Thursday, January 9, 2014

Will This Illegal Logging Last Forever?

I am definetely not an environmental activist for sure. I am not a member of any environtmental organization either. For I am just an ordinary woman who raises two kids who deals with ordinary activities between house and school. So I can not speak as powerful as you who familiar with environtmental issues. But even an ordinary mother likes me will hate this picture below!

You do not have to be an environmental activitist to realize how wrong that picture could be. I took this picture about last December during our way back home to Medan after spending Christmas is my hometown. It is a big truck which carried so many logs and drives across the highway with no car plate visible. I think the driver really has guts to take all those logs across the highway where there is a big possibility that he would cross path with the highway patrol. But then I realize the ironic of my innocent thought. How could he worries about getting caught by highway patrol for carrying so many logs in his truck while he does not even care to put a car plate which actually is against the law in the first place. So I finally think that this guy must have someone to cover him up while doing this illegal logging and carry them across the highway in the mid day. So that he does not need to be afraid of any highway patrol sine he already has the 'magic letter' in his pocket, just in case they caught him on the road.

You see, the condition of our forest is getting worse and worse every year. I am not talking about the forests all over Indonesia, its way to large for me. I am talking about the nearest forest in Sumatera Utara where I can see with my own eyes. The largest forest I usually see is on the way to Danau Toba (Toba Lake) in Parapat City. Actually, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the forest along the meandering road where tall trees covering you like canopy. It is so peacefully and so beautiful. You can also see monkeys sitting on the edge of the road waiting for cars to stop and throw foods from the car's window. You will see no high building, even houses are rare to find.
But who knows that in fact its all just a covered up lie. You can see those beautiful trees along the road as the picture above, but if you try to cross the edge of the forest and go deeper, you will find that there are a large empty area behind those beautiful trees that you saw from the road. There are very few trees left behind them, where you can not see directly unless you try to find them. The empty area are getting larger every time since no one wants to stop the illegal logging back there. Huge companies pay lots of money to get illegal permitt before destroying that beautiful forest.

There's been talking about this here and there. Local medias have written about this too as well as the environtmental activists. But it's been a long time and still there is no punishment given to any one involved yet. That is why I have a feeling that this illegal logging is still going to happen for the next few years. I just hope that it won't last forever. Save our forest! So our children in the future will still able to enjoy the scenery of famous Danau Toba below with the beauty of the forest surround it.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Historical Old Building on Jalan Hindu Medan

What do our cities need to have/provide in order to attract visitors to come? Nature scenery is always be the most popular destination but obviously its hard to find a lake or a beautiful mountain scenery in the middle of a big city like Medan. Places with incredible culinary experiences has been the pronounced as a main destination for tourists to come here since Medan indeed is a melting pot. Almost every visitors come here to try our local taste and never get disappinted. So many places with great culinary experiences are usually noted well and promoted by the local media or travel agents. As well as places as shopping spree destinations such as malls, hotels or plazas. All those gigantic and modern buildings stand out in almost every places in Medan and many more modern buildings are yet to come.

On the other side, ironically, we must see so many historical old buildings are forgotten. Like this one below.

This is a huge historical old building that you can find on Jalan Hindu Medan. This buildings is from the colonial era and was a supermarket built by a Germany architect and was taken by the Dutch. The actual condition of this building is still good but surely needs to be restored. Almost entire of the wall is covered with moss and the original colour has changed due to ages. But the antique windows are still look amazing and the entire building is still stand strong.

I am not sure about who owns this building now, is it the local authority or a big company in Medan. But I heard that some local communities are using this old building as their base camps where they can sit together with their fellow friends, smoking, drinking or doing nothing useful for this building. Many historians have asked the local authority to turn this historical building into historical museum. It will become a very useful places where people can learn about their past while preserving the building at the same time, but has got no good responses so far while the building is getting 'weaker and weaker' everytime.

Medan has zero historical museum yet (do not ask me how many mall and hotels are now here #ironic) History is not just a matter of dates and events we need to memorize during school and forgotten afterwards. This historical building should last longer so that our children can also see and understand its historical background and how Medan was built during the colonial era. I read a lot about countries which preserve their historical buildings for so many years such as England, Netherlands, etc while the opposite thing is happening here in Medan. So sad.
We should not wait until this gorgeous building becomes completely ruins before finally realize how precious it really is. Its going to be too late...

Not far from this building, you can find old coffee shop which is famous among coffee lovers in Medan. You can read my post about it here.

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