Surabaya, on the north cost of East Java, is Indonesia’s second largest city and third largest port, after Jakarta and Medan. Its history can be traced back to the 13th century, when its inhabitants resisted a Mongol invasion. Surabaya became a major centre of the Indonesian revolution of 1945, from which it earned the title “Kota Pahlawan” or “City of Heroes”. Tales of heroism existed in Indonesia long before the founding of the Republic of Indonesia as a unified nation. The city developed and grew as a result of its trading activity along the riverbanks, which is where I will be exploring Surabaya from.

A cat with balls bigger than its tail walks along the riverbank.
A cat with balls bigger than its tail walks along the riverbank.
Graffiti tags have finally reached South East Asia's major cities.
Graffiti tags have finally reached South East Asia's major cities.
Erotic image of a woman drawn on the back of becak, a rarity in a Muslim country where pornography is banned.
Erotic image of a woman drawn on the back of becak, a rarity in a Muslim country where pornography is banned.
Closed off bridge with a hanging sign to warn people.
Closed off bridge with a hanging sign to warn people.
Ice-cream man and a boy. As soon as I snapped this shot I was told off for taking it. The ice-cream man also sells salted ice-cream, a Surabaya favourite.
Ice-cream man and a boy. As soon as I snapped this shot I was told off for taking it. The ice-cream man also sells salted ice-cream, a Surabaya favourite.
Man fishes in the polluted river.
Man fishes in the polluted river.
Short tailed kittens walk over a sieve of drying corn.
Short tailed kittens walk over a sieve of drying corn.
Cleaners jet-spray perfectly clean and smooth roads instead of laying asphalt in the slums that are just around the corner and take up about 5 percent of Surabaya's land.
Cleaners jet-spray perfectly clean and smooth roads instead of laying asphalt in the slums that are just around the corner and take up about 5 percent of Surabaya's land.
This might be the most contradictory sign I've seen in Indonesia. Just 40 years ago it was common for Dutch, Eurasians, Ambonese, Chinese or anyone considered to be a spy, to be subjected to intimidation, kidnap, robbery, murder, and even organised massacres. Dayak (Javanese) people repeatedly massacred Madurese migrants. The transition to the New Order also saw the mass murder of Chinese-Communists occur.
This might be the most contradictory sign I've seen in Indonesia. Just 40 years ago it was common for Dutch, Eurasians, Ambonese, Chinese or anyone considered to be a spy, to be subjected to intimidation, kidnap, robbery, murder, and even organised massacres. Dayak (Javanese) people repeatedly massacred Madurese migrants. The transition to the New Order also saw the mass murder of Chinese-Communists occur.
Have you ever eaten dinner in a food court full of local fools who haven't seen a white person since colonial times?
Have you ever eaten dinner in a food court full of local fools who haven't seen a white person since colonial times?
The dome of the Indonesia's second largest mosque.
The dome of the Indonesia's second largest mosque.
A fenced off water tank. I was asked to leave before I could take a closer picture.
A fenced off water tank. I was asked to leave before I could take a closer picture.
A Soviet submarine displayed near the port of Surabaya is considered to be one of the city's major attractions.
A Soviet submarine displayed near the port of Surabaya is considered to be one of the city's major attractions.
A woman feeds her child in the slums.
A woman feeds her child in the slums.
Despite the conditions in which they live, people still look happy and smile back.
Despite the conditions in which they live, people still look happy and smile back.
Most buildings in the slums don't have glazed windows, this one is a rarity.
Most buildings in the slums don't have glazed windows, this one is a rarity.
Local mosque in the slums.
Local mosque in the slums.
A truck transporting 'Air' leaves a trail of CO2 behind it.
A truck transporting 'Air' leaves a trail of CO2 behind it.
Taking a short cut, the port and stacked containers run through the slums.
Taking a short cut, the port and stacked containers run through the slums.
After taking this shot, I was approached by an angry, unwelcoming soldier. He asked me why I was taking photographs around the naval base and which country I was from. I responded that I'm from Russia, the soldier's expression changed and he said
After taking this shot, I was approached by an angry, unwelcoming soldier. He asked me why I was taking photographs around the naval base and which country I was from. I responded that I'm from Russia, the soldier's expression changed and he said "Indonesia is friends with Russia". Yeah, because if I had said I was Estonian, I would most likely have been arrested.
The route to the port goes through flooded roads with no pavements.
The route to the port goes through flooded roads with no pavements.
School boys.
School boys.
Some becak drivers have no home, so they work most of the time, earning a meager wage and sleeping during the day when temperatures are high.
Some becak drivers have no home, so they work most of the time, earning a meager wage and sleeping during the day when temperatures are high. Photo added to Sleep while I travel collection.
Kids posing.
Kids posing.
The river has a deficit of bridges, so boats transport people across the river for a small fee.
The river has a deficit of bridges, so boats transport people across the river for a small fee.
A man fishes in the polluted river.
A man fishes in the polluted river.
A mechanic reads the paper.
A mechanic reads the paper.
A welder at work.
A welder at work.
Local merchants and mechanics.
Local merchants and mechanics.
A cat and dog licking their balls.
A cat and dog licking their balls.
Bridge with broken mechanism under which people live on boats.
Bridge with broken mechanism under which people live on boats.