Saturday, August 14, 2010


--- August 1 -3, 2010---

Getting to and around Bandung
Sunday, August 1, 2010. Another 6am flight to Jakarta! This time, we did not leave the airport and got on a shuttle bus to Bandung. We had to wait an hour and a half after we got to the airport though because these minibuses get full very quickly. Lesson learned, book the shuttle while waiting for your luggage. Better yet, don't check in anything because it takes forever. Lion Air from Padang flies into the international terminal and then you take a shuttle to the domestic arrivals. Your luggage takes a long time to get to the domestic terminal because they can't move themselves.

The bus from Jakarta airport to Bandung takes about three hours. We wandered around Bandung for most of Sunday afternoon, hoping on and off angkots. The angkots in Bandung cost only 1500 Rp and does not offer loud music. It felt strange to be sitting in an angkot with no music and stuffed animals.

From Padang Summer 2010

One of the surprising things about Bandung is the weather. It was not hot and humid like Padang. It is at higher altitude and has more Bay Area like weather. Greg and I enjoyed this a lot. The chilis for food also comes on the side. And after eating Padang food for a month, Bandung food is definitely not spicy.

Meeting with Adrin Tohari at LIPI
The second day (Monday) in Bandung started off with us walking over to LIPI, a science research center. We talked to a getoech researcher, Adrin Tohari, about his liquefaction research in Padang. He had really great information and was willing to share with us. I think he was excited that someone was interested in his work. He had done field studies in Padang in 2006 and 2008 (right before the big earthquakes in 2007 and 2009). The earthquakes verified his field studies.

From Padang Summer 2010

I've been looking for soil data for this city for ages. It seems like various people and agencies have done their own studies but haven't shared them with anyone. I would like to make a database and share the information online somehow. In the US, we spend quite a bit of time finding “historical” geology and geotechnical information for a site before going out to do our own site investigations. Knowing the previous use of the site can help a lot as well. It's really difficult to collect such information here unless you're running around gathering these things by angkot!

Meeting with Professor Wayan Sengara at ITB

That afternoon, we had a meeting with Wayan Sengara, a geotech professor at ITB. We told him about our project and he gave us some references. He has a poster outside his office about soil studies that he has done in Padang. But he was not as willing to share the data because they belong to his students. He pointed us back to Andalas for more data, saying that Professor Hakam has the most complete soil data for the Padang area.

Anggun, one of his students, asked him about the possibility of doing her Master's thesis on the TEREP project. Right now, she is thinking about looking into the impact of tsunami forces on the soil berm. He was supportive of this idea. We suggested that his other students who are looking for a thesis topic can work on our project since there are many potential topics available. He seemed interested in having a collaboration between ITB, Stanford, and Andalas.

From Padang Summer 2010

Other Bandung Adventures
Andi and Greg left for Jakarta for the HAKI conference after the meeting with Pak Wayan. Tuesday morning was a busy one for me. I went with Anggun to a little copy place on the ITB campus where the guy makes copies of textbooks and sells them for a quarter of the price. Textbooks here are much cheaper to begin with, about $20 a book. So this place basically sells textbooks for about $5 each. He even binds them so that they look like actual books. The only difference is that all the images are in black and white instead of color. I picked out several titles and he found one of them. So I got a book on soil improvement for about $4.

After this, we went over to the geology museum. It's a really nice museum since Indonesia has all the goelogical features you would ever want to see. We spent a lot of time hunting down a geology map for Padang though so we didn't get to walk through the exhibits. We found a pretty recent 1:250,000 geology map and paid 100,000 Rp for it. A bit expensive but I thought it was better than having to go back to Bandung for it if it turns out to be useful.

I flew Batavia Airlines back to Padang. Batavia flies out of Terminal B instead of A. Batavia is much nicer than Lion Air. The seats were more comfortable and they handed out water and bread.

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