Few months before Ramadhan is the harvest month of marriage. I received about ten invitations of my friends and colleague's wedding. Or even more since I didn't count the use of e-invitation through Facebook. I could not come to all invitations. The phenomenon also means that friends around my ages already committed to build a new family. Sometimes it felt intimidating, but when I questioned to myself I was not sure enough whether I am ready for that phase or not yet. There are many reasons to justify. My girl friends often joked about that matter, and I remember one friend said"It is not that important ruminating when we will marry. Yet, the most important question is who will marry us." Somehow that can be true.
The longest journey I took for attending wedding reception was the trip back home. My friends from the Association of International Youth Exchange Program Alumni, called PCMI Chapter Jogja already planned to come to our friend wedding, Mbak Kiky who happens to live in the next town, Tulungagung, near by Blitar Regency border. I got excited after being informed that my friends will stop by and pay a casual visit to my parent's house. Since the second year of my study, I told my parents couple times that my good friends will come over and stay at home, but the plan always remains as a plan only. They couldn't manage to come due to various reasons that mostly could suits their schedule and conditions. Thus, knowing my friends will have a visit, my family was happy to be able to host guests from Jogja.
Hunting Wedding Gift
Giving what friend wants and needs instead of giving general gift for wedding is a wise decision. The situation will be different if a friend we intend to give made a specific request based on the thing she craves for. The story began situated by that background. My friends asked me out to shop that wedding gift. Having told what a kind of thing we will buy, I was bluntly shocked and amazed at the same time. "What a crazy yet amazing request!" That was my initial thought.
Shopping that L thing is not that easy since the request was specific. The other reason is we needed to have a high confidence and boldness to ask and deal with the shopkeeper. First, it was my first experience to shop that stuff. Second, I was not in the circumstances of needing that stuff so it was kinda weird to look for such a specific spec. We spent most times considering the color preferences and had a hard time to find any. Third, I was accompanied by two 'body guards' who are my male friends which made the L hunting seemed inappropriate. I myself did not really care and had such a fun time exploring from one section to another. I also innocently listened on my friend's thought on that stuff. What a great lesson learned, I think. Hahah. We moved from the biggest mall in the town to the mall on the super crowded street in Malioboro area. What a confusing options. After all, the finding was quite surprising in terms of location. We were quite satisfied and happy with our choice. Such a big deal.
It was a long day. We finished searching the wrapped box and buying snack and beverages in another mall at around eight o'clock. Wow, it means that in a day I came to three different malls in the town. Subsequently, I did not forget to have dinner and prepared my belongings. I arrived in Agrapana Guest House at nine thirty when everybody had been waiting, including the driver of 'Travello' who will drive us.
Never ending Far-East Ride
We already set up the GPS, pinned the google map of Mbak Ky's home, connected the location where we start the long ride, my parent's home, and the wedding venue. What a technology. Then, I met the driver whose name is Sigit. He told us that he used to drive to the West and this journey route is a rare route. At first, I was quite optimist with him but after listening his confession, I was bit worried whether he understand the route or not. He also stated few times that the route to Blitar would make a big difference, and take way longer, compared to Tulungagung. Oh, Helloww! Talk to my hands!
My worrisome found its proof when we headed along the dark wood and remote district. I never passed this street on my way back home. I was concerned more when he seemed not sure driving and kept his phone-conversation with his friend questioning which direction he shoud take. The best and ideal route supposedly was through the crowd street via Solo city. I didn't understand why he favored taking a peculiar way over tea farm in Karanganyar and unidentified village near Sragen. His confusion didn't end quickly since he stopped twice or three times asking the direction to local people. Poor me, I couldn't really help since I was also blind of direction. I couldn't merely blame Mas Sigit without giving a solution. It would worsen the frustrating situation, I understand that. That's why I kept pretending to be calm.
Thank to Mas Wiwit when it reached Sragen -I forget the name of the sub-district- he could hold the control and instructed the right direction to the driver. I finally discovered the civilization, lights, cars, buses, trucks, instead of only nature and darkness. I realized that the other friends was sleeping since it was also tiring day for them. Four of them attended a wedding in Semarang on the evening. Even, Mbak Meika just landed from East Borneo an hour before. I did notknow why I was not sleepy at all, just kept the conversation going, and more awake when we stopped in few gas stations.
The ride was fine along the way until passing the border between Central and East Java, Ngawi, Saradan, and oops it staggered again on the way to Kediri. I was bothered when the driver asked me again to make sure if we will go to Blitar first.
Finally, the dawn appeared on the lofty sky beautifully. We were greeted by 'Welcome to Kediri'. I felt assured a bit. At least one more town to go. The sky got brighter and brighter that made everyone woke up. They also became hungry. The cheer and noise of everyone replenished the morning atmosphere. The day got happier when they tittered along the way.
We arrived in my parent's house when my hour hand shown to seven. It felt so great to be home. We had a little rest, took a shower, had a breakfast, and were ready to attend the wedding. On ten o'clock we set to go. We did not forget to take pictures.
|The full member of PCMI Jogja and associates|
|The Wedding Reception on Monday, July 9th 2012|
The Heroes in the Town
I can say that it is not a complete visit to Blitar if you do not come to Soekarno Grave, the icon of tourism spot in my hometown. Thus, I took five friends of mine to the Soekarno tourism center which consists of three tourism objects; museum, library and grave. We rode motorcycle to get there and felt the breeze of Blitar winds.
The visit to Bung Karno Grave was quite special since I rarely visit that place. But then, I could show to my friends one of my favorite place in the town which is Bung Karno Library. Moreover, during the visit my friends kept asking me. Why Soekarno was buried in Blitar?
I suddenly stuttered to answer that question. I had no idea and never thought about that. What a shame. It also indicated my apathetic attitude toward my environment. Oh, NO!!! Then, after my friends read one picture description on the museum and told me, I finally knew the reason. Mas Ari also explained another reason, which is a political reason why our founding father was buried in Blitar in which is a small town, far away from the Capital city. I can conclude that the first reason, which also stated on the museum is because Soekarno wanted to be buried near by his parents grave, and especially because his mother who was originally from Bali, spent most of her time living in Blitar. The second one, the political reason is because Soeharto administration at that time wanted to locate the Sokarno grave to be faraway from the center of power. That's also described why Soekarno was not buried in Bogor instead. Blitar is the best choice since it is in a distant area from the Capital city compared to Bogor.
Before leaving Blitar, my friends and I enjoyed the meals Mom already prepared. Bakso Urat and Gurami Asam Manis tasted so tempting for a hungry stomach. I coldn't thank enough to my Mom, for serving us (the food especially) very well. Also, my Dad, brother, and Mbak Sita who gave the best hospitality. We leaved for Jogja at five o'clock. It was such a heavy good bye to me as I was already at home and couldn't stay any longer due to work in Jogja. I hugged my Mom tightly and said see you very soon to my family at home.
Memorable Way Back
We counted on GPS so much. We instructed the driver with the direction shown by GPS. I think I trusted GPS more than the driver. Sorry Man! On our way back to Jogja, I had the impression that everyone got so hyperactive :) I guessed their hormone increased so much due to full and happy stomach. They sang series of songs crazily and ecstatically. They even changed the lyrics and made a Capella with their mouth. I was so entertained and couldn't help laughing so much. What a crazy show. How crazy these peeps!
Maybe too much laughing and being over happy is not good. We got a shocking reminder in Nganjuk. All of sudden we heard a small explosion under the car. Then, we got off from the car and found out that the radiator rope was broken off. That apparently because the car has a bad maintenance. We waited the driver and some friends to fix the problem. Fortunately, Mbak Ky provided us with dinner box so that we were not starving for dead. Hours by hours, my friends and I didn't hear the progress yet until we felt asleep in front of local people's terrace. We surely asked permission to the owner first.
I woke up when Mas Happy and Mas Reja informed us that we needed to get on the bus. It was almost late midnight. Mas Sigit and his friends tried to stop tourism bus to accommodate us. We transferred our belongings and our sleepy body in a quick motion because the bus stopped on the fast track of inter-provincial road.
There was always something to be grateful for. We finally had a seat on the big bus and could continue sleep. What I thanked the most for this experience was I was accompanied by good friends who never grumbled on a difficult situation. They adjusted quickly without any nagging or even cursing a bad shit. It was a a smooth ride then until we arrived in Jombor, and picked up by another car. The driver dropped us in front of PH Jakal and we had a short walk to Mas Happy guest house. I watched my clock and it was a half past four in the morning.
What an unforgettable road trip!
I had to go to the office on the same day with my panda eyes and sleepless body. However, a quick adventure back home and its amazing stories in it was a pleasure solace.