• Home
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Print
  • Art
  • Photos
  • Live
  • Features
  • About
  • Sale
  • Instagram
  •  

    Tropical Storm Tour: Sumatra Part 18

    Friday, August 21, 2015
    Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia

    A small booth near the entrance to Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A small booth near the entrance to Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    A carving of traditional Minangkabau musicians on a small booth near the entrance to Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A carving of traditional Minangkabau musicians on a small booth near the entrance to Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Looking out from Fort de Kock over a small part of Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    Looking out from Fort de Kock over a small part of Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    With a bad cold well underway, and against my better judgement, I thought about heading out in the late afternoon to see what I could see over at Fort de Kock just a few blocks north of the Hello Guesthouse. Down at the front desk, Hello’s proprietor, Ling, sent me on my way through a nearby “hidden” back lane that snaked its way through the neighborhood, eventually proceeding up a huge flight of stairs.

    A carving of traditional Minangkabau musicians on a small booth near the entrance to Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A carving of traditional Minangkabau musicians on a small booth near the entrance to Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    A carving of traditional Minangkabau musicians on a small booth near the entrance to Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A carving of traditional Minangkabau musicians on a small booth near the entrance to Fort de Kock in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    At the top of the hill was a nice view overlooking the whole city, with two tiny booths on each side of the street bearing pointy roofs and festooned with carvings of traditional Minangkabau musicians. They were so rad. I was totally enthralled by them. A few yards away, I walked through the entrance to Fort de Kock, a park displaying little more than a few vintage cannons left over from the usual and expected Dutch colonial escapades. No one was at the ticket counter, so I got to enter for free, encountering myriad walkways that coiled and snaked their way all around the park and down the sides of the hill.

    The huge bridge over Jalan Ahmad Yani in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    The huge bridge over Jalan Ahmad Yani in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Looking down over Jalan Ahmad Yani from the huge bridge in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    Looking down over Jalan Ahmad Yani from the huge bridge in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    Walking across a huge bridge over the main drag in town, Jalan Ahmad Yani, I entered the Bukittinggi Zoo, a truly sad place with a bunch of different animals, including–but not limited to–elephants, tapirs, tigers, orangutans, pelicans and reindeer, kept in extremely small, dirty enclosures that looked like they had never been cleaned and were poorly designed in the first place. So, of course, the animals looked listless and / or stressed.

    A statue of a traditional Minangkabau woman at the zoo in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    A statue of a traditional Minangkabau woman at the zoo in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    The big one that got away and a tiger at the zoo in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
    The big one that got away and a tiger at the zoo in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia.

    After walking around the place for nearly an hour, I came to the conclusion that this zoo should be shut down immediately, and all of the animals transferred to an expansive wild animal park in a developed country, where they could be properly nursed back to health. So, if you ever come to Bukittinggi, definitely do not visit the zoo, unless you enjoy being depressed. That’s why I didn’t take any photos of the animals. I was seriously bummed.

    Words and photos ©2015 Arcane Candy.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *