Surabaya is the capital city of the East Java Province – a city that’s well known for her patriotism and for the outspokenness of her residents. While Central Java and Jogjakarta are known within Indonesia for their gentleness and courtesy, those coming from East Java are reported to be more outspoken and brash. I’m in Surabaya to meet with Yani and her parents – but more on that later.
I woke up several times during the night because of the torrential downpour in Jakarta – we even heard massive thunders that scared my nephews that their father had to spend the night in the children’s room. I set my alarm up at 5.45am because I had ordered a taxi for 6.30am. When I reconfirmed the order however, the taxi company mentioned that they were not successful in getting me a taxi yet because of the rain and the flood. At the end, two taxis turned up because of a misunderstanding at the head office. The driver who got me to the airport was pretty skillful in getting the car through the flooded roads safely to the airport. I was way too early though, so I killed time by sitting down and playing with the games in my iPhone.
The flight took about one and a quarter hour – I flew with Mandala, which was pretty reliable. The service was good, their flight was relatively on time. Overall, I had no complaints whatsoever. When I landed in Surabaya, I was pleasantly surprised with the state of the airport too – it was very clean and orderly. The road leading out from the airport passed through paddy-fields and villages, before we entered the busier area around Sidoarjo and Surabaya. I took the chauffeured Blue Bird car from the airport for Rp 150,000 because I thought rather than taking my risk with unreputable taxi companies that would rip me off by driving around in circle, I should take the Blue Bird group car instead.
In about an hour, we arrived at the hotel that was already booked for me. The motel’s pretty basic but clean – which is what I need really, it’s called Pondok Asri. The room costs Rp 255,000 for the ‘Executive Room’, which is pretty basic with twin beds, a bathroom, and a 14inch TV. At least it also includes free wi-fi connection. 🙂 Yani’s house is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the hotel. Yani fetched me from the hotel and we walked to her house, where I spent some time talking to her mum. A new experience indeed but I suppose I was already well-trained by having lots of aunties and uncles! Spending time and learning about courtesy with the families at the Indonesian church have also taught me to be polite and courteous at all time. Hehehe.
After spending some time chatting with her mum, Yani and I then went out to have lunch because I had not eaten anything, except for two puff-pastries from Beard Papa at the airport. We went to a shop called Nasi Ayam Penyet Bu Kris, where I had the complete package consisting of chicken, shredded beef, tempeh, and fried meatballs – with rice. The ‘penyet’ term was apparently related to the chilli sauce served with the meat? 😕 The word’s actual translation is actually ‘squashed’ or ‘pressed’ but the food didn’t look squashed or pressed indeed. Lunch was yummy, though! I ordered an extra serving of rice because I was hungry!
After lunch, we went to Tunjungan Plaza where we had coffee and just walked around a bit, because I really had no idea what I wanted to see in the city. I wasn’t there to do any sightseeing, really. Now, I’m back at the hotel – I’m going to have my shower soon and then rejoin Yani and the extended family for dinner. The adventure continues!