Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Be ready to accept the new culture and the new habitual environment, if we enter the new territories to enjoy our being in the new region with the different culture. I used to lived in Jakarta metropolitan city, the capital of Indonesia with hectic situation and also never forget my ancestor and religion's influences in my blood and soul.

When I entered West Sumatra early morning  October 25, 2011 a cool air blow my face and my well being, realized that I am no longer in North Sumatra environment, that I leaved 15 hours before drove Satu Nusa Bus from Sibolga town in west coast of North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Padang city, the capital of the region, have no public taxi  like Jakarta city or public beca like in Sibolga town. What I expected was a mini Bus that I didn't know where the route to go, no Hotel booked in advance. Then suddenly, a motor beca, used to carry goods stop by the side of the Bus an offered me his beca. With reasonable rate after negotiation, I asked him to go through down town and stopped if he found  a moderate Hotel. Yes, he did find a brand new Hotel, Musafir-Inn Padang, not far from Sudirman street and Bagindo Aziz Chan Street, the main roads in the city. The transportation problems then solved.

From business point of view, the counter's staffs, boys and girl and the owner himself served me properly. Gave me enough information of transportation available when I intend go to Bukit Tinggi town and Lake Maninjau outside of Padang city.

The next morning before city tour by my bike, I took with me from Jakarta, I pedaled to find a coffee shop for breakfast a well known Sate Padang with grill meat and special sauce and recipe and find one in down town. The shop relatively crowded with men only, seem to me belong to a medium and high class, from costumers appearance. The shop belong to the Chinese but Sate Padang, cooked outside in front of the shop served by local citizen, called Minang. The white round tables across the room were old Dutch style. The small cup of coffee milk and the Sate relatively expensive, Rp.24.500,- equivalent of  US$. 3 paid cash to a cashier Chinese lady.

Suddenly a Chinese man seated in my left side in the same table, said :"You are arrogance", he said in confidently. A little bit surprised, I answered: "Sorry, why do you say so", I said in challenge manner and continued :"Never heard someone I am an arrogance man". Then he said :"Its look like from your performance", he said after introduced himself as a Head of Boxing organization region level. The indicator, I saw in his left side hand with long, big tattoo. I used a common shirt and short pants and sport white shoes
We chatted a little while longer, but I decided to left the shop sooner is better.

In early afternoon was a cloudy day and after had lunch with a special menu of Padang "Rendang" , a night baked brown meat and leaved the restaurant few meters away, suddenly the rain drop, I pedaled my my bike and stop sheltered in front of a closed store. In the same time a lots of junior high school girls, all in Jilbab, jointed me for a while until rain stop at noon. They didn't believed that I took my bike by plane from Jakarta. One of them raise a silly question :"What is your religion", she ask. Before answered, she ask again :"Are you Christian ?". I nodded my head, thinking, why on earth they asked me that question.

I was not surprised nor offended, it doesn''t matter, since I entered the region dominantly by Moslem, I fully aware of that situation, indicated by most women used Jilbab, to school or in the Bus or every where. Beside, in every corner of the Village we will found a Mosque, small or big with high Tower. In this journey, I shot so many pictures in Padang city and outside while Bus running, so unable to focus my camera to shoot.

Actually, I had a Face Book's friend here in Padang city with the same family name Mhd.Husein Situmeang who married with West Sumatra, called Minang woman, never met. Our original home town were Sibolga town. He knew me from my family in Bandung, west Java, Rahman Situmeang. When he knew that I will passed Padang city a month before, he asked me in Face Book to come over for dinner, he promise to grill fish, the favorite  menu of our home town recipe, Sibolga. But I never promised will come, just say thanks for their hospitality.

The 2nd night stay at Hotel, he messaged, they  eager to picked me up and take me to stay at their house. Wow, do you believe that, never met but our family name is the same "Situmeang". But due to miss communication and its raining, I couldn't come and they say sorry not as a good host in town. No apology necessary when they open their heart for stranger, even with the same blood, the same ancestor.

After missed 2 (two) afternoon for hunting sun set at Pantai Padang beach, the 3rd day the time to fly back home to Jakarta. Repacking my bike with material available then the 2nd transportation problem happened again. Airport Bus station not too far away, but no public taxi or public beca. Hotel staff asked me to stand outside Hotel wait for beca passed. But I preferred go to the main road. Waiting long time to stop goods beca, but unfortunately,  all occupied.  Then an old driver and his old Bemo, India manufactured, 1970 model passed,  accepted to take me just for Rp. 10.000 to Diponegoro garden, the station of Airport Bus.if I come l

The Bus waited more than an hour or so, thinking that I come late for boarding time. Step down the Bus, in hurry, push the cart directly to Lion air counter. The counter staff said :"Please repacking the bike", since that some parts sharp uncovered well. Feel uneasy to catch up the dead line time for boarding, I said :"How can I repacking and what is the material' I said. "I will help", a young staff offered. I know deep in my heart he will charge me a lot.

After refusing repacking, they asked me to repacking by plastic's device in other side of the counter, just like one in Jakarta airport. They try to pack in 2 parts but I refused said :"Saw me the regulation that it should be packing separated", I said. "Tires and body should be pack in one", I said as they did in Jakarta airport. They say nothing after paid a formal rate Rp. 35.000 for a big packet. Ha ha

.In confusion that I have to go out draw some cash from ATM, (since no time in town to did one) and repacking damn business, a counter girls said :"No over baggage charge necessary". The regulation said that the bag for sport, free to take on board. Then entered the waiting room for boarding time.

One thing to remembered that in remote area, the local wisdom, local behavior would be surprised for us. But take it easy, think it over and negotiate, we will found the best solution. Remember, obey all regulation, culture, wisdom local, National we will be Okay.

Good bye Padang, see you again soon

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