There is something about museums that always throws me to the yester-years. It probably has something to do with childhood.
Both my parents were officers in the Indonesian Air Force. When I was elementary-school of age, my mom worked in Museum Satria Mandala and my dad worked in the military building next to Museum Nasional. Whenever my school holiday came and/or whenever my maids thought taking care of me was more of a burden than an enjoyment, my parents would take turn taking me to their office. Err… not really their office. They would take me to the museum in the morning, leave me to wander around in the museum, get me in the afternoon for lunch, return me to the museum until their office hour ended. Sounds horrible? Not really. I felt at home instantly from the first day of my museum life.
In Museum Satria Mandala, I made friends with the guards, who were all my mom’s colleagues. I didn’t like the old planes exhibited there because they were rusty and it was a bit hot to wander around in the field. I liked the room filled with old flags and weapons, though. Some people told me the room was haunted, but I had no problems with whoever haunted the room at that time. They probably thought it was useless to play with me.
In Museum Nasional, my dad asked the guard (at that time) to keep an eye of me. I could wander around the inside of the museum but he wouldn’t let me out of the front door. It was my dad’s specific instruction. I guess it was lucky for me that time people were still nice and kind and honest they wouldn’t try to kidnap me. Or perhaps I was too handful to be kidnapped. My favorite place in Museum Nasional was around the old statues. I was so amazed by the big statue of Adhityavarman that I named my imaginary friend Aditya. That just shows you how mental I was.
Of course right now those 2 museums have changed a lot, especially the setting. The last time I went to Museum Nasional some 8 years ago, the recent setting really ruined my childhood memory of the place. When I found Adhityavarman, I couldn’t recognize the old him. Well.
Anyway, visiting museums is a chance I wouldn’t pass. Like Museum Taman Prasasti here. I first visited the place some 10 years ago. And when I visited it again a few months ago, it still stayed the same: abandoned, yet serene. I could picture myself sitting there for hours reading book, staring at the stones, or just doing nothing. It’s probably a good thing none of my parents worked near this park years ago because I could let out tears just by looking at the inscriptions on the stones. A young man died in a ship to Batavia, a loving mother died giving birth, an innocent child died from illness… Sad. This museum is certainly one of my favorites. And to show you how much I love the museum, I really really really hate the local government office next to it because the construction of the office really damaged the museum and its collections:(