After Singapore

I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more

Jakarta & Bandung Trip 2011

Me & Monas
Me & Monas

After finishing my last semester in NUS, it was time for a long break! This time, I visited Jakarta and Bandung for about 9 days. A luxury I couldn’t get during the semester term.

First stop was Jakarta. I took a flight in the morning from Singapore, and arrived around noon. After landed, I searched for my dad who picked me up at the airport. While I was looking for him, I saw many adolescent girls looking very excited waiting for something. Out of curiosity, I asked one of them what’s happening. She answered “Super Junior is coming!” with a look that says something like “Oh my God! You really don’t know what’s happening? Are you from outer space?”. I only saw the car they rode from distance amid the hysterical fans, but didn’t see the Super Junior members. I didn’t know them beforehand, anyway.

During the 4 days in Jakarta, I didn’t really go to interesting places. I spent most of them for quality time with family and by cleaning up my stuff that I left untouched while in Singapore. One of the task was to dispose a very old 486 desktop computer (from the year 1994). It turned out to be a difficult task, even my friend who works on a project that accept old computers for donation thinks that the specification was too low. I also tried to help my dad to remove a tree stump that lies at our front yard. The root has grown so deep it threatened to spoil the the water pipe under the soil. It was a task that looked easy but turned out to be very difficult. The root was thick and had forked into many smaller ones, making it difficult to pull out. In the end, we gave up and decided to try buying a kerosene to kill it slowly instead.

On Tuesday, I went to Bandung to meet my girlfriend, but it became some kind of breaking my diet plan in a culinary trip. Most of them involved having local meals that only found in warungs and home made cooking. On one occasion we had dinner at a modern cafe located next to a mosque, making the ambiance a bit awkward during prayer times. After almost four years (when I left Bandung), this city has been getting more cramped than before.

Almost every time I went to Bandung, I spent some time to watch movie in the cinema. During this time, there was some disagreement between the government and the movie distributor, making the blockbuster movies unavailable everywhere in Indonesia (well, except at the pirated DVD stores). It was quite a pity, but on the bright side it filtered out the mainstream movies that sell by their visual effects, and leaving the good movies that focuses on the story. In the end, Source Code and Scream 4 was quite satisfying to me.

I also spent some time to visit the university where I studied for my undergraduate. There were new buildings, making me and my girlfriend lost for a few moment before finding out the department we were looking for. It was very nice to see the professors that taught me and some former colleagues (I was working part time for 2 years in the university). Things haven’t changed much but I regret that I already forgot the names of some of them. The most nostalgic part is, well, the food. After having traditional fried chicken for dinner, we went for a second round at a nearby soup stall.

On the last day, I took a train back to Jakarta, to catch up the flight in the evening. I arrived around 10.30 but had to wait about one and a half hour for my parents and brother to come. They were taking another train from Pekalongan. While waiting, I went to the nearby tourist attraction: the national monument, a.k.a. Monas. It is interesting, because while I was born and raised in Jakarta, that was only the second time I went to Monas for at least 15 years. The first time was during the elementary school study tour. I was taking several pictures for this blog when a local seller came to me and tried to speak in English with me. I replied in English, too, until he asked me where I come from and I answered “Jakarta”. He looked a bit surprised, this crazy Jakartans still want to go to Monas?

About one hour later, my parent came. We then had a quick lunch, followed by rest at home. And in the evening, I flew back to Singapore. End of trip, was surely a pleasant break


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