Minggu, Februari 21, 2010

Eating in the Cheap

It was almost noon when Rini, a student of Parahiyangan University, got out of class. Tata, a classmate, said, “Rini, how about lunch today ?” “Okay, Udi just told me about the street stall on the corner. They say the food’s good and cheap.” “Let’s go,” Tata answered.

The stall was almost full with diners. Most of them were people from neighboring offices and students. The sound of clinking glasses, spoons and forks, and the murmurs of the diners filled the place. The seats were long benches on both sides of long tables. Seasoning, chili, kerupuk in stoppers, and bananas were on the tables. Except for used bowl, glasses, spoons and forks scattered on some of the tables, the place was relatively clean.

It took Rini and Tata some time to decide what to eat, sice all the foods behind the glass counter looked delicious. “I’d like a small portion of rice, soto ayam, oseng-oseng tempe, and kerupuk, and a glass of lime juice,” Rini said to the server. “I’d like rice, gulai kambing, fried noodles, some lalapan, and a bottle of coke.” Tata said. “Wow, that’s a big lunch.” Rini commented. “Well, I’m really hungry. I didn’t have breakfast this morning,” Tata answered.

“Mmm, Udi was right.” This soto is really yummy.” Rini murmured while enjoying her food. “Gee, this gulai is fantastic !” Tata said taking a spoonful of food.

They were even more surprised when it was time to pay for the food. When they left the stall, they said simultaneously, “Let’s have lunch here again tomorrow.”


You have all heard of the place, some of you have probably been there. It is a volcano and it is especially famous for the beautiful sunrise that you can see from its rim. Just make sure you are there at dawn. People who have been there will tell you to go in the dry season. You will then have a better chance of seeing a blood-red sunrise.

To reach the rim of the volcano you will have to cross a vast sea of sand. You can walk or ride a pony, but going on horseback is much easier and faster. The trip takes about one and a half hours. At the end of this sea of sand, you can enjoy the beautiful sunrise, but some visitors prefer to be on the rim, at the very top of the mountain. The only way up is to climb a long fight of steps--246 steps, to be exact. What you get to see is worth all the effort : a stunning view all around you, and a memorable sunrise in the east. You can also the crater, which gives off the smell of rotten eggs and makes rumbling noises, as if awaiting its time to erupt.

The Tenggerese, who live in the small villages around the area, believe the crater is the home of the gods. Once a year, they hold the Kesada Festival. Starting at midnight, they stage a scared ceremony to please the mountain gods. While carrying torches, they burn incense, chant prayers, and offer animal sacrifices, which they throw into the crater. The Tenggerese think that if they carry out the ceremony every year, the gods will be happy, and the volcano will not erupt and destroy their villages.

The legend goes that the Tenggerese are descendants of Dadaputih and his wife. The Tenggerese regard the place as sacred and have worshipped it ever since. The name of the mountain is Mount Bromo.

OF Days Gone By

I like to think of the time when I was a child. I remember a house full of love. In the evenings, I used to sit on my father’s lap in the living room. I would tell him everything that happened in school, I would sing the songs I had just learned or show him my coloring book. I was so proud when I could write the word bapak for the first time. I showed it to him and I remember that he was also very proud of me.

Sometimes my father had to work late or was out of town on business. Then I would sit with my mother, who used to read me stories from one of my favorite storybooks. Or we would watch television together and she would patiently answer all my questions.

But what I liked best were Sunday mornings. On Sundays, my parents used to wake up late, but I liked to get up early. I would slip into their bed and cuddle up between them. Sometimes I would doze off. But at other times I would just lie there and think of the wonderful things we would do later in the day. Those were such happy moments.