The Malang Tempoe Doeloe is an old-timey festival meant to showcase the history of the city and local cultures. For most of four days and nights, people from all over East Java come to jam the streets and walk shoulder to shoulder up and down the main historic drag, Jalan Ijen. During prime-time in the evening, it can take a half hour to walk 2 blocks, and there is no helping the generous amount of physical contact with total strangers. People here seem to thrive on a lack of personal space. Posing with your friends (or the random bule — pr. booley = white guy) for fotos is the only thing that can increase the fun. I’ve posed for more pictures with total strangers in the last few days than any time since I visited Taiwan over a decade ago.
We are the fortunate renters of a house only a two-block walk to Jl. Ijen. That means there are parkirs setting up make-shift parking lots at the end of our street. There is nothing official about the parkirs, except that they wear orange vests and are often indifferent or rude, but nobody seems to mind them charghing the IDR$1000 (about 11 cents) to leave a scooter at the curb. The last few nights I’ve waded through the scooter lots onto Ijen to experience and make fotos of the music, dancing, selling, eating, posing, and crowding that is the MTD.