About Me

So, basically this blog was started by envy. Kulam Ikan Tetangga (the neighbor's fish pond) is a variation to the saying that goes "the neighbor's Grass is always greener". The Neighbor's Fish Pond will always have fatter and more fish (than your own fishpond). And so it is.

I Drank the Rain

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Batam today, we left with the 10:30 AM Citilink Garuda flight. The flight took two hours which most of it I spent dozing on and off. I was only awake to take photos when we took off and again as we landed. My mother, sister and I got the seats near the front exit door. Right before we took off one of the flight attendants briefed us about "how to open this emergency front door in case of an emergency landing", it was rather perplexing partially because the flight attendant is a newbie and partially because... well, episodes of LOST! and other flight disaster films started to flash in my head.

How do I know the flight attendant is a newbie? There were about seven flight attendants on the plane and it wasn't even a big one (also it's not a long distance domestic route). One of them was looking a lot older and authoritative aura emanated from her, she also wore pants while the others wore knee-length shorts. Two of the flight attendants introduced themselves as senior attendants, which means... well there's a junior level to this attendance profession. And the rest of these attendants, including the one who briefed us on the emergency door, were generally looking unsure and anxious. Their first flight attending?

But the flight was quite a pleasant one in over all. I slept most of it off. HA HA.

From above, the Island of Batam looked a bit dry in some parts where some human-built-constructions could be seen forming symmetrical quadrangles. There were some bald patches as well, revealing the red soil, no doubt human interferences. It's a bit sad actually, as if the island has some painful wounds, severe cuts, and weird quadrangle shaped scabs.

From the ground, it just looked hot, hot, and sad. The tour bus was equipped with a tour guide who gave explanations on the island in general, of which I sensed some sarcastic bitterness in some parts.

The island of Batam is famous for its industrial area which most of it is occupied by the electronic manufacturers of famous brands. Eighty percents of the workers in these industrial areas are females. EIGHTY PERCENTS! What does the men do? pfeh!

Batam is also famous for the not-so-secret prostitution, employing...who else... females. Young girls of the chinese ethnic, mostly from Pontianak, famous for their fair skin and innocent looks: the Amoys...


Anyways, first stop, Kediri restaurant, for lunch. It was nearly 2 PM and everyone is starving. Food was good. A whole lot better than the food we had in the Solo trip last December.

Second stop the famous bridge number 1, the Barelang bridge a.k.a the Fisabilillah bridge... (or something... heheh). It is famous for having ...err... a construction similar to the San Francisco bridge (orly?). But it was really just a bridge. And it was boiling HOT!

The view from it was pretty good tho. I got off to take some photos when some hawkers approached us. What they're selling were quite interesting, but I just had a big lunch so I had to skip the opportunity :P It was also interesting to find how digital photography changed the tourist-photo business. :D

Our tour bus passed one of the five water reservoir lakes of Batam island. The island has no natural fresh water resource so the population depends on the kindness of the rain. Our guide explained the five lakes fortunately don't seem to be influenced by the global climates changes of : i.e. dried off in the dry seasons like some water reservoir dams in Java. The fact that all the fresh water need of an island populated by 750.000 people (+ heavy duty industry too, let's not forget) is sustained by rain water should give anyone with the right mind a new perspective for water reservation.

Next stop, the Nagoya Center. I thought it would be like a big mall, like what we usually have in Java, but hey this is Batam. They do it differently here. Nagoya center is a cluster of shop-house blocks. There are specialty shops and there are shops which sell everything from Singapore key-chain and t-shirt souvenirs, bags (mostly fake), perfume (probly fake as well), and Malaysian produced snacks and confections. To hunt for the cheapest item you simply have to go in and out of the many shops they have there. It was really a bit disheartening, yours truly decided to give up after the first shop.

My mother, sister and I decided to look for the famous local delicacy, Gong Gong, which is some kind of a sea snail. Actually I have often seen the shell of this animal but only just discovered today what the inside looks and tastes like. It was simply boiled and then eaten with condiment of a sweet and sour sauce with finely chopped peanut. It tasted pretty ok, like escargot. Was pretty expensive too, about Rp 75.000 / kg. We shared half a kilogram between the three of us. In overall I think the meat probably only weighed several ounces :p I kept one shell as a souvenir :D

Last stop, Novotel Batam. Here we stayed for the night before crossing to Singapore tomorrow. I wrote this as I drink bottled water, and if the label is correct, this drinking water comes from one of the five rain water reservoirs. Hmm...

Hey, my passport is going to be devirginized! :p

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