Rough Seas
Goodbye, Kagoshima

Surabaya, Indonesia- Technique Test and Night Moves

Surabaya is a port city on the Indonesian island of Java. The port was perhaps the busiest we have been to, with a large container presence and many ships waiting in the harbor. We had no scheduled excursion outside the city, so we took a shuttle bus to The Mall and back.

Commentary and an Explanation of Technique
(skip if you want, but it explains the images)
The Mall we visited was HUGE: five levels, plus a sub-level, and branched off in several directions, some branches connecting to hotels. Security was tight, with armed guards and scanners at every entrance. The Mall had almost every American store you could imagine and was immaculate, shiny and clean. It typified an over-the-top American Mall back when they were in their heydays. The entire Mall underplayed the Indonesian presence, up to and including most of the signage being in English. A token nod was given to Ramadan, and a few stores were Indonesian, but they were sanitized to American standards.  I couldn't help but compare the appearance of the Mall to the idealized images of Barbieland in last year's blockbuster. The pricing was up to American levels as well. 

The Mall starkly contrasted with what we saw on the shuttle ride. Tourist agencies and promotional writers notwithstanding, Surabaya is not a pretty city. Looking behind the occasional pretty building and monuments is the gritty reality of a third-world urban environment where people struggle daily to get by. It is difficult to offset the harsh visions.

The images in the first section below were taken through a bus window with my small Amkov camera. I wanted to push the contrast between the glamorous Mall and what surrounded it, so I emphasized the limitations of the small camera. Images are over-sharpened, out of focus and grainy... combining to try to represent an interpretation of what I saw.

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Departing the busy port at sunset

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A crowd watched us depart


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Click here to view full-size, no watermark images at www.ImagesByBill.us

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Surabaya, Indonesia
03/11/24

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