I can’t enjoy all these delicious food alone--the Tumis Wara Wiris, the healthy stir-fry dish, Djangan Ndeso, the native veggies and Carang Gesing or traditional banana sweets.
I was told that in the old days here, one way for the Sultan to restrain himself and avoid committing sins when away from his wife is by sheathing his phallus. Likewise when the wife is away, she’d put a covering plate on her fanny too. Those sheaths and covering plates were not ordinary. They were made of heavy gold with different designs and shapes.
I quickly tied my head with my kandit siyabit, a Suluk weaved shawl, before going inside our jeep. I also took jamu, a herbal tonic very popular in Indonesia. There are different kinds of Jamu. I chose the one for muscle pain and drank it with sugar syrup because it was too bitter for my taste.
From the city, it took us about an hour to reach the villages at the foot of the mountain. Along the way, we passed by the Alien Stone (a rock that looks like an alien) and took some photos for souvenir.
We then tried the siomai sold by locals before heading to the Sisa Hartaku, a mini-museum that reminded us of the mountain’s last eruption in 2010.
The museum is actually an old house with a collection of belongings from people who used to live near the area. I felt sad imagining how it must have been during the deadly eruption. How people must have ran to save their families. How they must have rushed to save the last of their animals and belongings. At the museum, I saw among the display some houseware, utensils, skeletons of cows, even a molten clock which showed the dials frozen to that day of the eruption, a reminder that from then on, time in this village would be divided into two: before and after.
Going back to the city, we passed by the Merapi River. We had to cover ourselves so we won’t get wet as the jeep was crossing the river too fast. Now I know what the raincoats were intended for.
2nd August 2016. Dawn had come. It was time to go the airport. It was hard to go, but I told myself this is not the last chance for me to be here.
As we waited for our flight to Jakarta, my phone buzzed. I grabbed it and typed some words. They were not goodbyes, because I don’t recognize goodbyes. I just wanted to save my words of happiness and thanks to the people who were instrumental in bringing us near their hearts during this Indonesia Familiarization Trip. I continued sipping black coffee in a small, white cup. Brother Lano Lan and brother Ruzaini aka Ahmad Dhani II were sitting near me beside a square, white table while looking at the runway where different planes passing by every minute.
I said in Malay, “God willing, we will meet again. There are many stories that we need to share together.” The reply in Malay came very fast. “Definitely, definitely, Brother. History is the past. Let’s do a new story.” And I said, “A new story is coming, Pak”. I was no longer expecting a reply from Pak Ruben as I knew he needed sleep, having flown directly to Jogjakarta after catching up with his work in Batam Island. He has not had sleep since he arrived. But he promised to be with our group for this trip.
Before the flight took off, I thought of writing a poem. And I did. Please help me by reading gently, word by word, while I sleep quietly before arriving at Kuala Lumpur. I wrote. I am now asleep. Stop listening. Don’t move. And take hold. Here’s the poem:
I don't recognize the phrase "goodbye".
I really don’t.
Upon departing from the place I go,
I avoid “goodbye”
Saying such word is the saddest thing to do.
This wide ground is but a symbol.
A signal that I will be here again.
Again and again, I will come.
I will return.
The historical and cultural visits are waiting.
I love you, peace. Let's sail together. Layag Sug!
Tedar Tours and Travel Sdn. Bhd
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Al Furqan Travel and Tours Sdn. Bhd
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