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Jakarta Post

Frans Tumbuan: In the days of old

  • Matthew MacLachlan


Jakarta   /   Thu, July 1 2010   /  09:19 am

The Jaya Pub is one of Jakarta’s most authentic and popular curiosities. Frans Tumbuan and his wife Rima Melati. Courtesy of Frans TumbuanIts ancient, craggy wooden beams have borne the decades-old tobacco smoke of the 70s; the relics that adorn the walls (and nooks, and shelves), in a mish-mash of vintage sublimity, have overheard the timeless chatter of generations; whilst the deeply-lined face of the bartender, Toto, tells the story of 30 years’ loyal service. At night, the clapped-out piano behind the bar, the live performances, and roaming lights, bring the place to life, pushing away the memories of young intellectuals who used to gather there during Soeharto’s regime, or the secret police that raided the place to discover them. It is rustic and alluring, old but not out-dated, excessively charming, understated and totally lovable — a physical culmination of the eccentricit...