Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by mumunmumun on 4 September 2014 • Destination
When you have junk in your trunk, then you know it’s time for a garage sale. Vindhya of Ibu Penyu, Lucia Nancy of TravelingID and yours truly, decided to clean out our closet and sell the stuff to whoever was interested. Considering our stuff are mostly travel-related because we’re travel-geeks, we held a garage sale themed ‘travel items’, hence #TravelSale (that’s a lot of ‘travel’). Coincidently, The Dusty Sneakers happen to have a stall at ‘Pasar Santa’ and was planning to launch soon. Decided, we were to collaborate with them. Thus, TravelSale was held at Post on 30-31 August 2014, Pasar Santa, Jakarta.
We weren’t confident to begin with. We were just 4 girls with a few friends in town, and weren’t sure that we could collect enough stuff to have a garage-scale sale (but then again, it depends on the size of the garage, I guess). As time slowly progressed and more online promotion was done with the help of our friends, we managed to collect about 1,300 items. Whoa! Items ranged from backpacks, suitcases, winter coats, jackets, sweaters, summer dresses, bikinis, fins, snorkels, cellphone accessories, guide books, hats, magnets, key chains, cameras, underwater housings and miscellaneous items with sketchy relations to traveling that really depends on how you travel. We even have a pull-on cool box for a large picnic, if anyone is still interested.
Surprise came on D-day. We didn’t expect to have such a huge turn-out. It was a huge crowd (for such a small space and mediocre promotion) and we were overwhelmed by the amount of buyers. It was like a clear-out sale at a branded store. There were hands grabbing for everything all the time. Each of us had to duck under tables, slip through people, and jump over stuff to help the buyers out. This was almost constant through out the whole two days, if not for our short recesses just to take a breather. I realised I had my pants backwards by the end of the day. D’oh!
On the side, we learned a few things. Deuter is the backpack mostly searched. We still have queries about it till today even though all our stock was sold out the first 3 hours of the sale. Not a lot of people have heard of Jack Wolfskin or Gregory, hence it was throat-wrenching to sell these brands. Winter jackets and raincoats are also favorite items, which could indicate a lot of people like to travel to countries with winter and autumn or they like mountains a lot. p They know some brands are stronger than others, including The North Face and Adidas.
However, in general there’s no telling what people liked. I couldn’t help myself making a face seeing a jacket that was two decades out of season bought by a couple. Maybe it was for their mother, I don’t know.
Psstt… along the way, we managed to snatch a few items for ourselves, too. Which items, will remain a secret.
I enjoyed this offline event a lot more than I thought I would. After a grueling 3-weeks of inventory, heavy lifting and making pictures for the online teaser catalog; the Travelsale paid off with a lot of fun. I met old friends, made new friends, and made people buy good items that should be good use in the future (I know that USD 40 30-l-Jack-Wolfskin-backpack was a good deal for its buyer in the near future). I particularly liked the crowd because it was more specific to travel enthusiasts. So, it was easier to talk to them about the items considering their travel needs.
We’re still managing the aftermath, as this post is up. We’re doing our best to sell the remaining items. You can check them out here.
We had the event at Post. Our collaboration with Post was part of the launch to open up this space for books, gathering and all things creative. I think we fall in to all three categories, considering we did sell a few travel-related books, too. YAY!
Teddy and Maesy of The Dusty Sneakers, and Steven, own this two-unit stall. The space will be used as an independent bookstore, while opening possibilities for other kinds of events that fall into their slogan. Teddy told me that some of the books would be from the authors themselves, who still have a stock of their books somewhere in their attics. Other books would be those that are hard to find. Although I’m not sure which exactly, but I do know that the ‘Humans of New York’ will be available.
Aside to that, these three people are really fun to work with. They’re smart and helpful, especially since they helped us carry a lot of the stuff for Travelsale. Their stall is also very well-designed and bright. Thank God for the two fans hanging from the ceiling! Another awesome fact about the venue is that all of the items used to decorate the stall are made by businesses that are located within the Santa Market, including the chairs and the slogan sticker. Told ya, they’re smart!
‘Pasar Santa’ or Santa Market is a phenomenon on its own. Most Jakarta people will know Pasar Santa as the place of Ajo Ramon Padang satay, which opens every night in its parking area. But now, this 3-story building that started as your typical indoor Indonesian traditional market, has now turned into one of the hippest places to hang out during the weekends.
I recall visiting Pasar Santa for the first time in the beginning of the year, only to taste the coffee of A Bunch of Caffeine Dealers or ABCD. It was closed at the time, and ABCD seemed to be the only tenant. Next visit, Sub Store had occupied the stall beside it, gathering a mini crowd around both venues. This time, we did have a cup of the ABCD coffee and met the legendary Hendri Kurniawan, a world barista championship judge. He’s also really nice and out going. The coffee? We need a special post for that. At the time, much of the stalls were still available even though the leases were extremely cheap. Fast forward to August 2014, all lots were booked and soon to be actively occupied.
The day we had the Travelsale was the day many of the venues decided to launch their business, such as the Laidback Blues record store (who DJ-ed that night), vintage item outlets, Mexican food, Siomay (dumplings with peanut sauce) Tiban, Snoke that sold German Cigarettes, Ketan Pasar that sells ‘ketan susu’ (sticky rice with condense milk) joint, Miechino with chicken noodles, and Bear & Co cold brew coffee place. I’m sure there were a few more but we didn’t have the privilege to leave the stall and see them all. There’s also Amerigo food truck with yummy comfort food parked out front. ABCD and Sub Store were open, too.
The interesting thing about these collective events was the different crowd that it brought to the market. Men and women in washed and scrummy clothes usually occupy traditional markets. That night, the 2nd floor was filled with hip and young-looking crowd. Even though the venue didn’t have an AC (although some insist installing one although their exhaust could boil up the market) and didn’t look like a typical mall, a trendy crowd still came to see what’s happening in the market. We even saw one or two celebrities walking around. Of course, this observation was from behind the TravelSale booth. It was nice to see the urban crowd in a traditional market, buyers and sellers meet, and engage in personal interaction.
Well, that was a lot to tell about the 2-hectic-days after 3 weeks of organizing Travelsale. There’s more to come of the market, of Post and hopefully of Travelsale. Keep looking out for the #TravelSale on various social media for past and future updates. Till the next crazy off line event!