The Great Tour de Java Saga 1 – Arrival

To read in Indonesian:

September 26th, a worth to be remembered day as it’s the first time I hit the land of Japan. 2 years passed yet the memories keep whispering faintly right beside my ears, “2nd time, when it will be?”. To be honest, I can’t forget what I mean by “solo adventure” in the land of samurai, though it was an adventure indeed. But yeah, a rover can’t just left his log empty, can he?

All started in April 1st, on Monday of the first week to be exact. After some span of time I left Tsukuba, finished my thesis along with the defense “trial”, they chatted me that they could have some kind of “refreshment” in Indonesia by April 2020. Yeaay #ascending tone intensifies, I thought I could be dead waiting for the graduation ceremony of which will be conducted in the last quarter of June, except I could hone my language skills (hey, a great leap for a less than a year self-study, isn’t it?). Kento & Riki, whom I may call them in this chronicle afterward, marked their date to stay here for roughly 2 weeks in the 2nd quarter for their holiday.

Well, being Japanese didn’t mean that they directly fly from Japan. Actually at that time, they were on the very same program like I did in a neighboring country, an AIMS program to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UPM), Johor Bahru, Malaysia. “A mid term break” they said, after months studying and a week or two of exams, they planned to visit every countries in Southeast Asia during April in the so called holiday. Started from Indonesia, then flied to Thailand, followed by cross country road trip to Cambodia & Vietnam, flied again to The Philippines, and headed back to Malaysia. Well~ actually it might be neither an expensive travel plan nor a knotty one for Japanese people to go around SEA within a single shot. If travel means pinke-pinke, passport strength, and exchange rate, maybe Japanese people are more than capable to have a long journey in SEA, even for university students whose budget rely on part-time jobs.

On the following day, I told them that I had series of plan, including the backup ones to go around the Island of Java. I chose some places which are accessible, affordable, and well known, not to mention that they’re still university student after all. Even some of them weren’t that popular and less accessible, I didn’t alienate them as I haven’t been there as well. Well Noted, sir!. “These look challenging, gotta browse all of ’em” they said. I topped, “Lemme book the train fare and the hotel fee first, you guys can pay them later on”. ASHIIAAP

Waiting for Iron Bird (source: Nakagawa Kento’s Collection)

2,3,4,…, April 10th, the D day had come. They should’ve arrived by 11 in Soekarno-Hatta Airport. On the previous day, I had asked Fedi, a companion of mine from Indonesia in the University of Tsukuba during AIMS, to come and chauffeur them around. We planned to meet right at the airport cause her car, which actually belongs to her sister, were in use. I reached the airport at 10 AM while she came not long after that. We waited at terminal 2, till their Air Asia touched down the runway of Soetta Airport. 11 AM, with a slight, the finally arrived, yeay ! Boarding path, checked, immigration process, checked, luggage claim, no need cause they only brought a backpack and a goodie bag. 10 minutes passed, and they showed up in front of us, in the arrival lobby.

Landed in Soekarno Hatta International Airport / CGK (source: Nakagawa Kento’s Collection)

Seriously guys??? 10 days trip to a hike and shallows with only THESE things?

We greeted, along with some tittle-tattle before they exchange their money into Rupiah. The counter lady waved, as if they know that we had foreigners here. Not long after, they came with rolls of Rupiah in their hands. They also tried to to buy SIM card at the airport but hey, I warned them not to do so. Trust me, it’s much cheaper in the SIM card center or malls rather than in the airport, plus they come with bigger limit of data. Money matters, done, we then went to the place where we could restore our human basic needs, Chow Time!

We went right to the sky train station in front of terminal 2 of which will send us to terminal 3 where the massive dining area located. A not so jam packed train arrived not long after we set foot in front of the sliding door. unless there were sets of foreigner commuting along from terminals. I was glad that they got as by the airport sky train and terminal 3 enormousness and architecture. Well, it’s huge tbh, but i think it’s just about the same as Narita Airport (can’t say for Haneda tho). Once we arrived, we headed directly to the food court where most of the restaurants and cafe were located. “Eeenie, meenie, minie, mo, choose the reasonable place we should go!”. Our choice were SOLARIA, an Indonesian-global restaurant franchise which quite worth to try (for them). At that time, Kento ordered fried kwetiaw (a chinese style flat rice noodle, with vegetables, egg, and chicken) while Riki ordered the most basic Indonesian cuisine (yup, you name it, Nasi Goreng, and Indonesian fried rice). I ordered a black pepper chicken with rice while Fedi ordered chicken katsu with noodle (not so Indonesian style actually >o<“).

Kento’s Fried Kwetiaw (source: Nakagawa Kento’s Collection)

“お腹いっぱいな~ (Onaka ippaina~)”, means our stomach is full. Yup, the serving size fit the price, as well as the taste. While they’re talking for a while, i took my time to have some prayer. Minutes passed and Mr. clock pointed out that it was around 1 PM. OK, it’s time to get a GO-CAR to Fedi’s house. We went to the ground floor where the GO-CAR point was located. After several minutes, the GO-CAR car arrived, with the driver who was willing to help us carrying their backpack to the trunk. Without any further ado, we left the airport which was better called a wasteland due to it’s scorching temperature (it was 32’C outside, but why it’s too damn hot).

Snap before you go (source: Personal Snapshot)

90 Minutes had passed, and we finally arrived at Fedi’s house. A flash rest would do, because we were worn out at that time. While we’re waiting for the car, we made some to do list (better said “to buy list”). Kento and Riki planned to buy a hiking rucksack because they didn’t buy the proper one beforehand in Malaysia. Of course they’re willing to buy SIM card here as well, and some souvenirs.

Wait…. Souvenirs? Are you serious dude, we haven’t even move an inch to our journey plan

Yup, their plan to buy souvenirs were granted while sadly, the rucksack they planned to buy didn’t. After multiple round and round in the sport equipment store, we didn’t find any suitable rucksack. We then just left the store and had some boba drinks. Once again, they’re astounded with the delicate sweetness of boba drinks here (which they might call them タピオカ, read: tapioka, literally a cassava starch). “This drink is awesome, tastes better than the one in Japan. Plus, it comes with significantly cheaper price (RP 15.000 ~ 円120, exclude tax”, They said. Well yeah, can’t agree more for that thing. Moreover, Fedi and Me paid the drinks with digital payment (namely OVO and GO-PAY) that allowed us to get lower price. Afterward, we just go downstairs into a supermarket where they might find the souvenirs they needed. But first thing first, “I need to to praying room for a while cuz it’s already 4. I’ll meet you guys right in the supermarket” I said.

The praying room was quite a detour, but it’s not that far from the supermarket, just a floor or two above it. After finished praying, I directly went to the supermarket and tried to find them. It’s not that difficult to spot on Japanese people in mass of crowd. None of Indonesians would dress and get hairstyle like Japanese do. Kento was wearing a cap and Riki has a semi-permed reddish hair, with big backpack and sling bag at that time. Within minutes, I could find them easily in the cosmetics and personal care line.

I wondered what will they buy in that section, so I asked “What’s that for? don’t you bring soap and shampoo along with you guys?”. “Nope, I’m looking for Elips hair vitamin capsule for my GF. I wonder whether i should buy the pink or yellow ones?” Kento said. “I wanna buy some Indonesian skin care for my GF as well, but i think I’ll buy the same thing like Kento” said Riki. “Wud… I thought there is something like this in Japan ^o^”??. Kento then decided to buy 2 big bottles of Elips, the pink and yellow ones while Riki only bought a pink one.

The story came to an end as we finished shopping and go to McD in a separate building. Yeah, it’s time for a farewell with Fedi cuz she had to pick up her sis. We then waved goodbye after the Go-Car driver came. We headed to my house, where my family had cooked them sets of meal for dinner. Yum, A Soto (yellow broth chicken and herb soup) as a main dish and Martabak (a sweet and thick Indonesian pancake) as a dessert will please their appetite. We closed the day with a night bath and a bit chit chat in my room. Who will think that a daily routine will be so exceptional with the presence of new people in our life. After all, it depends on us in taking every single memories in our daily life. Our adventure awaits, and so should you!

Breakfast on the next day (source: Personal Snapshot, taken by mom)




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