Rabu, 11 Januari 2017

A Short, but Meaningful Holiday

The last few weeks leading up to 2017 was a little different than any New Year celebration I've ever encountered. It wasn't as exciting and liberating as the past two years, where I spent the holidays with my extended family. We used to have barbecues, light up fireworks, and blow the silly horns till midnight. But this year, none of that happened. The biggest difference might be the fact that my family wasn't together during that holidays; my dad was in Padang, my older brother was in Bandung, whereas me, my mum, and my little brother were all the way in East Java. It was all one chaotic mess.

My get-away started on the 24th of December when I was dragged along on a field trip with my little brother and around thirty of his friends. We went by train from Bandung to Kediri and it took a long and tiring fourteen hours! Once we got off the train, it was already the next morning. We headed straight to where my brother and his friends would be staying at for the next seven days, which was a small housing unit in Kampung Inggris, in a town called Pare. After dropping them off, me, my mum, and the other chaperone parents headed off to our motel to take a long awaited rest. There wasn't much to do in Kediri, so after a day of lounging around, my mum decided that we should go travel around East Java just to pass the time.

Our first stop was at the great Mt. Bromo where we saw the beautiful sunrise at the very top of the mountain. Later, the guide brought us to the crater, but we were too lazy to go on horseback up the crater, let alone on foot. You could tell we weren't the most adventurous people on earth. After the sporty expedition, we continued our journey to Malang. We went to the city by car. Unfortunately, the car we rented had some trouble with the air conditioning which made the ride very hot and uncomfortable. So, once we checked in to our hotel, we decided to go on foot for the rest of the day. We enjoyed our trip to Malang by trying all the traditional cuisines such as Bakso, Soto, and the famous Toko Oen. After spending the night in Malang, we headed to Batu. The city of Batu is famous for it's Jatim Parks, Museum Angkut, Batu Night Spectacular, and the flower gardens. We visited the Museum Angkut, which was filled with transportation vehicles from all over the world and many as old as our ancestors. Another place we visited while in Batu was the Batu Night Spectacular. There, we saw a beautiful lantern garden and went on many thrilling rides. Apart from those two places, what mesmerized me most was the spectacular view from our resort. We could see the whole city just by standing on the balcony. It was absolutely breath-taking!

After an amazing two days in Batu, it was time to go back to Kediri. We drove for about three hours and finally made it to our motel, which was near to my little brother's home-stay. My mum and I spent our last few days of 2016 relaxing in our room, out of the heat, and connected to Wifi. On the other hand, my brother and his friends were finishing up their English course at the Language Center. After their closing ceremony, twenty of the remaining participants joined us at our motel because their home-stay was far from acceptable.

It was New Year's Eve and our motel seemed quiet, like how it normally is. Very different than how New Year's Eve in big cities are. There were no sounds of fireworks, no trumpet sounds, and no countdown.

On the last day, my mum took the group to Gumul Paradise Island, which is a water park located in the center of Kediri. Unfortunately, I couldn't join in because I was a bit sick that day. However, the ambiance was great and I still had a wonderful time there. One of the things I noticed about Gumul Paradise Island was that the food and beverages they were selling at the food court were very inexpensive, unlike most common theme parks. Their food ranges from Rp. 5.000 - Rp. 20.000, and their drinks were even more affordable.

Once we got back to the motel, it was already noon. We packed all our stuff and got ready to leave for the station. On our way there, we stopped at a restaurant to have lunch and take-away dinner. We arrived at the station a little early and waited for the train which will be taking us to Bandung. At 10 to 7p.m. we boarded the train and I helped the little ones lift their luggage to the cabin. While we were busy helping each other, the train suddenly took off without us even realizing. It turns out, one of the porters who helped my mum's friend with her bags didn't jump off the train soon enough, so he had no other option than to get off at the next station. I felt sad for the old man because now he had to find his way back to Kediri all the way from Nganjuk, which was a whole other city.

Finally, we arrived in Bandung. All of us were really tired even though we weren't doing anything for fourteen hours while on the train.

The whole trip made me realize that even though things weren't so great in the beginning, we could still make it worthwhile. Maybe some things went wrong, but I guess that's the whole point of adventures. I also realized something most of us usually take for granted, which is hard work and effort. In my case, I realized the hard work my mum put in to make the trip happen. She organized a whole field trip for my little brother and thirty of his friends, and while doing that, she managed to make a fun holiday for me and her. All of that she did on such short notice. So, even though I slept through the whole new year's countdown, and my family wasn't totally complete, I am still thankful for everything that has happened.

Thank you, 2016.
Welcome, 2017!

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