Bandung Nostalgia

rani's picture

At 6am Ibu Wies picked us up for the Bandung trip. Noe was really enjoying the road trip. I was a bit freaked out because our driver Mr. Imam constantly took over from the left lane, including using the service lane.

We stopped for a while at this fancy resting area at Cipularang Highway, where there is this one and only drive-thru Starbucks in Asia.I bought two bags of Tahu Sumedang (not from starbucks but from other stall).

After about two hours of driving we arrived in Bandung. Oh poor Bandung, crowded and polluted, there is no trace of the citys beauty, which I used to know when I was little. We arrived through the Paspati Bridge which traversesover the city and kill the nice vista around important colonial buildings at the city, such as the Hasan Sadikin General Hospital or the Church in Dago. And of course banners, ads, and billboards everywhere, uncontrollably. This is the capital city of the allegedly most corrupt province in Indonesia.

We went straight to our house in Bandung (tucked in the hospital compound). Ibu Wies bathed Noe while Indi tried to get connected using Iiks laptop, while I read femina magazines. After a while, we decided to walk to the factory outlet shops near our place. Indi managed to get some golf shirts while I was getting a new poncho.

After shopping, we went to Taruna Bakti. I was trying to show Indi my kindergarten and elementary school. However, the layout of the school has changed totally. I went to the school canteen, and met with the son of the Bapak Kantin, who has become a bapak kantin himself.

To my surprise, I saw a lot of lady teacher wears Islamic headscarf. I saw my first grade teacher, Ibu Sri, from outside the class but she was busy teaching. She is too, wearing headscarf. Of course, she wont remember me.

Then we walked to the Junior High School section. All the teachers have changed compared to ten years ago.

Its funny that when I saw the inner court of the school, where we used to have flag-hoisting ceremonies, the space felt so tiny. I remembered that when I was little, the inner court felt really spacious.

Then we went back to the hall of the elementary school and just sat there eating the food that we bough from the canteen. There was Sundanese dancing lesson in the hall and Noe was joining the lesson too. He was having a good time there.

After visiting the school, we went to Toko Riau, a small convenience shop in between my house and my school. There, we met the auntie and uncle who always attend the shop since I was little, and they havent changed a bit, they still look the same. But then I also met Sansan, their daughter who were in the same elementary school and ballet class as me. She hasgrown into a beautiful lady now! Also the famous Udin Meat Ball is there everyday from11am to after lunch time. We had one bowl of meatball with rice vermicelli, and drank one iced coffee from the shop.

We then returned home to rest while Indi was having a meeting with Toma. I called Esti and Iqbal to meet up in Bumi Sangkuriang later in the afternoon.

Later, we went to Bumi Sangkuriang, which is another nostalgic place for me. On the way to Bumi Sangkuriang, I was really surprised to see that Ciumbuleuit has become messier than before, and now with all new medium to high rise buildings being built at the road side of Ciumbuleuit. I wonder how such a tiny road can cope with the increase in traffic flow.

Bumi Sangkuriang is a social club in Bandung, with tennis court, swimming pool, playground and restaurant, which I always went every few days to eat or to swim, when I was little. The building was beautiful colonial style and still conserved as much as possible, with beautiful garden too. It was raining when we got there.

We went to the restaurant where we met Iqbal and Esti. Iqbal was having a good time taking picture of Noe, who was equally thrilled with the new place where he could roam around freely.

We ordered the menu that we used to order when we were little, that is, a plate of bitterballen (a dutch fried potato balls) and a glass of pinacolada. It was still as delicious as fifteen years ago, even the mustard sauce still tasted the same.

After the rain stopped we took a stroll at the garden and around the swimming pool. Noe was really eager to jump into the pool but since I wasnt ready to swim, I couldnt allow that. In the pool, we met Pak Herman, my swimming teacher from fifteen years ago, who still teach swimming now. He has white hairs now.

Ibu Wies managed to obtain Bumi Sangkuriangs annual report. When we went home, we read the report in the car, and was surprised to find out that Bumi Sangkuriang was on the brink of bankruptcy, because the management couldnt get new members, while the old members starting to die.

I was so sad to know about it. Bumi Sangkuriang was a major piece of my childhood. If they went bankrupt, surely the colonial building would be demolished and the land sold to real estate agent. So sad.

We drove to Jakarta, and it took us four hours to reach Bintaro. There was an accident at KM 42 nearing Jakarta.

We were really exhausted when we reached home.


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