Attaching a Signature at the Sumatra Money Museum

I began to walk at exit path of Sri Deli Park.

My steps were so harmonious with my index finger pressure on camera to capture the best images along Sisingamangaraja Street.

Red motorcycle suddenly got off from asphalt and its brake pounding threw dust which made me momentarily cover my nose. A face which was hidden behind helmet turned towards me while waving. I paused while thinking what was happen. A little suspicious, I stepped up to him while keeping a safe distance.

He : “Sir, don’t carry your good camera like that. There are a lot of thieves here. Just keep it!“, speaking after slowly taking off his helmet.

Me: “Oh, thank you sir….Okay sir”, I relieved replied

He: “Be careful, Sir. Assalamualaikum

Me: ”Wa’alaikumsalam Sir”. Good people are always around me.

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Strong despite being old.

I was stunned under Tirtanadi Water Tower while sitting and putting my backpack next to a tree trunk to protect myself from the sun’s heat. Then I filled my bottles with free drinking water in front left of PDAM (the name of water company) Tirtanadi office.

Worried that the dusk which had been queueing to present, I fastly stepped to Tjong A Fie’s house. Passing a railroad crossing and then entering Pemuda Street, I accidentally passed a roll up banner which its titled “Sumatra Money Museum“.

See the way toward Sumatra Money Museum here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1NWlMmGZr0

Maybe just need about 30 minutes to explore, stop by for a moment!“, inwardly whispered teasing me. Without argumentation, now, I have been speaking with Miss L – a sweet young woman in a sky blue scarf – as a staff and also as a museum’s tour guide. She took souvenirs in the form of two coins made by Palembang Sultanate with a hole in its middle which was neatly wrapped while giving a piece of green paper as size as a ticket with a writing “Souvenir Fee USD 0.75“.

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2nd floor.

I stepped stairs and continually observed its classic building. Ms. L said, I was in “Gedung Juang ’45“. “No need to hurry, Sir. The museum closes at 5 pm“, she said with a smile.

Arriving on 2nd floor, I was treated to a view of money printing machine “Oeang Republik Indonesia Tapanoeli (ORITA)” which was used in early era of President Soekarno.

ORITA.

Founded 3 years ago by Saparudin Barus, this collection room became the first money museum in Sumatra. The collector’s personal intention was approved by local government after Gedung Juang ’45 was chosen as museum location. In the past, This building itself has an important role as headquarters of Barisan Pemuda Indonesia (Indonesian Youth Front) in carrying out resistance against Dutch colonial government.

In 1726, for the first time, the VOC published coins known as DOIT or DUIT.

Exploring from one storefront to another, accompanied by an explanation from Ms. L, I began to float into nation’s historical flow through coins sequence which is sorted by its using.

Indonesian coins from time to time along with Malaysian coins.

Being the only visitor that afternoon, I was willing to repeatly observe some trade exchange tools in the golden era of Srivijaya Kingdom. Or money which was made from burlap which was issued by Buton Kingdom in Sulawesi.

It’s so large, Soekarno era’s paper money!

At the end of my visitation, Miss L directed me to a long white cloth and she briefly explained that each visitor would be asked to write his impression message about the museum and ending with a signature underneath. Okay, no need to be stingy to write on the cloth. My signature scratch ended this visitation.

Museum’s storefront with many money collection from various times.

How lucky me to passing and visiting it….Let’s to next destination!

10 Tourist Attractions in Medan

I’ve never given brain a slightest chance to think long. Riding a motorcycle taxi, I sayid “sayonara” to Amplas Terminal which seems unwilling to be left behind by visitor who are willing to take time to know about it.

15 minutes later, I already alighted at Medan’s main destination. They are:

1. Maimun Palace

The palace whose name means “blessing” has served for nearly 130 years in representing a greatness of Deli Sultanate. This palace was constructed as a sign of kingdom’s capital shifting from Labuhan to Medan.

Yellow is a distinctive Malay color that symbolizes wisdom.

Redeem an entrance ticket worth USD 0.37, I explored every corner of the palace and continued to admire every detail of the fusion of Indian, Middle Eastern and European architecture. Five hectares of palace area makes anyone freely enjoy beauty of the palace from various points of view.

Next destination is only 2 minutes by walking, which is:

2. Al Mashun Grand Mosque

Located in west of palace, this octagonal sacred building majestically stands in passing time. This fenomenal creation by Sultan Ma’mun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alam implies that he prioritizes grandeur of the mosque rather than the palace where he lives.

Its marble was directly imported from Italy.

Right on Dzuhur prayer time, I took time to mingle with local people to taste the coolness of this 110 years old mosque. The grandeur of mosque is a marker of prosperity of Deli Sultanate in its time.

Don’t leave an area around the palace and mosque because there is still one more place which is believed to be a relic of Deli Sultanate, namely:

3. Sri Deli Park

Stepping for about 100 meters to north of mosque, I was arriving in the park. To absorbed its historical value, I tried to imagine being a Sultan’s son who was relaxing in afternoon then taking a bath in the trapezoid pool which is located in the middle of park.

Park which can reduce city’s heat.

This park was as a closing exploration to remember the glory of Malay under the leadership of Sri Paduka Tuanku Sultan (the title of Sultan Deli).

4. Tirtanadi Water Tower

Continuing to walk to north, within 800 meters I found a giant water tank which is owned by PDAM (stands for Perusahaan Daerah Air Minum) Tirtanadi in North Sumatra Province. This giant water tank has long been a tourist landmark for the city.

Don’t look at its old face but look at its role.

Who would think that this red and white water tank was made by Netherlands Colonialism at beginning of 20th century. According to the meaning of its Sanskrit name, Tirtanadi has a vital role in supplying clean water needs of townspeople since it was first built until now.

Do you know the meaning of “Tirtanadi” word?….Yups, Tirta means water and Nadi means life.

5. Museum Uang Sumatera (Money Museum of Sumatra)

Let’s take more step!….

About 300 meters at west of Tirtanadi Water Tower, I found a various forms of money collection from several eras in a museum which its establishment was initiated by a money collector named Saparudin Barus.

Even money from Deli Sultanate era was still well preserved.

This museum doesn’t have an entrance ticket. It’s just that museum will give souvenirs in the form of 2 old coins with a hole in the middle and is valued for about USD 0.74.

6. Tjong A Fie Mansion

This time, I stopped at another important destination in Medan. This is a house which is owned by rich trader of Chinese descent who had a major role in city development. This benefactor is Tjong A Fie. And the remain aside from his greatness name is her house where he lives.

Every room in Tjong A Fie’s house has a special function that fascinates me.

I was willing to pay an entrance ticket for USD 2.6. But that value paid off once I understood about its story that explaining each side of the house and traced Tjong A Fie’s career in growing his business and build Medan.

7. Madras Village

There was no authentic reason which I could explain why I had to visit Madras Village. One simple reason, it was a domino effect because I stayed at Dazhong Backpacker Hostel in the center of Madras Village.

Mingling with Indian descent citizens.

Madras is taken from the name of an area in South India which is the ancestors origin of Indian Tamil descent residents.

8. Waroenk Nenek

After meeting up with my friend in city, the darkness persuaded me to return to hotel. But the hunger that was unstoppable, made me to looking for dinner before I actually arrived at hotel.

Bonus destination.

Then I arrived at a restaurant with its slogan “Semua Ada” at Patimura Street. One portion of fried catfish with sambal which was served by beautiful waitress in hijab became the most beautiful gift that night.

9. Merdeka Walk

Fresh after dinner made me canceling to back to hotel. I was adding to one destination again by visiting the city’s culinary and entertainment center which is usualli called eMWe.

Drizzle started to fall when I arrived.

Created in 2005 and able to accommodate 700 visitors at one time making this place as a favorite destination when weekend arrives. Especially for young people who want to relax after working hard all week.

10. Medan Hall.

It’s still one area with Merdeka Walk which occupies at one side of Merdeka Square. This hall will be the center of Medan square in the future after revitalization which is being designed by city government.

At 21:00 hours, the hall still had visitors.

Availability of parks around the hall makes this place very crowded with activities variety from just gathering with family, sports or activities of several young communities.

That was a quick visit in Medan that made me want to back there again.

Menggores Tanda Tangan di Museum Uang Sumatera

Aku mulai menapaki  jalur keluar Taman Sri Deli.

Langkahku begitu harmonis dengan tekanan telunjuk untuk mengabadikan gambar-gambar terbaik di sepanjang Jalan Sisingamangaraja.

Bebek Merah” tiba-tiba turun dari aspal dan hentakan remnya melempar debu yang membuatku sesaat menutup hidung. Muka yang tersembunyi di balik helm itu menoleh ke arahku sembari melambaikan tangan. Aku terdiam sambil berfikir ada apakah. Sedikit curiga, aku melangkah kepadanya sembari menjaga jarak aman.

Si Bapak: “Bang, jangan nenteng kamera bagus seperti itu. Disini banyak jambret. Disimpan saja!”, berbicara setelah perlahan melepas helmnya.

Aku: “Oh, terimakasih pak….Baik pak”, Jawabku lega.

Si Bapak: ”Hati-hati ya Bang. Assalamu’alaikum”.

Aku: ”Wa’alaikumsalam pak”. Orang baik selalu ada di sekitarku ternyata.

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Gagah walau tua.

Aku tertegun dibawah Tirtanadi Tower sembari duduk dan menaruh backpack di sebelah batang pohon untuk berlindung dari panasnya surya. Kemudian aku mengisi kedua botolku dengan krain air minum gratis di kiri depan kantor PDAM Tirtanadi.

Khawatir senja yang sudah mengantri hadir, aku kembali melangkah menuju ke kediaman Tjong A Fie. Melewati persimpangan jalur kereta api lalu masuk ke Jalan Pemuda, tak sengaja aku meewati roll up banner bertajuk “Museum Uang Sumatera”.

Kiranya cukup 30 menit, mampir sebentar!”, bisik batin menggodaku. Tanpa perlawanan argument, aku kini sudah bercakap dengan Nona L -perempuan muda manis berjilbab biru langit- sang penjaga merangkap tour guide museum. Dia mengambil souvenir berupa dua uang koin buatan Kesultanan Palembang dengan lubang di tengah yang di wrapping rapi sekaligus memberikan selembar kertas hijau seukuran tiket bertulis “Biaya Souvenir Rp. 10.000”.

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Lantai 2.

Aku menaiki tangga dan terus mengamati bangunan klasik itu. Kata Nona L, saya sedang berada di Gedung Juang ’45. “Ga perlu buru-buru, Bang. Museum tutup jam 5 sore kok”, selorohnya menjelaskan lewat senyuman.

Tiba di lantai 2, aku disuguhi pemandangan berupa mesin cetak Oeang Republik Indonesia Tapanoeli (ORITA) yang digunakan pada masa awal pemerintahan Soekarno.

ORITA.

Didirikan 3 tahun lalu oleh Saparudin Barus, ruang koleksi ini menjadi museum uang pertama di Sumatera. Seakan niat pribadi sang kolektor diamini pemerintah daerah setelah Gedung Juang ’45 dipilih sebagai lokasi museum. Gedung ini sendiri mempunyai peran penting sebagai markas Barisan Pemuda Indonesia dalam melakukan perlawanan terhadap pemerintah kolonial Belanda.

Tahun 1726 untuk pertama kali VOC mencetak uang koin yang dikenal dengan nama DOIT atau DUIT.

Menjelajah dari etalase satu ke etalase yang lain diiringi dengan penjelasan dari Nona L, aku mulai hanyut dalam aliran arus sejarah bangsa melalui urutan koin yang diurutkan berdasarkan masa digunakannya.

Koin Indonesia dari masa ke masa beserta koin Malaysia.

Menjadi satu-satunya pengunjung di siang itu, aku rela mengulang kembali untuk mengamati beberapa alat tukar perdagangan pada era keemasan Kerajaan Sriwijaya. Atau kertas berbahan goni yang dikeluarkan kerajaan Buton di Sulawesi .

Duh lebar banget sih, uang kertas era Soekarno !

Di akhir kunjungan, Nona L mengarahkanku pada kain panjang berwarna putih dan dia menjelaskan singkat bahwa setiap pengunjung akan diminta sukarela menuliskan pesan kesannya tentang museum dan diakhiri dengan bubuhan tanda tangan dibawahnya. Oke lah, tak perlu pelit untuk menulisi kain itu. Goresan tanda tanganku mengakhiri kunjungan wisata edukasi kali ini.

Etalase museum yang kaya koleksi uang dari berbagai masa.

Beruntung sekali melewat dan melawatnya….Yuks, lanjut!