of these records are best listened on an old gramophone.

While I was browsing, he kept on coming up with old Indonesian collections. I kept on declining, informing him that the price is a bit too steep for the shallow pocket of mine.

Then he came up with his last throw of the dice.

Oh my, collection of Hasnah Tahar and the Sri Guntang Orchestra. He knew immediately that my face had lighten up when I saw the Hasnah Tahar album.
If the other collection he was selling for 200K Rupiah, for the Hasnah Tahar, it had doubled up to 400K! He must have seen the glint in my eyes. I thought that the songs in the Hasnah Tahar's vinyl are excellent, and a must have for my collection. But as I have mentioned before, my travel would not permit me to add on this fragile vinyl to be taken with me.

NOt at that price anyway.

And I need to have a strong mind to bargain with him and get at least a 50% discount.

But I do know my weaknesses.
Siapa Tak Kenal - Penghibur Hati, and Hasnah Tahar and Orkes Bukit Siguntang albums sitting on the rack. Don't you all dare buy these albums from him. I am hoping that the price will drop when I started to speak Indonesian and not bring with me my SLR the next time. He knew this time around that I was a tourist and tried his best to get the most out of me.

By the way, after doing my deeds at Jalan Surabaya, I saw Obama at a field in Menteng. Menteng is the suburb he used to grow up at.
Obama is an anak Menteng, as this poster indicated.

This picture (poster) is a bonus from Jalan Surabaya.


  1. Rahman, you can get the needle at a shop in Amcorp Mall in PJ. Have a nice day in Surabaya.

  2. Thanks Pak. I should have thought of Amcorp, but I was just going away in any case.