Monday, June 1, 2009

Bandung is NOT for me and yet Bandung IS for me

The girls at Soekarno Hatta Airport - Jakarta

Suara (Ku Berharap) Hijau Daun
Di sini aku masih sendiri. Merenungi hari-hari sepi.
Aku tanpamu... masih tanpamu...
Bila esok hari datang lagi.
Ku coba tuk hadapi semua ini.
Meski tanpamu... meski tanpamu...
Bila aku dapat bintang yang berpijar.
Mentari yang tenang bersamaku disini.
Kudapat tertawa menangis merenung.
Di tempat ini aku bertahan.
Suara dengarkanlah aku.
Apa khabarnya pujaan hatiku.
Aku masih menunggunya.
Masih berharap di dalam hatinya.
Dan aku masih tetap di sini.
Kulewati semua yang terjadi.
Aku menunggumu...
Bait-bait kata dari lagu-lagu Indon yang asyik bangat menjadi halwa telinga tatkala menyusuri liku-liku jalan dan melewati satu-persatu toko-toko yang begitu banyak di Kota Bandung.

Pergh… that is a nice prologue to my entry !… No, I don’t sound stupid to write in Malay with Indon’s zest.

It’s been more than two years from our last overseas vacation to Turkey in 2006. The year 2007 was my pregnancy year and due to dear husband being a very cautious person on top of me facing difficulty to conceive, no long haul flights were allowed for me even though I tried to convince him I would do fine. Year 2008 then, with a newborn …. wasn’t so sure if I can handle stuffs efficiently…. I dare not travel far besides balik kampong,…. though it also takes us 8-9 hours drive up East! So, this year… it is just the right time for a little self treat and my kaki was already so gatal.

After considering few places, we chose Bandung for… of course, being not so expensive & not so far. Because of the same reasons too… we thought why not bring along our beloved moms for Mother’s Day celebration. Haiya….. me kedekut la during this economy slow down. Hajat hati memang nak bawa pergi Umrah, tapi hati ini la pulak masih belum benar2 terbuka untuk lawatan indah itu.

If anyone ask me if I like Bandung and would I want for another visit? My instant answer will be….. NO. Enough of Bandung for me. I opine that Bandung is not my kind of place for vacation. After touring the inactive volcano – Tangkuban Parahu, not much of things to do other than shopping.

Tangkuban Parahu

As a normal female, I do love shopping but I am not a shopaholic. The usual me, I consider many angles before spending. If I really need it, if I really like it, if it really fit my budget, if it really worth my hard earn money. I don’t mind spending RM 1000 on a single item that satisfy my criteria than spending RM 100 on many items not so fond to me. That’s why I don’t have many stuffs but the little that I have are all I love.

Maybe also by having two moms whom constantly nagging me on opinions if the shirt or jeans or blouse or textile is nice or not, conversion of IDR and RM, sizes of clothing for grandchildren, whom have they left out from their buys and a lot more, my attention was more focused in accommodating their shopping rather than my own.

Pasar Baru is a pack bazaar with hundreds of shops… Most are selling textile and over-rated embroidered kebayas-kurungs. Me…. Not really into that. I love embroideries… but, the kind of design that I like. Other thing, my girl was not comfortable in Pasar Baru. It was too pack… and stuffy, she was sweating and got cranky all the time. Sekejap ok – banyaknya tak ok.
But both of my moms…. They love it.

We went to Pasar Baru for two consequtive days ... because my moms want to... but my girl flatted on the floor.

The many-many so called Factory Outlet Stores… ya, love it for the clothing.. but not the imitations.

So, yes Bandung is for shopping, but vacations for me … prefer the hot air balloon ride over beautiful-scape of Cappadocia, visits to the Pammukale salted terrace lake or may be dinner with belly dancing gals on the table in Turkey… sky diving in Taupo… or just mere driving and enjoy the scenic view of New Zealand North Island like what we did for our honeymoon.

In contradiction however, my Ayah Su once asked me which place would I opt as ‘visits top list’ comparing the few trips that I had.

At that time, I have yet to visit Bandung… and my answer was Medan – Lake Toba. We visited Medan in 2005 and unlike other places, the flashes of people’s face I seen in Medan came to visit my mind constantly even months after the visit. The faces of little girls selling cut fruits during vehicle stopped at traffic lights, the faces of road side traders chasing for tourists to buy their goods, the faces of little boys shouting for us to throw nickel into Lake Toba so that they can show off their skill in diving but more importantly to get the nickel.

They were damn good - I enjoyed watching them so much, but after a while…. All I want to say was Stop!
I felt sad for what they have to do for just some coins. The lake water was so cold…. And they were little boys, some may be just 3, 4 years old following their elder brothers – bare naked and shivering. It is dangerous too, even though it seems that is their playground. I would never let my child to touch even the water edge unattended.

So was Bandung. I still have the faces of people and occurrences coming visiting my mind – may be because I choose to. The faces of pleasant looking and polite Sundanese in the bazaar and hotel whom treated us with full respect, the faces of men shadowing us with umbrellas waiting for tips, the faces of little boys by roads…. even the faces of traders harassing us to buy their goods.

The supir is a Sundanese... tell ya... they are pleasant looking people.

When I was in Pasar Baru, I asked one of the merchandisers how much is the cost of beads sewing for the materials. He informed me for a standard design, (which I consider ‘heavy’) cost about IDR 20K inclusive the beads. That is about RM 7!!!!! Way… way… too cheap for me, inclusive the beads, ok…. Sapalah kat Malaysia ni yang nak ambik upah macam tu untuk jahit manik. Instantly, I felt sad and even lost the mood to choose my own textile thinking about the girl’s hard time for just less than RM 7. Ya… ya… ya… I can be weird too. Who-la gonna ask the shop owner that kinda question and feel sad about it ?

See, I am a stubborn and hard-headed person – my mami says. But I always have soft spots for this kind of things. I hate to see Banglas at petrol station waving flags. I see no purpose why the owner get him to do it in the hot sun. Filling petrol is a ready market. People don’t choose to fill petrol because they see a Bangla waving flags. Kesian dia – for god sake. Get him to wash toilet even make more sense.

Again if people ask me, would I want for another visit to Bandung… answer is still… hmmmmmm NO lah, unless its free. But if people ask me, do you put Bandung as your visits top list.
My answer - Yes, it’s a top list. It’s for my soul. It make me sit and look back….. and be grateful of what I have. I am not rich.. not born in a rich family.. but I am not facing too much difficulty in life either, up till now.
I complain at times of my hectic and mind pressuring work – but at least it is a close 5 figure remunerate job.

That is why, Bandung is NOT for me and yet Bandung IS for me.

* Wonder what will I see if I visit India…hmmm, India next perhaps? – Harris gonna shout : NOT THIS YEAR !!!!! – no more money ! *

* Roger! sir! * …. Softly whispering : but if I still want – you know I’ll win…. He he. :)

Flight back home


kakijalan said...

mario... if you nak pergi India, i nak ikut!!

whm6840 said...

Okeh… jom India!!!!!!
But u might want to reconsider ur request. I have an extra “baggage” that wee, that poops, that must eat timely, that tears and screams.

Jalan-jalan is not that smooth, u know. He he.