Monday, 25 January 2010

Bandung, January 2010

Unlike some of my smarter slash more.. diligent - (God, for some reason I hate that word) - friends who finished uni much, much earlier than me.. I'm not quite done yet. I'd like to say it's because of some unavoidable reason I can't really disclose in a public space, but truth is I'm a really, really lazy girl. So I have to keep going back-and-forth from Jakarta to Bandung, because really.. truth be told - I can't stand Bandung these days. It's boring. And annoyingly peaceful.

I used to love that place so much I only came home when my mum started complaining she never saw me. Or I'd visit Jakarta just for the day on an insane whim with my friends, driving 2 hours to Jakarta to eat noodles and then rush back to Bandung for classes. I loved Bandung so much that I vowed I was going to move permanently there when I finished uni.

That was before I realized I loved Bandung because I had my friends with me 24/7 since I lived in Ciumbuleuit - a stretch of road that was brimming with UNPAR students (and where UNPAR is actually located in). Most of my friends lived a couple of houses away, the farthest one was located a mere 15 minutes drive away. Food was abundant, and my favourite places delivered right to my door - which meant I once spent a whole week without showering with Jo and Adin, in Jo's room, eating take outs and watching trashy TV shows, only showering when we couldn't stand how smelly we were. And with everything being only an arm's reach away from one's place of residence, it wasn't exactly uncommon to see people milling around in their pj's at all hours of the day.

I realize how disgusting this sounds, but we missed classes for the whole week and it was a one-off performance, never to be repeated as we all repented soon after. I swear I always showered if I had to attend classes (except for the few times I didn't wake up in time.. and that one time I almost missed my exams).. And it was so much fun!

ANYWAY! It was so weird to be back and realize I didn't recognise anyone. And its probably the main reason I'm so fed up with Bandung when I have to go see my thesis-advisor. Everyone is a stranger. The kids lounging around my campus, the ones having lunch at my favourite haunts, people at the photocopy centre.. Oh the people at the internet place grinned when they saw me, the janitor greeted me and we had a chat, and the lady serving me noodles was as lovely as ever - but everyone else was a stranger.

When you live 24/7 in one place you quickly recognise its residents, and for the first time - I realized I was the guest. Not the inhabitant. Strange feeling.

Seeing one of my old homes being.. dismantled only added to the feeling.

I moved a couple of times in the 4 years I was there - almost once every year in fact. And probably the most memorable one was RaBen - this house that was falling apart. The floor in front of our second floor bathroom was rotted, so we always had to jump to get to and from it. The railing were broken on the stairs - which happened on one extremely drunken night, courtesy of yours trully and a friend. My room was so damp that my bag would grow mould if I didn't use it regularly, meethz would probably also add that she once found mouldy chicken bones in my room (courtesy of my brother who ate KFC in my room, wrapped the bones in tissue and then forgot to throw it away before a 3 month break)

Seeing the old place getting torn down was awful. Even though it hasn't been fit to live in for a while now.

I miss my Ciumbuleuit. With my friends living around me, and gossip travelling faster than the speed of light, I miss the way music and movies got shared around.. Like I said - I miss MY Ciumbuleuit.

Even the shops around campus has changed. A lot of my fave haunts have dissapeared.

Well. At least one thing still remained. Pak Moes' place - noodles with corned beef and cheese, and a half boiled egg. It never fails to make me sigh and grin like an idiot. Unhealthy AND delicious - a perfect combination!

Grraaagh. So many things about uni was just.. perfect. But I have to graduate soon. Like this month. Or next month. Before my 24th birthday!



colson said...

Right. Twenty-four is about the right age to suffer from a fit of nostalgia. The wild years are over. The horrible life of a decent citizen lies ahead.

At 25 five I also had the blues: after fun and feasts, nin to five was on the horizon. So "let's leave all this bourgois crap behind me and go to Scandinavia and live as a proud but silent lumberjack the rest of my life".

Well, "between dream and facts are laws and practical objections", like one of my favorite Flemish poets wrote. So I stayed put.

To be a regular citizen turns out to be the fate of most of us. Boring like Switzerland. Which is not too bad after all..

Calvin Michel said...

I will kidnap and delete your external harddisk to make you less distracted