Once Upon a Time in Surabaya

Surabaya was our last place to visit in our Christmas-New Year Holiday before going back to Ambon. We actually had been there before but it's only for a transit in the airport. Now we would explore this capital of East Java a little bit. The interesting thing was we were hosted by Bartek, a Polish man who knew Surabaya better than us, Indonesians. It was very nice to stay in the same big house with him and his EF teacher friends. At the same time we came there, Bartek's Mom was coincidentally visiting him. I love her accent in speaking English. Anyway, had just arrived at his place, we immediately went out again to explore the city. In the cab, four of us were talking about Poland and Surabaya. Bartek's Mom looked unhappy with the Indonesian-typical traffic Kristin and I had been used to see. Motorcycles were entering the pedestrian side walk, people driving in high speed, and many other crazy things were there. Yet it's just not as crazy as in Jakarta. Visit Indonesia and you'll see by your own the things I'm talking about.

House of Sampoerna was the first place we visited. Bartek and his Mom joined free tour around the city but we did not coz there were no more seats available. Well, we still could go into the museum and it's quite interesting! It opens daily 09.00-22.00 without any entrance fee. Sampoerna is the biggest cigarette company in Indonesia, now owned by Phillip Morris from US. I hate cigarette very much but I'm not a narrow-minded person. Back there in Ambon, I had been teaching English for Sampoerna staffs since few months ago.

You can also buy interesting stuffs on the second floor.

Replica of a stall sponsored by Dji Sam Soe (Sampoerna brand)

Outside the Museum where you can find cigarette pillars.

Leaving the museum we walked along the old city of Surabaya till we found a shopping mall called "Jembatan Merah Plaza". It's huge but not the one we expected. Then we took an 'angkot' from Taman Jayengrono to return to Bartek's place in Ngagel Tama. But our map knowledge about Surabaya was almost zero. On the way we looked at a big mall and decided to get off there. After having several things done in that mall (which actually was Delta Plaza) we still did not have any idea how to get home. We avoid taking a cab to save our budget. Fortunately it's very kind of Bartek. As we told him our position, he soon picked us up with a chartered 'angkot'.

The next day, early in the morning we left Bartek's place with a taxi we ordered before to go to Juanda Airport. We felt sad to leave Surabaya that soon but we had no choice we had to go to work on the next day. Arrived in the airport at 7 am, we were trapped in a long check-in queue. How could it be not that long? Lion Air passengers for three different destinations all checked-in on the same line. Besides, there was something wrong with the line, we were standing for long at the same point, not moving forward at all. There were apparently a problem with the baggage process of one passenger. We were not announced to move to another line or something. We thought the flight would be delayed for sure because of the baggage problem. However, when it came to two people before us the Lion Air staffs said we'd been late to board the plane! Spontaneously everybody complained. It was not our fault because we were in line two hours before the flight schedule. We insisted Lion Air airlines to take responsible for this problem. Finally, they agreed to change our ticket for the next day flight. But they did not cover our transportation fare from/to the airport or even the accommodation stuff. That was really not nice but on another side we were happy to have one more school day-off with a strong reason.

Bartek, Me, and si Mbok
So we took a DAMRI bus from the airport to Purabaya Bus Terminal, another bus to Ngagel, finally a cab to Bartek's place. We didn't go out the house at all today. Eating stuff was done by delivery ordering. We enjoyed spending our time inside the house where there were many English speaking bule and a Javanese speaking mbok, a local helper at that house. It was so funny listening to conversation between mbok and Bartek or other bule living there. Mbok seemed didn't care whether the people she spoke to understand what she's saying or not. She kept speaking Javanese to them, not even tried to speak Bahasa Indonesia. At the night, together with some EF teachers there, we finally watched "The Hobbits", a movie we wanted to watch when in Jogjakarta but always failed. On the next day, early in the morning -- even earlier than before -- we left Bartek's place and this time we did fly to Ambon. We really miss Bartek and his mom, si mbok, and other EF teachers there. Must visit them when going to Surabaya next time!

1 comment:

  1. You are always welcome here or anywhere I find myself. It was a pleasure to meet you and thank you for writing about the experience in such detail. I have a blog too, but I don't update it too often. Maybe I will today. Here is the link. Take care! http://fourthnobletruth.blogspot.com/

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OUR TRIPS (Based on Places)