The Jakarta Post
Those fond of vintage items should consider a visit to Triwindu Market in Surakarta, Central Java. Situated in the city center, particularly in the Ngarsopuro area, it is home to rows of stalls that sell antique products.
Strolling the market presents a blast from the past; visitors can expect to find old radios and televisions, gramophones, vinyl records and cassettes, as well as typewriters and old telephones. Other interesting items include traditional iron, old currency, wooden masks, lamps and porcelain.
"There are so many unexpected items here. The product circulation is also very fast so customers must come frequently," said Raharjo, 58, an antique fan from Semarang, Central Java.
The market opens around 8 a.m. but its atmosphere comes to life two hours later; merchants arrange their items at their stalls, so many that they have to be placed on the pavement and visitors -- who mostly came from outside the city like Yogyakarta, Semarang, Surabaya, Jakarta and abroad -- are advised to be extra careful when strolling the area.
Hunting for antique items at the Triwindu Market is fun. The merchants conveniently let visitors to see, even dig through the piles of goods displayed in their store. Bargaining is a common activity; you can get half the initial price if the transaction goes well.
Most of the items were obtained from the merchants' hunting activity to the villages; especially for items like lamps, plates, glass, teapots, gebyok (Javanese wooden room partitions), typewriters, clocks and bicycles. There are also goods brought in by the owners to be sold.
"Most of the items here are original. But you can also find products that are custom-made or counterfeit, new items but old models. Buyers should be scrupulous," said one of the merchants, Sigit Paiman, 54.
Sigit explained that an item that was claimed by the seller to be a hundred years old, could actually be something made a month ago. He added that buyers should not worry as other merchants at the market would help out if they felt they had been deceived. "Buyers who felt deceived could issue a complaint to our community. If it is proven, we will defend [the customer]. We don't want this market to get a bad name because of one or two merchants."
The market was built in 1939 by Kanjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya (KGPAA) Mangkunegoro VII, at the same time as his 24th anniversary of becoming the king of Mangkunegaran. The name "triwindu" itself came from "tri" (three in Javanese) and "windu" (eight), which resulted in 24 when multiplied. (kes)
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