Saturday, June 21, 2014

Indonesia-Penang Trip I

30 May 2014
This marked the first evening of the trip, if it was even considered part of the trip.

The group went to work as usual and had a final check for the lab shifting due the week we return. We gathered back at our 'headquarter' around 5pm. It was 'Eat with Your Family Day' in the school, so we were fortunately in line with that scehdule. We left the school together with all our baggage, taking train to Changi Airport to check in.

We had dinner, which was the not-so-special Texas Chicken while some of us took Subway. We awaited the preeminent Indonesian food. So, after dinner, we waited outside the gate, including some time to fool around with my phone camera. It was all blur-ish photos but fair enough.

And finally we boarded the plane from Changi bound to Jakarta, taking around one and a half hour. The interesting things that I saw was that there were people eating outside food on the plane, which I had never seen before for flights bound to Penang so far. It makes the flight experience more flexible and comfy.

Despite my urge to rest well on the plane, I only managed to sleep for a while. Enduring the journey with talks and discussions, we finally arrived at Jakarta airport. While I was descending the escalator, I asked curiously of my friend on whether she has Dutch blood because Indonesia used to be colonized by the Dutch. Somehow, someone poked in from behind asking, 'Excuse me, do you speak Dutch?' We were struck by the sudden intervention but I replied a blunt 'no'. I reckoned I might have sound a bit unfriendly but that tourist had gone his own way anyway. We checked out through the custom, as I got my first chop on my passport (I know) and we were welcomed by these.

The brother of our friend fetched us and we were immediately immersed in the traffic situation in Jakarta. It was not a massive congestion, but the road with the parked car with the driven car with all the people, just make the driving so much more meticulous-centric. There were a lot of cars halted at the roadside with drivers in there (I later found out that when they hire drivers, the drivers were supposed to wait in the car no matter how long the owner went out for their chores).

Anyway, we get a glimpse of the city(is it a city?) and were taken to have our proper dinner. We stopped by a roadside stall to pack some drink, which were to support one of the brother's friend's new business. It was called Kaaramel Juice, a franchised chain store. Not sure if it is due to thirst or it is indeed nice, the blended-fruit smoothies were great particularly my chosen flavour, something with berries and blackcurrant.

Next, we walked towards our dinner stall, a roadside Nasi Uduk warung. 

Nasi Uduk is a kind of rice cooked with coconut milk, sprinkled with fried shallots - notably recognized by its fragrance almost similar as a properly-cooked nasi lemak. 

Together with the rice, you could order a variety of dishes. There were different kind of marinated and grilled chicken and beef, beancurd, and chicken organs such as usus (intestine) the only innards that I have no comment since they were deep fried. There was a kind of fish that was extremely deep fried as well. The sambal was ecstatically delicious too!

There, we were usually served teh - which were jasmine tea. They were free-of-charge unless you ordered a sweetened tea. 

We were also introduced to the famous versatile Bango sauce. It was actually a sweet soy sauce with a trace of gula melaka fragrant. Bango (which is actually bangau in Malay) is the mostly used brand of sweet soy sauce.

Another interesting thing about roadside stall, there were few street singer who will carry their guitar and came in and perform a little while you could tip them. Some of them even sang Chinese song (I'm not sure if they know what they were singing).

After the dinner, we passed by another stall to pack supper, roti panggang and pisang panggang. This stall also sells indomie. They even have borang to fill in the order and uniform for the staff.

Left was pisang panggang, which means toasted banana. It was coated with the multi-purpose-in-Indonesia Kraft cheese with condensed milk with chocolate rice. Right was roti panggang, meaning toasted bread. As you can see, it was buried beneath a layer of kraft cheese and condensed milk. Such a sinful supper.

While trying to get accustomed to the culinary style, we took our time to shower and rest and examine the money (so many zeros). Oh yes, we were inside our friend's house. 

Last but not least, I went to bed with my three lovely doudous!

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