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A world of snow and ice in Yogyakarta YOGYAKARTA - Yeah, the title looks like pure fraud, but that doesn't seem to be completely true though. For some time now, about one and a half year, Yogyakarta has its own ice rink for those who want to skate some rounds or just want to do crazy on two of those thin metal strips under your feel. That is at least what they say in advertisements for the ice rink. That reality is slightly different than in those advertisements, is not really amazing. However the leaflet got in a pile 'still to do' somewhere on my desk, I already had the chance to have a look what the fuss was all about.

The only ice rink in Yogyakarta is constructed at one of the most illogical locations that you can possibly think of. Yogyakarta is not unique in this matter, the ice rinks of Jakarta and Surabaya are located in the same kind of locations in which Jakarta - like usual - wins it from all with an ice rink at the fourth floor of the Taman Anggrek shopping mall in West Jakarta. The ice rink in Yogyakarta is not located on the fourth floor, that would cause it to be on the roof, but on the second floor. Included with this location is a free view on the main road.

Advertisement for 'Snowworld Saphir', issued in July 2007.  indahnesia.com
Advertisement for 'Snowworld Saphir', issued in July 2007. indahnesia.com

The word ice rink is an exaggeration of some kind. There is ice indeed, but you should not name it an ice rink. Someone that wants to speed skate here will be disappointed and probably has to go to Jakarta for that to have the most space available to skate. There is no 400-meter track there as well, of course I would almost say. If there would be a full 400-meter track, it would certainly not be at the fourth floor of a shopping mall, because then it would just be a matter of time before it ended up in the basement, next to the cars. The ice rink in Yogyakarta is even smaller, adapted to the size of the city perhaps.

With a size of roughly 10 by 15 meters, the ice rink of Yogyakarta is more like an oversized ice pop. That, however, may not be something negative. Every day people go here to have their own icy adventure, most of them wrapped in isolated jackets, gloves and a hat. Temperatures above the ice are pretty cold of course. The glass panels around the ice rink are mainly to keep the cool inside, and not to keep out non-paying Indonesians, as there are employees to do so.

A typical Indonesian 'coziness' environment around the ice rink. There is nothing to do on this entire floor, which causes few visitors to go to the rice rink.  indahnesia.com
A typical Indonesian 'coziness' environment around the ice rink. There is nothing to do on this entire floor, which causes few visitors to go to the rice rink. indahnesia.com

The few people that enter the ice rink for a few cents can have their own fun at the ice. They can at least try - for once in their lives probably - to stand on two of those slippery metal strips. It is generally a source of those funny pictures, in case people make them with their mobile phones. It doesn't even matter if you don't know that person. Always funny to show friends, family and total strangers how other people are trying to stand up at the ice. Trying it themselves is not very attractive as others will make the same pictures for sure.

Unfortunately the environment in which the only ice rink of Yogyakarta is located is less than attractive. Situated at the second floor, (the first floor according to Indonesian counting, since the first floor is named upper ground floor) it is at the front of floor that has not been rented out, thus you will see closed doors everywhere. A shame to see how such a project is handled. Of course the logic should be that when people are going to the ice rink, what they indeed do, the rest of the floor would be rented out in no-time.

Nothing is less true however, since Indonesians don't like walking at all. They already have to get to the second floor by escalator to visit the ice rink anyway, so they will go there directly and find themselves strapping the metal blades under their feet before they have seen anything else of that second floor. On the way back they will most likely go straight down to buy next week's groceries in the Diamond supermarket.

The rest of the 'world of snow' has melted away by now and has never been organized again, probably because of little success. That is not a miracle as well, since the festivities were organized in the same mall as where the ice rink is located. If someone has the idea to make a 'white' Yogyakarta for Christmas, so families can make their family pictures to put on their season's whishes, then Ambarukmo Plaza is a better place. Enough space, no empty stores and an audience that is better equipped to handle more extravagant things, seen the many 'foreign' license plates in the car park.



Posted in General @ 08 December 2008 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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