Jakarta Exploration: Pasar Jalan Surabaya

Emily is visiting from Hong Kong/America, which creates the perfect excuse to explore the places in the city that I have not yet ventured.
We chose two different places to visit for the day: a photography exhibit in Jakarta Selatan (which was sadly closed), and the antiques market at Jalan Surabaya.

Described as a “Flea Market” on TripAdvisor, we were unsure as to what we would find.  Our taxi driver had heard of the place, but didn’t know the location, so we had to ask for directions after we had entered the area.  Thankfully, a local newspaper seller at our window knew the way.

Pasar Jalan Surabaya is a street (“jalan”) market (“pasar”) that has a long row of vendors, all selling a bunch of different items.  From books to chandeliers to masks to cast iron figurines, if you are interested in old or eclectic items, you could easily spend over an hour browsing the different shops.

There were a lot of obviously modern objects, but also numerous actual antiques.  While I don’t know anything about pottery or delftware, someone with a more discerning eye could have certainly found old items of actual value after sifting though the ceiling high clutter.  Since I personally know nothing of the sort, I can only comment on the old Royal typewriters, records, radios, cameras, and similar items, which were in various states of disrepair, but blatantly old.

My purchases included two National Geographic Magazines (one from 1977, one from 1981), and an antique brass lock.

Emily bought a stack of old photos, circa what we think is the 1950s or 1960s.  They mostly feature a couple’s adventure in Bali, but they are beautiful and oddly intimate even though the couple rarely appears together in the photographs.  In order to purchase these, Emily had to negotiate with a very persistent seller, impressing both myself and the vendor with her bahasa skills.  At the end of the day, a promise of friendship was what sealed the deal, and Emily managed to get the photos for less than half of the original price.  (You go, girl!)

The market was very interesting, and I am excited for my next visit.
Is anyone else finding reasons to explore new places in their own city?


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