I’m now in Bandung, my [original] hometown – it’s nice to be back home and meet my parents and the rest of the siblings. I travelled from Jakarta to Bandung on Tuesday on a shared car that the locals call travel. I wanted to travel at 11.00am but I arrived too late for the scheduled departure – the next scheduled departure was at 2.30pm. I ended up changing the travel company and left at 12.00pm. The trip to Bandung was uneventful because somehow I couldn’t stay awake for too long – haha. Maybe it’s Asians’ ailment, whenever we are travelling in a car for too long, we end up sleeping!
After distributing all of the souvenirs to my siblings, nieces and nephews, my bags are now empty and ready to be filled with clothes that I have bought at the many Factory Outlets around Bandung. Factory Outlets supposedly stock leftover branded garments that are meant for European and American market. In the past, you could get good Versace, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren or Armani stuf – these days, I suspect that many of the clothes are locally designed and plonked with fake labels. Ah well, as long as they are comfortable and look good! 🙂 I also bought some business shirts from the department stores here because clothes are generally cheaper here.
I have also eaten a lot of food that I had missed so much when I was still in Australia – martabak manis which is some kind of thick pancake, infused with butter, cheese, chocolate and sugar; combro – bite-size fried cassava with spicy filling; and heaps of other tasty morsels. I would probably gain a couple of kgs, especially since my mum continuously asks what I want to eat and what I want her to cook … hehehe.
The reason why I say ‘Paris No More’ as the title because Bandung used to be called ‘Parijs van Java’ by the Dutch colonials – and I don’t think it looks like Paris at all. It’s dirty, it’s chaotic, it’s just a mess – I see places that I used to love when I was a kid – the treelined Cipaganti Street, or the Dago area – now raped by the numerous ugly shops and buildings, and crisscrossed by the motorcycles and cars that constantly fill the street. Bandung is a naturally beautiful girl, marred by uneven cosmetics and untalented make-up artists.
I certainly wouldn’t mind living back here in Indonesia, but the mess created by the bureaucrats, politicians and townplanners make it really hard for me to give it a really serious thought. If I choose to work in Indonesia, I will have to factor in an hour to get to work, and an hour to get back, plus the extra hours that I will have to spend at work to avoid the traffic jam. Adelaide is so much blessed in that regard – it’s certainly easy living when you can get home at 5.30pm, or if you have to work late, to finish at 7.00pm and be home at 7.15pm.
Well, it’s time for me to enjoy my time here! Till next time! Oorroo!