Flying Civet Cats & Not A Punk In Sight

Those of you who regularly read my posts will know that I’m a sucker for markets. Clean, A/C’d malls have their place from time to time, but for the most part I’m never happier than when I’m getting down and dirty and bitten to death in the various markets that I’ve come to know and love here in Jakarta. I’d be lost without them; they add the colour, excitement and smells that are distinctly lacking in the high-end malls.





The antiques market in Jalan Surabaya is no exception. This 500m strip of tiny shops and stalls is situated in the ‘Beverley Hills’ area of Jakarta known as Menteng. What I especially love about this place are the stallholders. They are a jolly bunch of souls, and despite the fact that this time I went with an almost empty wallet, they were still happy for me to take photographs and idle in their shops which I appreciated. There were a million things that I would loved to have bought but I ended up putting a deposit down on some old baroque style crystal side lamps which I’m having converted into candle holders. I defy anyone to come here and not find something that excites him or her, its veritable Aladdin’s cave of everything you didn’t realise was missing from your life but will now want! In fact I was so entranced by everything, especially the blue and white china, that when a fat rat shot across my foot I could hardly be bothered to scream.


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31 thoughts on “Flying Civet Cats & Not A Punk In Sight

    1. This is very true Richard – however much I loathe rats, in this instance nothing was going to deter me from scrabbling through the bits and pieces looking for gems – in fact I don’t believe I’ve ever been so laizzez-faire about getting up close and personal with a rat in my life. That pretty much says it all!


  1. wow-wow-wow!!! I would go el-nutso there. Antique typewriters, blue vases and china., old alarm clocks, antique cameras- yes maam- right up my alley. I would have to wear boots tucked into jeans( don’t want to take a chance on a rat crawling up a skirt or pants leg. But I will dream about all of that old stuff and live it
    vicariously sp? through my blogging friend.

    You will have much more to leave with than what you arrived with. The photos are great. Love them all. Even the dead civet cats hanging over the wares. That is not to be believed.


    1. This is a wonderful market if you love old stuff and tat. I say tat in the nicest way of course! I adore blue and white china so the temptation to run off to a cash machine and get some money so that i could spend spend spend was…yes, very difficult. Despite my being such a skin-flint that day, the sellers were remarkably sweet-natured and generous in their time, showing me pieces, getting stuff down off the shelf even though I showed them the contents of my purse (oh heck, in Freudian speak that is probably very rude!!) Do you know about the Civet cats Yvonne? They are the ones that poop out the coffee beans which are then dried and roasted – the result is the most expensive coffee in the world Luwak coffee.


      1. Thanks for the reply. It is still Friday Feb.1 at at 11:10pm. When you have time -not now or whenever I would love to know the time that it is in Jakarta. I don’t know if you are a day ahead which I am thinking that you are but I might just have this bass ackards. I have read about the coffee but had forgotten about it until you wrote of it here. Did not remember what animal or bird that worked its charm on the beans. Have you drunk any of the out of site $$$$wise coffee?

        PS- Never gave your Freudian speak a second thought. One time we had a patient that was very manic and bordering being out of complete control. I prepared the med and at that moment in time there were only females to go along with me for a show of-unity. When he saw four women coming at him he said, “oh, hell.Here come those Freudian bitches again.” At the time it was funny as h—.

        But back to your story. Those shop keepers were probably tickled pink if that’s posssible 🙂 to have the shop wares photographed by a foreigner. And they also thought there was a strong possibility that you woud be back.

        Please fix typos.
        Fond regards., Yvonne


      2. Hello – I’m 14 hours ahead of you or 15 depending on whether I’m in Bali or Jakarta. It’s the civet cat or Luwak as it’s known in Indonesia that poops out the beans that make the very expensive coffee – I haven’t tried it, only because I’m not a huge coffee fan but I’ve heard it’s good 🙂 Have a lovely weekend Yvonne and speak soon X


      3. Wow. 14 hours is quite a time.As for the the cat i would think the coffee growers there would rasie a bunch of the civet cats just so the there would be lots of beans. I must google that for I am quite curious. I would not drink the stuff even if I could afford to buy it.

        I am a coffee-holic. Love coffee with soy to make it fairly blonde and no sugar. I drink hot tea also with soy and sweetened with honey. I know that sounds gross but I am used ot it. Prefer cream but I am very careful about cholesterol ( you know the old age thing.) I don;t want to take the statin meds for some or all of them have some serious sude effects and I am not willing to risk the side effects that could take me down or out.

        Hope your week-end goes well also. Your Saturday ia almost gone.if you are 14 hours ahead.

        Take care,yvonne


    1. I too was smitten with the hair pieces. Some of them are on a sort of spring so that they wobble when you move your head. Enchanting!!

      Maybe the stuffed civets are new in this year? I bet there was loads of stuff that I missed which is why I keep having to go back and back and back!


    1. Thank you dear friend – I’m sure you’d find a few treats here. They had some fabulous cowbells which had a touch of the Swiss Alpine meadows about them – well in a Javanese sort of way! Talking of which, how’s the chocolate fondue coming on? Are we talking days. weeks or months here? XXX


  2. I remember the Flying Civets – nice acapella group as I recall. Didn’t know they were from Jakarta though. Only you would know that, Your Lottieness. I love all of these – the processing is fab. The old typewriters and comptometer are gems. I also think I could run amok in the camera section but they look vaguely pre-digital to me. Any Leicas in there? Not the Russian copies but the real thing. The blue china is fantastic. We have a huge blue & white dragon platter that I bought at a charity auction for some humungous amount of money and I live in fear of it being shattered by an over-enthusiastic Lulu charging around the house. If she does I could replace it with a goldfish pattern one from your market. In fact, I am sorely tempted to drag Mrs. Ha over there now. But luckily we have a subsequent engagement. Now what we’d really like is a video of the civet cat processing the coffee beans. Go on Lottie, I dare you.


    1. ……and your wish may well be granted dear Sir as we have a civet cat in the garden in Bali. Can’t guarantee that I shall catch him pooping coffee beans – it’s more likely to be rubbish that he’s fished out of the bin in the kitchen.

      I love the sound of your blue & white dragon platter – I’m wel jel as my girls would say.

      And as for the Leicas…I bet there is one hidden away somewhere – why not come over with Mrs.Ha and have a look? 🙂


  3. I posted about the civet cats and their resultant coffee, and although I am a big coffee fan, I’m not sure I would try something that has passed through the nether regions of any animal.

    Market pix were great, a real treasure trove.



    1. I’d love to read this post of yours about the coffee – can you post the link on here? or tell me the title so that I can look it up?

      I’m not worried about drinking coffee that’s been shat out by a civet cat, I’m more concerned about the conditions that the cats are kept in – from what i can make out they live in wire cages and have a pretty miserable life. That takes away all the appeal for me.

      Thanks AV for your comment and glad you liked the photos 🙂


      1. Unfortunately, the post was on my original Fizz blog. Google lost all my blogs a bit more than a year ago, terribly distressing; I lost four years of blogging. It was never explained. But a good idea to remember for the future.



      2. AV That is terrible 😦 I can’t bear it for you – How on earth did they get lost? 4 years of blogging down the pan – I’m distressed for you.

        Do please write the post again if and when you have a chance, I’m sure it’s not just me who’d love to read it.

        I still can’t get over the lost blog…very sad.


      3. It wasn’t only my blogs, my whole google account disappeared, email, everything. I nearly stopped blogging, and that’s how I found myself on WordPress.

        I have put all that behind me now, but it made me very despondent at the time.



  4. Hi Lottie, I love all your photos. My husband is heading to Jakarta next month…unfortunately, for work. Doubt if he’ll have time to enjoy the markets, but I really need to turn him on to your blog.


    1. Thanks Lorijo – I hope he does have some time for the markets as he needs to bring you back something special from his visit! maybe some nice batik? I can head him in the right direction if you tell me what you want!! 🙂


    1. Amit, It would be my absolute pleasure to be your tour guide!

      I’m sure you’d spot things that I’ve missed so between us we’d leave no market or warung unvisited, no street nor museum, nor gallery unseen!


  5. I LOVE antique and junk markets. I can spend days at such places! I’m thrilled to find out that you love them, too. Oh what a blast we will (someday) have!

    On a side note, I am a huge fan of junk art and re-purposing. I love that you’re having lamps remade into candlesticks. Would love to see them when they’re complete.

    Gorgeous photos as always, Lottie! xoxo


    1. I shall send you a ‘now and then’ photo of them! I’m not sure exactly how they will end up as something is bound to have got lost in translation but that’s always half the fun of living here – nothing is quite as you expect which is why I invariably spend a lot of my time laughing.

      It’s a bummer that we live so far apart – it’s like the Dr Seuss book ‘Oh the places you’d go’ except it’s the places we’d go!

      I love the graffiti too and there is some excellent graffiti in Jakarta – I could devote an entire blog post to it and indeed at some stage I shall –

      Have a happy week sis and thanks for all your great comments on the photos – it means a lot! xoxo 🙂


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