Category Archives: place

Ke Siem Reap tapi Tidak ke Angkor Wat

Dormitory atau dorm di Tropical Breeze itu adalah akomodasi paling mewah yang saya inapi selama bertualang menelusuri Indochina dan Semenanjung Malaysia. Aircon-nya menyala sempurna, menjadikan kamar berisi tiga dipan-tingkat (bunk bed) itu suaka yang nyaman dari Siem Reap yang membara.

Dari kecil saya selalu terobsesi dengan dipan atas bunk bed. Jadi saya pilih tempat tidur bagian atas dipan yang sejajar dengan kamar mandi. Begitu punggung saya menyentuh kasur, mata saya langsung mengantuk. Saya pun tidur selama beberapa jam. Baca lebih lanjut

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The Country with Two Currencies

Soon as the last passenger sat in his seat, our bus dashed through the neutral zone separating Vietnam and Cambodia. The atmosphere was somehow changing. One minute later, when the bus finally reached the immigration post of the Kingdom of Cambodia, all of the passengers were ordered to get off.

Right beside the bus’s front door, two immigration officers had stood up, ready to retrieve our passports. I gave my passport suspiciously, so did Ching, a 27-year-old Chinese citizen who sat beside me on the bus. We entered the immigration post. Crossing the whole length of it, we ended up at the other end of the building—with no explanation whatsoever and no passport in our hand. Baca lebih lanjut

The Breathtaking Mount Prau

The concrete passage soon became natural path with vegetable farms on the sides. What was planted I couldn’t see; the sky was still dark though. It was 2 am, way too early for the light to come. Above Dieng Plateau the wind never stopped shooing every clouds covering the pale moon and glittering stars. The valley was decorated with high columns of solfatara, illuminated by mellow lamps of geothermal power generator. Yellow lights emanating like fireflies from houses dwelling in the old valley below beckoned a hiker like me to come down and take shelter on its warmth, comfort, and stability—it is natural though for a hiker to regret his decision right after he takes his first step to scale a mountain, yet as he walked his way the feeling would peter out.

The lane ended to give way to a cobblestone road, which was even more difficult to walk on than the previous. Though it was less steep than the dirt road, the moss growing on the stones made it more slippery. My feet felt heavy; my stomach was empty. Yesterday, both Roiz and I only ate twice—once in the morning, then at 8 pm at Eko’s. While hiking, a heavy rucksack and an empty stomach weren’t a good combination—trust me! To make it worse I didn’t jog or do any other sports before starting this journey. I used to then—during one or two weeks before hiking I’d run or swim to put my lungs together. Consequently, my right-head felt warm and throbbing, cold sweat started falling down from my temples. I had already lost my breath while the journey was still young—I hadn’t even reached the first shelter yet. Baca lebih lanjut

Lubang di Bukit Siguntang

Dalam sebuah perjalanan yang berlangsung berminggu-minggu terkadang engkau merasa menjadi terlalu terbiasa untuk berpindah angkutan; dari kereta ke kereta, dari bis ke bis, dari kapal ke kapal. Apa yang kau rasakan, apa yang kau lakukan, secara aneh berubah jadi rutinitas. Semua yang awalnya menyenangkan perlahan berubah menjadi biasa, kemudian memuakkan.

Tak ada yang istimewa dari berganti-ganti moda transportasi. Apalagi ketika melihat cahaya lindap di rumah-rumah yang kau lewati di malam hari, dengan siluet orang-orangnya yang tampak nyaman bercengkerama di ruang keluarga, berbagi kisah yang mereka alami sepanjang hari yang keras dan melelahkan. Hangat. Kehangatan yang jauh lebih menenangkan ketimbang sumuk berbalut keringat dalam bis yang melaju di pulau ribuan kilometer jauhnya dari rumah. Baca lebih lanjut

April

The night was still young in late April–or early May–when Dimas, Ficher, and I were riding our bikes along the empty Brawijaya St., the main road of Tulungrejo, Pare. Though it was only few minutes past ten, we saw no motor vehicle. It made me feel that I was being left behind by the rest of the people in the world.

Ficher was by himself but I rode along with Dimas. In the cold dark night, our faces were still filled by the reminiscence of laughter from Jendela Mimpi Cafe. We then turned to Dahlia Street. Ficher’s boarding house was not far from the three way junction intertwining the roads of Dahlia and Brawijaya. From its yard, I could see Ficher’s friends were still busy talking in the living room. Baca lebih lanjut

Over the fence

I have never rented a bicycle ever since I arrived here about two months ago. In Pare, everyone rides a bicycle to go to their English classes. I choose not to rent one.

Right now, I am staying in a dormitory named Samudra. Located about one kilometer from Elfast, I have to walk for about 10 minutes to the course everyday. I see it as a work out to exercise my fat belly. Besides, I am always eager to do it because I have to step my feet along a small irrigation canal separating beautiful large green rice fields from the bumpy narrow road of Kemuning street. Also, the fresh air of dawn is too good to be passed. Baca lebih lanjut

Lawu

Barangkali terlalu berlebihan untuk menyebutnya badai. Apalagi saya kurang paham mengenai klasifikasi angin. Namun yang jelas pagi ini angin bertiup teramat kencang. Pohon-pohon cemara di pinggir tebing tak henti goyang. Kabut pembawa dingin terombang-ambing dipermainkan oleh si udara yang bergerak. Meninggalkan jejak berupa putih translusen di Cemoro Kembar, Gunung Lawu. Pos 5 masih berjarak beberapa ratus meter vertikal lagi.

Seolah tak mau kalah, hujan ikut ambil bagian. Di pojok terpal, untuk menampung air Benny menaruh beberapa botol air minum kemasan yang sudah dipangkas bagian atasnya. Akhirnya saya mampu menghayati kalimat “hujan adalah berkah” sebab air meteorit itu turun persis ketika persediaan pemuas dahaga kami semakin menipis. Baca lebih lanjut