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Grave Matters

February 19, 2020 5:28 am Published by

People do indeed have unusual hobbies, avocations that you might not imagine are, well, quite normal at first.

OK, here we go. Believe it or leave it. We all know there are people superb at imitating animal calls but, believe it or not, there is such a thing as competitive mooing.  Shockingly, these contests tend to take place in rural locations noted for their dairy, like Wisconsin, and wherever British people keep cows.”

Then there is Chuck Lamb is better known as the Dead Body Guy.  He wanted to be an actor but, unlike most aspiring actors, he was able to admit to himself that he wasn’t that very good at speaking roles.  So he went for non-speaking roles, namely the role of Corpse #3.

To support this, he regularly posts staged photos of his death, and hey, it’s gotten him a small career as a horror icon.  He even has online tributes.

Imagine playing dead. And you’re not even a ‘possum.

And speaking of “dead”, how about graveyard enthusiasts?

No, we joke not. At Ya Udah Bistro we serve fresh, energetic, delicious and hygienic Euro-Asian cuisine at a right price, night and day, day and night 366 days a year (in Leap Year anyway), and in this here blog we joke a lot. But seriously…

… there are around the world many thousands of hobbyists who comb through cemeteries, looking for ancient symbols, inscriptions, messages…

…famous people…

…and a few infamous ones as well. (If the William Blake headstone looks new it is because, well, it is new. Some rascals stole the old one, and may the curse be on them forever.)

There’s even a name for “genealogy enthusiasts”:

Come on now – who says being a tapophile is “abnormal”, Norman? How come it’s “excessive”, Lester? Tons of history are packed away on tombstones, for those who venture to do their homework. POCAHONTAS, Va. — Some of the gravestones were erect, but they were stained by lichens and years of rain, and cracked from freezing and thawing. Others had been toppled by erosion, and trees were engulfing several more. Bit by bit, time was erasing history carved into stone, but lovers of history and genealogy were learning how to read and preserve those records.

The historic Pocahontas Cemetery became the destination Saturday for a cemetery workshop hosted by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. During the daylong class, participants learned about burial laws, cemetery iconography, cemetery archaeology and the conservation of cemeteries.

Saying that something is “carved in stone” often means words and symbols will last forever, but this is not actually the case. Conservator Katherine Ridgway told the participants how different stones and metals used to make tombstones are gradually damaged by different factors.

One commonly used stone, granite, is very durable and resistant to acid rain, Ridgway said. Acid rain will gradually dissolve limestone, and limestone is susceptible to freezing and thawing cycles. Air pollution containing sulfur will damage limestone, too. Other materials used for gravestones, marble and sandstone, are vulnerable to acid rain, plus the freeze and thaw cycle that opens cracks.

Metal monuments are vulnerable to the elements, too, Ridgway pointed out. Iron can be damaged by high humidity and salt in the ground. Copper and bronze have those problems, too. Zinc, Ridgway’s personal favorite one to find, is very durable; especially if the marker is made of pure zinc.

Fire, ultraviolet light, pollution, vandalism, and even being hit by lawnmowers and weedwackers will damage gravestones, she said.

The participants formed a caravan and headed for the Pocahontas Cemetery when the seminars at the Pocahontas Exhibition Coal Mine were complete. It was time to see what time was doing to an old cemetery.

So is this the first you ever heard of “tomb tourism”, dear Ya Udah Bistro patrons and blog readers? Hey, it’s a big deal, particularly in western countries. This is where people visit places with the express intention of looking around graveyards. Dubbed tapophiles, they are sometimes interested in a particular site because famous people are buried there, such as Karl Marx in Highgate cemetery or Oscar Wilde in the Père Lachaise in Paris.

At other times, the tapophiles just wish to wander among the tombstones, enjoying the sombre atmosphere. There are even special tours to ensure you don’t miss out on a particularly rocking cemetery.”

Some vicious individuals even enjoy despoiling cemeteries, robbing graves, knocking down tombstones…

Military cemeteries are always visited, particularly by relatives of those who died in combat.

All right, enough of death and cemeteries. Hey, ever see “Pet Sematery”? It’s creepier than the creeps you see creeping around Jalan Jaksa…

Meanwhile, it’

…and boy are they waiting to serve you hot, delicious, crunchy, tasty, nutritious & hygienic food for foodies at Ya Udah Bistro:


Hey lunch, breakfast & dinner is awaiting the eager reader and eager eater at the majestic and hospitable Ya Udah Bistro, now in Serpong (with a special non-smoking air-conditioned section, for righteous non-smokers to non-smoke until they die from the effort) as well as the classic location in Menteng, near Gondangdia Station.

Ya Udah Bistro is an historic site in Central Jakarta, and featured approvingly in famed tour guides like Lonely Planet. Come around, eat, drink and make merry. And forget about graveyards and death – it will find you soon enough.

As long as  you’re alive and kicking please enjoy the YaUdah Bistro selection of European and Asian cuisine and drinks, along with an elegant, polite mood, good company and a breezy outdoor atmosphere where you can smoke and laugh and yell to your heart’s content.

Hey, thanks for reading our Ya Udah Bistro blog. Please check out some of the earlier newsletters on the Ya Udah Bistro website. We do appreciate your comments on these fanciful expositions as well. All Comments welcome!

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