Friday, August 21, 2009

Euphoria of Independence Day

Indonesia, my beloved country celebrated the 64th anniversary on 17 August 2009. August was the month when the red and white (the color of our flag) coloring everywhere in Indonesia. There were so many accessories dominated with red and white such as flags, balloons, ribbons, sparkling lamps, lampions, origami papers, were hanged along the roads, in the class rooms, on terraces, shopping arcades, and others.

In Indonesia, people celebrate the Independence Day by joining competition such as running with gunny sack, climbing betel palm tree, eating kerupuk (chips made of flour favored with fish or shrimps ), and other funny competitions. These competitions are held to keep the unity of people and also to express the euphoria of Independence Day.

Running with gunny sack

In my neighborhood, Bogor Nirwana Residence, the celebration of Independence Day was held at the Bukit Nirwana club house. There were a lot of people gathering there. Not only children, but also teenagers, and adults came to have fun. I saw a very old man with his rattan stick, sitting near the swimming pool, looked so happy to see the euphoria. Maybe the atmosphere here reminded him to the era when he was young and fighting for the Independence of Indonesia. Or maybe he was happy because he could feel the unity and confraternity as one nation although the people here came from various ethnics such as Javanese, Sundanese, Chinese, Arabic, Malayans, and Sumatrans. I, my husband, Anin and Rafif took a part by joining some competitions. Dea refused to join; she was just interested on eating ice cream and becoming supporter.

Anin joined the eating krupuk competition. She was excited because she wanted to be the winner. Last year, at our neighborhood at Palembang she got the second prize. But, this time, she wasn’t lucky. A bigger girl finished eating krupuk earlier then the others, so Anin lost.

Eating Kerupuk competition

Then, there was catching fish competition. Anin and Rafif took a part. They hold a plastic glass on their hand and were ready to catch the small fishes on the plastic pond. The committee blew the whistle and,” Go!” The children started to catch the fishes enthusiastically. I saw Anin collected many fishes, but Rafif found it’s so hard to catch one. Then, the sound of the whistle signified the time was up. Anin smiled and showed me her glass which was full of small fishes. But Rafif cried, he was disappointed because he couldn’t catch any fish. He cried loud and louder, and then Anin tried to calm him down by giving him one of her fishes. His crying changed into sweetest smile; he showed me the fish he got proudly. When the committee counted the fishes, Anin lost again. She got 12 fishes, and the winner got 13 fishes. She could be the winner if she didn’t give Rafif one fish. Anin was disappointed, but I hugged her, showing her that I was proud that she chose to share with his brother rather than to be the winner.

Catching Fish competition for children

Rafif and the small fish

The next was the competition for Moms. It was catching eel. Some woman refused to join because they were afraid of eel. They said “No, thanks! The eel remind me to snake, it’s terrified!”

Anin, Rafif and the eel

A woman tried to persuade me to join this competition. “You are not a coward, are you? Then join this! “She said, and it worked. Ha…ha… I decided to take a part rather than to be an audience.

So, I was ready. A plastic glass on my hand, and a lot of spirit on my heart, it seemed like a brave warrior ready to fight. The committee said,” Get Ready?? Go!!!” Then I started to collect the greasy eels. It was not easy! The eels were so greasy, that sometimes they could loose from my grasp. My kids supported me. “Come on, Mom! Catch them! Add more! You can do it!”

Here, I was catching eel with high fighting spirit

When the time was up, I saw my glass was full enough with eel and I was wet. The committee counted the eels. A skinny woman got 11 eels, a fat woman got only one eel, and some woman did not get any. I got 12 eels!! Ha..ha… then I became the winner.

Pulling Rope competition, looked at the faciall expressions, wow...

My husband joined pulling rope. Two groups consist of 5 people pulled the long rope towards them. The winner was the group who can pull the opposite towards them. The competition needed more energy because the key to be the winner were the power, the strength and team work. I did not hesitant my husband’s strength. So, the result was the same as I thought, his group became the winner.

Then there were another funny competition. Two people competed face to face walking on bamboo stick on the water, and they should hit the opposite using a pillow. The loser was the one who fell into water earlier. It was fun!

The ending of the celebration was the announcement of the winners. My kids were happy to see their parents got two prizes.I got the first prize of catching eel and my husband got the first prize of pulling rope. There’s one thing that disturbed, the prize for me was a tea set consist of six tea cups, so beautiful. But the prize for my husband was only a tea cup, only one, not a set. Ha..ha..ha… my husband got a little bit jealous of it.

The Happy Winners and their prize

This was the first time we celebrated Independence Day in the new neighborhood. We
I got the first prize of catching eel, we enjoyed it, very much.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Go for Sightseeing at Bogor ( I )

The view along the path inside my cluster, Tirta Nirwana

Being in new town, I found many new experiences, new friends, new interesting places and those made my life more colorful.

One time, I and my husband went for sightseeing by riding motorbike. We just looking around Bogor, trying to be more familiar with the roads, finding places such as traditional markets, arcades, café’s , hospitals, paths, malls, salons, and other places. We plunged into the crowded and complicated traffic along the roads which were full of cars for public transportation. The crowded traffic was annoying, but we understood that we should habituate with this condition. We also went along some paths and sometimes feeling surprised to know that the end of the paths were some places we’ve already knew. But sometimes, we found that we were trapped to a new place we’ve never knew before. It was fun.

Bogor is cool. There are many big trees along the roads. And the place I love most is the environment around my house and cluster. In the morning at weekend, I enjoy the beautiful scenery along the path to the swimming pool.

And sometimes, when I drive my car home from the market and find beautiful view, I stop the car and take the picture.

The main road of Bogor Nirwana Residence

Nirwana Epicentrum, Bogor Nirwana Residence

Having Lunch at Resto "Mie Sehat" at Jl. Surya Kencana, Bogor

Here in Bogor, I find many interesting cuisine. Two days ago, some new friends asked me to go to Jl. Surya Kencana. It was one of many places that became food court for people in Bogor. There were various food being sold along the road such as oriental food like noodle, capcay, kwe tiau, ngo hiong, siomay; traditional food like toge goreng, ketoprak, gado-gado, asinan Bogor, soto kuning, lontong, bakso (meat ball), sate, kupat tahu, batagor, and many other.

On Jl. Surya Kencana, I could also find many stores that sold products such as clothes, organic vegetables, groceries, tools, accessories, anything.

"Mie Sehat" cafe, at Jl. Surya Kencana, Bogor

I was attracted to a café, where I saw “ Mie Sehat” (Healthy Noodle) written on the advertising board in front of the café. The maid welcomed us with her sweetest smile. She said that they made noodle mixed with organic vegetables such as spinach, and carrot. She said they cooked them with natural organic spices, no MSG, and other preservatives.

So, a bowl of spinach noodle with mushroom and a glass of orange juice with fruit sugar had become my lunch that day. The taste was good, and the price was not expensive although it was not also cheap. Someday I will take my kids there to enjoy the healthy noodle again.

Shopping at Pasar Bogor

On the next day, I went to Pasar Bogor, a semi traditional market. My friend showed me the way to the parking lot on the top of the building. The place was not really good; it was a little bit dirty and crowded. Downstairs, I found many stores selling various goods on grosser, so people buy those goods and resell them.

My friends bought many things for the kids as the gifts on our celebration of Independence Day. There were rulers, sharpeners, pencils, pens, binders, bags, frames, etc. The prices were cheap, much cheaper than those of at other stores.

I will write other interesting things around Bogor, next time.