Aceh Day Two

Those are some pictures I took on day two. It was a busy day and I didn't go out much. I've got one short comment, though.


One of the things that made me curious about Aceh is to see how the sharia law is implemented here. Indonesia may not be an Islam country, but it has more Muslims than any country in the world. However, the spread of them is not the same in each region. Bali, for example, is dominated by the Hindus. While Aceh is obviously dominated by Muslims - not quite the moderate ones judging from the fact that it is the only province in Indonesia where sharia law is implemented side by side with the government law.

In an interview with the culture department of Aceh two years ago, I knew that the sharia law was imposed to the Muslims, and not the non-Muslims. However, I feel the need to respect their culture.

Whilst staying at a nice hotel with a nice swimming pool (plus with the alarming signal I got when I stood in front of the mirror and saw that I had three layers of tummy), I thought I'd go for a swim. The problem is: I only have a bikini. So I asked one of the World Bank/MDF staff here, Friesca, if it was okay for me to wear a bikini to swim.

"I think it's okay. But you need to tell the receptionist that you're going to swim so that they could close all the curtains that see through the lobby area and the restaurant."


I immediately thought it was not worth the embarassment. If they're embarrassed, I think I should too. No?

Warung Kopi

Warung kopi (coffee shop) in Aceh is very popular. It is not the same with the filthy small warung kopi in Java, or fancy warung kopi in Bali, leave alone the easy-access-of-weed coffee shops in the Netherlands. But it is a warung kopi a size of decent warung or restaurant with a 32-inch flat screen TV. I was told that it was a place where people hang out the most.

What I wasn't told was that women don't normally go to warung kopi.

So I arrived there with Fabio and two other men from the MDF to find out that I was the only woman coming there. When the waiter came over, he took a note on everybody's order and of course I would like to have the famous kopi Aceh.

One of the guys said, "Really? You drink coffee?"


I am still to find out whether Acehnese women do drink coffee or if it is the privilege of the men.


  1. CaRLAAAaaA!!! Di Aceh!!?? ada apa ada apa

    wah cewe gak minum kopi di Aceh? weird... msh sexist ya disana?

  2. hi Martha, on book project aja. bosku kan nulis buku ttg rehabilitasi dan rekonstruksi di Aceh setelah tsunami.

    soal cewe Aceh ga minum kopi, ga tau deh. mungkin mereka minum di rumah tapi ga hangout di warkop? aku pergi ke dua warung kopi terkenal. itu kayak 2 ruko dijadiin satu gitu (jadi lumayan besar) dan isinya semua cowok!

  3. Hahahaha I know!!! Do you know where else such thing exists? Morocco!!!
    I went to one of these coffee shops in Marrakesh with Martin and was SHOCKED to see all eyes on me -- they were staring and I realized that I was the only woman there hahahaha.

    Gimana gimana ayo posting lagii pingin tahu lebih banyak ttg Aceh!!!