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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Venice of the East?


Padma has just phoned from Banjarmasin, her family's ancestral home, where she's gone with her dad to pay her respects to relatives who were too old and fragile to come to her mum's funeral in Surabaya last month.

Anyway, I'm pleased to know she's not doing without her usual German 'Bratwurst' (sosis bakar) while she's over there.

Padma at her cousin's house: (left-to-right) her cousin Evi, Aikim, her younger brother Andy, Padma, her dad, her uncle and his wife, and her auntie (her late mum's sister)


Banjarmasin is the capital and the pulsating heart of the province of South Kalimantan. Its location across a labyrinth of canals has earned it the nickname 'City of a Thousand Rivers' which is probably more fitting than the jaw-droppingly exaggerated 'Venice of the East'.

No Piazza San Marco here, just a lot of wooden houses built on stilts. People wash, relax and play along these lazy canals which are roadway, playground, sink and toilet (the small wooden shacks on walkways by each house are in fact toilets; just imagine what they save on plumbing costs! ☺)

Banjarmasin's Pasar Terapung - or 'Floating Market' - is as good as anything you find in Bangkok.

All good LORD JIM stuff!