Near the foot of Batukaru mountain, Tabanan city, you’ll find pasar kodok, the frog market of Bali: a block and a half of second-hand clothes – all hand-me-downs from Central Asia.
Locals – and the occasional chicken – stalk the isles of clashing colours along streets with rain-carved gutters. Polyester, rayon, cotton drape these shacks – barnyards of it – unsorted, but spread out along the walls.
Global warm…ing is not cool. Global warm…ing is not cool,
is just one of the many polyester gems up for grabs – amidst casual wear and beach wear steals.
Balinese hang second-hand clothing on fences to keep people out. Perhaps due to such local taboos, most shoppers here are either not from Bali – or they’re making haste and may be a little skittish.
A few years prior in Korea I was asked to donate to a clothing drive for Indonesia. Church-goers were patting themselves on the back for what amounted. Exemplary of how things work here in Indonesia, someone decided to monopolize these first-world hand-me-downs, selling in lots of 100 kilograms. From the harbour, these fabrics – including winter parkas – come to decorate this croaking little neighbourhood. Here, foreigners expect to pay forty thousand Rupiah (about USD $4) for a pair of pants – be they cotton or rayon – and fifteen thousand Rupiah less for shorts and t-shirts.
One shirt boasts its lackluster patriotism,
I’m glad I’m Japanese,
dryly enough to deserve a guffaw.
The nearby mountains and rainforest of the west (from Tabanan on, it’s tens of kilometres of old-growth jungle) contribute to a few daily showers here; expect the frog market to be aptly damp, so bring an umbrella and a change of shoes.
Rabbit don’s eat candy,
written in a font 15 centimetres tall, makes you think, somewhere out there in Asia there are some dreamy people – copywriters with perfect Engrish who know exactly what they’re doing. And slowly, they’re trending.
Broken English is not for every occasion. The frog market also has quality clothing – formal or casual – in sizes for nearly everyone.
You wouldn’t know, but in the middle of nowhere Tabanan, sights and sensations abound. Batukaru mountain, as the second-tallest mountain in Bali, is a challenging and luscious green trek above the clouds. Trailing you through the oldest forests in Bali, the trail begins east of the second largest temple in Bali, Pura Luhur Batukaru – another of Bali’s must-see holy places. Further to the base of the mountain, yeh panas hot springs is good for a few hours of relaxation – offering both private and public pools, naturally heated and smelling just lightly sulfuric. A trip to Tabanan’s Subak Museum will explain the importance of these waterholes: the most intricate web of irrigation, known as subak, regulating all crop growth across the island – with bamboo blockers and pipes.
Would you ever purchase any of the attire featured above? Let me know which one, and if it’s still there when I go back, I’ll send it to you! /\_-