Semarang, Gedangan

This area just seems to bleed away in all directions. There is no real focus and no sense of containment. The intersection is little more than a wide space in the road.

Semarang is a town in what was then colonial Java, and the architecture is more European than Javanese. The building on the left has a distinctly Dutch character.

The signal house just to the left of the tracks implies that the tracks belong to a railroad, not a tramway. The absence of overhead wires is further evidence, although it is not conclusive, since horse-drawn trams were probably in use in this area much later than in Europe. It was not unusual in these times to push a railroad right through the center of town, even down the middle of main streets (even today, occasional freight trains move over the regular streets of Oakland, California). This is poor practice, however, as the long trains block intersections to all traffic for minutes at a time as they pass.

The wires crossing in the sky are, to my eye, a real blot, although this is not in any way an especially attractive example of urbanity.

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