Visiting National Museum

Visiting National Museum

Yeah, I finally made it, ladies and gentlemen! I have been planning this so-called solo trip the whole week, I could not wait, and the day finally arrived. I made it today, visiting national museum, by myself! Wohoooo, I am so excited to write everything here. Let’s begin!

I have been super interested in traveling lately, thanks to many great travel pictures on Instagram and also the traveling websites I have been intensively stalking these days.

Well, last night, I felt like the Universe agreed on me doing the solo-trip tomorrow. It was like I got supported by the Universe. Yeah, I did think about me traveling and visiting many different places and then sharing the stories here on my blog. I had always liked the idea of being a blogger, particularly a travel blogger. Well, I am starting out of the topic here, I will surely write about my blogging addiction and muse one day (hopefully in near future).

Anyway, let us get back on track. So, my first solo trip was very carefully planned. Just for your information, I usually spent my weekend by staying at home, watching TV, or going to a mall with my friends. I started getting bored of it, there was nothing exciting from doing those things continuously. I wanted something new, something that only myself could really enjoyed. I then came up with the #WeekendMuseum idea, it was basically about me visiting museums in Jakarta every weekend. I laughed at the idea at first, realizing how hard I could be to wake up and drag myself to go outside, especially on the weekend. But, the idea really stick in my head, I was determined to make it happen. I started my first #WeekendMuseum today, and it was fun. I threw away all the excuses, fears, “buts“, and “what ifs“, to the trash can. I got everything ready, and I explored the museum like a happy child.

Today would be my first time (again) after so many years to visit the museum. I honestly did not plan visiting the museum at first because there were a lot of museums in Jakarta, so I could choose others if I wanted to. But, I ended up choosing the museum, national museum or the so called museum gajah, to kick off my #WeekendMuseum trip. It happened for several reasons namely 1) I knew how to get there, 2) I passed the road where it was located several times, 3) it was a nice museum, and 4) seriously, it was easy to find, so the chance of getting lost was so small, and don’t forget 5) it was not so far from my home. Yeah, it was decided, national museum came first on my list.

Last night, I began looking for information about the possible public transportation I could ride, the ticket price, the opening hours and stuff. I found the museum’s website pretty helpful http://www.museumnasional.or.id/. Yeah, I did a bit of research there, and I considered it important to make my trip safe and sound. Done with the research and had everything figured out, I moved on to the next thing to do – packing. Well, it was not like I was going somewhere far that I would call it as packing, but honestly yes I did, I packed my bag. Here are the things I brought:

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Well, it was just the essentials I usually brought inside my bag on regular basis. Nothing special. I preferred to use my usual bag, it was like I was bag packer or something. I felt more comfortable using a bag like that to use a usual female bag which I rarely used as well. There, I brought my wallet; a mask; my headset; my umbrella; a bottle of mineral water; and a book I was currently reading. My plan was to read during my APTB ride. Well, it did not happen, unfortunately.

I woke up this morning feeling excited. I set off around 10 a.m., I then ordered an ojek or known as gojek, to my first destination, my campus. This was a bit unnecessary actually to go to my campus first so I could ride the bus known as APTB. I probably could take another route or way, but today, that route was the best I knew. I stick with the initial plan. So, my gojek arrived around 10.30 a.m. It took around one hour because I arrived on my campus, the halte I meant, around 11.30 a.m. The funny thing happened when I was like a couple of kilometers away from my campus and the bus passed me by. I could not just stop the gojek, of course, that would be risky and unprofessional. I sighed, deeply, looking at the passing bus. It did not really upset me, thankfully, as I could wait for another one.

The next bus arrived around 12 noon. To my surprise, it was crowded. My reading plan was immediately thrown away. I stood up mostly during the ride. The road was not so crowded on the weekend. I arrived at the Monas bus stop, it was such a perfect stop for those who wanted to visit Monas and National Museum. I got off from the bus and followed other passengers through the bus stop. Luckily, it was very close to the museum, I only needed to take a three-minute walk from the stop. I was in doubt at first as I had not come to the museum for ages, I was afraid that the museum was far from the bus station. But, luckily, I saw the museum so clearly right before I got off from the bus. I was sure again. I continued. Just in case I changed my mind, I would stay on the ride and stop at the Kota bus stop and go to Kotu instead. Yeah, I always got a back up plan.

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The museum

And I was there, in front of the museum, right in the entrance door. There were some food sellers near the museum which I would love to try after visiting, but unfortunately they were all gone when I went home. The soto mie seemed so good, just so you know. Anyway, right near the main entrance, I was welcomed by this unique, I don’t know precisely, art.

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Two women were standing in front of the art, looking for a good spot to take a picture

I then went to another icon of the museum, the elephant statue which proudly stood in front of the museum.

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The famous elephant statue. The statue is actually what makes the museum called as ‘museum gajah
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The elephant statue, up close

The ticket price was Rp. 5.000 which was pretty cheap, and I thought that almost all museum ticket prices were very affordable. Even so, it did not guarantee that many visitors would come. It was not my first time visiting the museum, but the last time I visited the museum was like when I was a little kid. My memory of it was long gone. Right after I got my ticket and ready to explore the museum, I was kindly reminded to hand my bag to the bags keeper. Well, that one was new information for me. I handed my bag to the bags keeper and I got my bag number. Then, the exploring began!

As soon as I stepped into the museum, I was welcomed by many statues in various sizes – small, medium, large. The statues mainly looked like those I saw in my History Subject books. The ones that probably came from Hindu and Budha kingdoms.

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A school girl was writing down the available information about the statue or arca

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A gigantic statue in the museum. One main attraction for visitors
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A bunch of teenagers taking turns to take a picture with the gigantic statue

After being welcomed by a bunch of statues, I was welcomed again by one picturesque view I dearly loved. The central part of the museum, one of the museum’s icons besides the elephant statue.

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The iconic open-space

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The hallway with statues on its right side
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The sunny cloud above the museum’s iconic open-space
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My failed selfie attempt

The view was breathtaking. I took several more pictures of the open-space. I then continued my tour to inside of the museum. As predicted and like other museums in general, the inside part of the museum was filled with many displays ranging from ceramic, pot, traditional clothes, and more. I wandered around the museum, immersing myself to my Indonesian culture from the past that I barely knew, and also busy taking pictures.

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Ancestor statue (patung nenek moyang)
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Such a long and unique boat

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I kept walking and walking, going into one room after another. The museum was pretty big and the collection was varied. There were quite many visitors today given the fact that today was Sunday. I saw some families with their school children, some teenager couples, some curious tourists, and even a group of school children coming all the way from Klaten, doing a kind of study tour, it was apparently only me who was doing a solo tour. Never mind.

The museum was already good in terms of its collection and facilities. Even so, it did not seem very attractive compared to the museums abroad. I was pretty concerned about museums in Indonesia that did not get much attention from both locals and tourists. Our government surely needed to improve its ways of promoting museums. Enough with the critics, the museum had the information table in both Bahasa Indonesia and English for its visitors, it also now had a multimedia service on which visitors, particularly school children, could learn.

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A TV, showing something cultural-related, for visitors
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A line of chairs for visitors to take a break and have a quick rest
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Another TV showing about porcelain making in a (sadly) empty room
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A girl was learning from a multimedia service available in the museum

It was around 1.30 p.m. when I had done exploring a half of the museum. I then continued my tour and found some even more unique displays.

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A gigantic map of Indonesia

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A display displaying some ethnicity in Indonesia
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A miniature of humans in the past time displayed in the men and environment section
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An interesting display of humans in the past time

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The museum tour did not last so long as I had to go back home before dark. I was satisfied though knowing that I had explored the museum completely. The museum itself was even more crowded around 2.30 p.m. I then ended my tour by taking some more pictures and then went home. There was something funny happened when I was sitting and arranging my stuff when a young man approaching me asking for a hand to take a picture of him and his lady. Well, it was awkward and I felt so single at that moment. Well, that kind of thing could have happened especially when you did a solo trip like I did.

There was something good also happened, this was when I took my bag back on the bags counter. There, I could bring home a museum tour kind of book that I should have taken earlier before exploring the museum. Either way, I was still happy getting the book, as happy as a little kid who got an ice cream. I then left the museum feeling happy and satisfied.

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The icon, from different angle
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The miniature of Indonesian traditional houses

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A provoking quote near the icon

It was almost 3 p.m. and I had not had a lunch yet. I was starving and I saw no food stalls whatsoever nearby. I kept walking. It was the national monument or Monas neighborhood. I did not really know what public transportation to ride that afternoon. My initial plan was to ride the APTB again, but I saw no single APTB along the road. I was clueless for a moment, but I kept walking, I felt so adventurous here. It was not my first time though, getting lost for a moment. I was not scared, I was not panic, I was not terrified. I, on the other hand, was super fine. I felt okay, being clueless for a moment while trying to figure the things out. I kept walking until I got to the strategic point where my possible buses passed.

As I walked along the Monas neighborhood, I came across a siomay seller. I bought one portion for myself, and I ate it on my way to find the bus. It was good, anything was good actually, especially when you were starving like I was. I kept walking until I met a bunch of people waiting a city tour bus. I wanted to join the crowd so badly, but the bus took ages to arrive, I gave it up and continued my walking.

My walking ended up in the Monas main entrance. It was like inviting me to come, and I had a hard time saying “no“. I saw a lot of horse riding or delman along the road. I thought that would be super fun to ride the delman one day. And right when I was thinking about my way home, something funny happened. So, there was a Chinese man asking for the delman riding price. He was with his family, four in total. He tried to ask in English although his English was not so good. The delman rider could not speak English, he did know what the man was trying to say, but he failed to respond. He, then, showed his 50.000 money to the man as a rescue, hoping the man could understand. What the delman rider did was called strategic competence in communicative competence, and I did know this from my Speaking Class’ lecturer (nerd alert!).  And I was there standing very close to them,  I was fascinated by the scene I just saw. Failed to get the message across, another delman rider came to help. This time, he could use English, very simple one. He said, “One hundred thousand” to the Chinese man who began sounding impatient. The man then asked again, something that I understood to be something like, “Is one hundred thousand for one person or for all of us (referring to his four family members)?”. Here, both of the delman riders failed to answer and convince the man. I was still there, standing and watching. I was still there wanting so badly to join and help they get the deal by using my English. But, I was unable to say a word even I wanted to. Then, another delman rider came, he noticed me watching the conversation. He looked at me and simply said, “Itu kali Mbaknya ngerti”, and I was like smiling but still saying nothing. The Chinese man ended up going away, leaving the conversation one-sided. The delman rider, the one who used English, on the other hand, was still convincing the man, shouting “One hundred thousand, one hundred thousand” repeatedly. It was funny.

I continued my walking, still with no clue about the bus. I kept walking, passing several traffic lights, passing several high buildings I did not see everyday, and ended up waiting for any buses to come. Here, I had several alternatives in mind. I was thankful that I had pretty sound knowledge on public transportation specifically in Jakarta. The point was pretty simple, just remember the main important bus stations (terminal) and the locations or routes you were familiar with. Anything could start from there, and you could continue to your destination.

I was waiting for the bus to Blok M bus station when a bus came. I did not plan to get on, but then I saw the destination – Pasar Minggu, and it was close to my location. Yes, I could ride the bus. I then got on with a little doubt as I never rode the bus before. Along the way, the ride was good, and I started figuring the bus route out. It was easy to learn and to my surprise, it was actually faster than I thought. I arrived in Pasar Minggu around 4 p.m. The ride back home was lovely, with the drizzle rain along the way. I enjoyed it, I enjoyed my trip.

I arrived at home safe and sound, Alhamdulillah. So, that is all about my first #WeekendMuseum solo trip story. I am surely looking forward for the second one which will be next week, InsyaAllah. I still have no idea which museum I should visit next, but I will definitely plan it later. So, today was such a good day for me, and I was absolutely into solo trip. Visiting the museum was such a good way to spend my weekend.

I am planning to write about the reasons behind my solo trip decision and the complete story about my sudden #WeekendMuseum idea. I will write them all, and hopefully soon. For now, it is done here. Cheers!

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