I came across this shop in Pasar Mayestik Jakarta some months ago and have since visited it many times. The smiling, friendly staff all know me well and they greet me like a long lost friend everytime I return. Without doubt, this is my most favourite shop in Jakarta. As far as I’m concerned, you can keep your grand shopping malls, I’m bored stiff by them but this shop, the Mad Shop. is a work of art, an inspiration, a veritable wonderland of the strangest and most eclectic mix of goods sold anywhere. You can buy pretty much everything here from rat poison to Y-fronts, and everything comes with a good smattering of dust and fly shit for good measure.
Where else would you find a Madonna in a cage above a row of dusty, ancient coffee pots? Where else in the world would you find a mannequin with a furry monkey crawling up its leg? In every nook and every cranny of this crazy emporium there is something extraordinary to behold. I absolutely love it, the entire shop is a work of art and should win the Turner Prize.
Take the Santa with the dirty face. He’s such a jolly little fellow and despite the fact that he is a bit grubby and half his beard is missing, he captured my imagination and my heart. It was a bit worrying when I picked him up and his head fell off but I soon had it stuck back on and all was well. I don’t suppose it is the first time that it’s happened, nor will be the last.
I took this last photograph yesterday. With thoughts of Christmas now in my head I was intent on getting some more pictures of festive decorations. It was only as I was taking this photograph of the reindeer motifs in the window, that I noticed the reflection of the mosque opposite in the glass. A timely reminder to myself that it may be Christmas for a minority of us living here, but for most it will be business as usual.