EID MUBARAK! EID MUBARAK! EID MUBARAK!

5:21:00 PM

Eid Mubarak, everyone!

I finally have a different greeting for today's blog post and since this is a super holy and happy blog post, I will again use Bahasa Indonesia. Yay!

Selamat hari lebaran, semuanyaaaa! Alhamdulillah, semoga semua amal ibadah kita di bulan yang begitu suci ini diterima di sisi Allah swt. Daaan semoga tahun depan kita masih bisa bertemu Ramadan lagi! Aamiin Yaa Rabb Aamiin...


How is everyone doing on this very very special day? I really hope everyone is having a great time with their loved ones and I really hope the excitement stays until we see Ramadan again. Akhirnya berkesempatan cerita soal Medan juga, nih.

Funnu fact, saya sebenarnya sejati anak Jakarta-Bekasi. Tapi, kenapa pulang kampungnya ke Medan? Karena kedua orangtua lahir besar di Medan. Ayah adalah perantau sejak tahun 1996/1997 hingga saat ini. Dan ayah menikahi ibu di tahun 1997 yang kemudian sama-sama sepakat untuk merantau ke Jakarta, lalu beberapa tahun kemudian pindah lagi ke Bekasi sampai saat ini. Truly, if I am asked where I'm from, I don't think it'll be a simple answer since I was born in Jakarta, live in Bekasi, but always manage to fly to Medan every holiday season especially in Ramadan. Like my great inspiration has said, saya Indonesia. Ada yang tahu itu referensi dari film apa? Haha...

Anyway, visiting my entire family in Medan this year is a bit of an interesting journey. We went by plane from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport all the way to Kualanamu International Airport on the 1st of July. The flight was errr...it was rather boring but calm. I spent the entire flighy reading Mansfield Park by the ever so amazing Jane Austen. It kept me company and somehow helped me through my little panic attack. Typical.

We arrived quite late but still managed to catch the last train for the city. It was a 45 minutes ride and was actually pretty quick compared to driving. Sampai di stasiun Medan, kita sudah ditunggu sama adiknya ayah yang akrab saya panggil Pa'le Budi.

This man is a legend. Pa'le Budi is the definition of a risk-taker. He just opened a coffee business because he happens to hardcore love coffee. The little coffee shop is still new and fresh. His son who is my younger cousin works as the barista/waiter. Pa'le Budi started this business from zero and he is hopeful for it. He does everything on his own. When he told me his business story during the drive to my grandma's house (we're currently staying there), I was pretty inspired. Pa'le Budi loves to take leaps from one business to another and somehow is always ready for whatever will come in his way.

Back to arriving...

So, we arrived and had a little chat. Biasalah...salam-salam, cipika-cipiki, obrolan sederhana setelah setahun tidak bertemu. Kemudian, setelah makan malam yang begitu telat, Pa'le Budi memutuskan untuk pulang sekaligus memberikan saya sekeluarga waktu untuk beristirahat.

Let's cut the beginning and jump into the thing I'm so eager to tell you..

Medan itu terkenal dengan bahasa dan gaya bicara yang ceplas-ceplos, lantang, dan kadang cenderung terdengar emosi. Tapi, justru itu yang membuat kota Medan ini berbeda. Bukan bermaksud mengejek, tapi sungguh suasana di Medan sangat berbeda dengan suasana di Bekasi. Bukan hanya bahasa dan gaya bicara, tapi juga sikap dan cara mengemudi. Yes, the driving skills.

THE DRIVING SKILLS.

Here in Medan, traffic lights are accessories. We drive according to our moods and needs instead of following certain laws and speed limits. I don't even think there's such a thing called speed limit here in Medan because the vehicles I've been seeing are either rushing or going above the normal miles/hour. But somehow and this is rather amazing than amusing, people are still able to cross intersections, do a U turn, park somewhere, etc. It's amazing how people can survive in this city traffics when nobody ever pays attention to any of the traffic rules. So, if you want to challenge your driving skill, Medan is the ultimate space. The city has the best place and the best people that both will challenge your patience, skill, and sanity all at once. And you can already sense my overly sarcastic recommendation. Hahaha... But seriously, just try surviving Medan roads if you really claim yourself as a gifted driver. Like seriously try...

Anyway...

Selain keadaan lalu lintas yang seperti itu, keadaan cuaca juga tidak membantu. Medan dikabarkan sudah menderita panas hingga mencapai 38°C sejak beberapa hari yang lalu. Sungguh, ini benar-benar nyata. Suhu di sini bagaikan suhu seorang anak sedang menderita demam tinggi. Bayangkan saja sendiri... Efeknya, saya boros AC dan keringat.

Aside from the horrific traffics and driving skills, Medan sure has some of the best cultures and cuisines. Oh my God, Allahualbar! The foods here are heaven made. Every bit of spice is just so original and well-put together.

Bu'le saya menghidangkan mie sop khas Medan. Pada umumnya saya lebih suka soto mie daripada mie sop. Yeah...yeah...call me a picky eater. Anyway, jadi mie sop itu awalnya tidak begitu menarik rasa lapar saya tapi karena Bu'le membujuk saya untuk merasakannya terlebih dahulu, akhirnya saya makan juga. Daaannn saya rasa belum ada yang bisa menandingi bumbu masak Medan. Medan juara dalam hal masakan dan koki, menurut saya. Even the little restaurants on either side of the road can actually cook the most tasteful and rich menus. People are such experts here when it comes to flavors, cooking, and spices. Dan kesukaan pribadi saya adalah bolu meranti serta mie sop medan tadi. Kalau ada kesempatan berpetualang di Medan, harus coba mie sop medan dan semua makanan khas kota ini. You'll fall deeply in love with the foods that you'll probably end up 10 kilos fatter going back home. Hahaha...

Medan also has one of the coolest tourist exhibitions. I was lucky enough to visit two of them although it took about an hour waking me up in the morning and forcing me to take a shower and get ready. Haha... Don't blame me, the day was hot and I'd rather sleep until Maghrib prayer than go some place hot.

Ya, walaupun begitu, saya, ibu, dan Bu'le tetap pergi berkunjung ke Istana Maimoen. Katanya, istana tersebut ditinggal oleh orang terkaya pada masa itu. Saya tidak sempat benar-benar mendalami kisahnya karena terlalu terganggu oleh panas yang sangat menyengat.

Istananya cukup luas. The building took about a good amount of space. It is mostly for the parking lot and the garden. Nonetheless, it was huge. And it goes the same as the inside of the building.

The three of us walked to the middle of the garden and stood right in front of the building to take pictures. My mom wanted to capture the view so much because like me, she's planned to blog all of it on her blog. She took the landscape view and made us walk through the hotness to the entrance of the building. It was quite a long and dry walk due to the boilimg temperature. I sound so full of whines in this blog post. Oh, whatever...


Sampailah di pintu masuk Istana Maimoen. Belasan anak tangga menyambut kami beserta beberapa pengunjung lainnya yang sedang berfoto-foto. Saya sedikit kesal karena sudah berjalan harus pula menaiki tangga hingga benar-benar masuk. Terlebih, tidak ada pendingin ruangan di dalam istana sebesar itu. Namun, untuk menghargai dan mengindahkan perjalanan dan kunjungan ini, saya mencoba bertahan menghadapi teriknya mentari. Kami pun membuka alas kaki, membayar 15.000 kalau tidak salah untuk uang masuk, dan akhirnya sampai di dalam istana. Dan respon pertama saya dalam hati (karena gengsi dan takut terlihat norak) adalah luar biasa. Megah, mewah, sedikit berdebu dan agak tua, tapi tetap sungguh luar biasa. Ya, tidak salah jika memang sultan yang berdomisili di sini memang orang terkaya pada masanya karena ornamen rumahnya benar-benar bagus. Terlebih lampu gantung yang menyambut tamu di ruang tengah yang luas dan corak dinding dan langit-langitnya. Semuanya bagus.


My mom decided to rent the royal costumes. She walked around wearing a very traditional costume and asked me to take several pictures in several corners. She finally got tired as more people walked in to the building. We took several more pictures and headed to our next tourist attraction. Oh, and of course... A farewell picture...


Mom drove to our next stop the Tjong A FIE resident. This man was amazing, wealthy, and well-known in his era back in the 1900s. He built the house himself for his third wife who happened to be a local woman. He basically married a Medanese woman and had, if I'm not mistaken, seven kids with her. One of them (it's super annoying that I just forgot the name) married an Indonesian and had 12 kids, I believe. It was either 12 or 14. You can really just search it up, anyway. One of the grand children still lives here in Medan. How awesome is that?

However, my experience in the building was rather haunted than awesome. Why? Believe it or not, I can sense things and places. This is nowhere intended to disgrace Tjong A FIE or his place, though. It was just my gut feeling and well-being that felt something utterly strange and unfamiliar.

Saya tipe orang yang selalu terkagum melihat sesuatu dan akan menjadi sangat ceriwis karena keingintahuan dan kekaguman tersebut. Berjalan memasuki daerah kediaman Tjong A FIE memang memaksa rasa ingin tahu saya untuk meluap. Tapi, saat benar-benar menginjakkan kaki ke dalam, semua lenyap. Saya merasa tidak enak badan seketika padahal tadinya tidak apa-apa, terlebih di daerah ini lebih teduh karena banyak pohon dan bunga. Harusnya kalau alasannya panas, saya pasti sudah kipas-kipas badan. Tapi, ini sama sekali kejadian tiba-tiba. Saya mengitari ruangan tengahnya dan duduk di depan piano tuanya. Kemudian ibu mengambil beberapa foto. Kami berlanjut diantar seorang tour guide.


We entered several rooms and each felt so weird. Every time I stepped inside a new part of the house, my gut feeling changed. I felt super itchy and weighed down in several rooms. I felt like being pushed when I was walking downstairs. And I felt the most irrational in his bedroom. I still have no idea why, I just did feel uneasy and sick. But I managed to continue the tour. We went from room to room. Some gave me goosebumps, some were not so bad, and only one room was able to let me breathe which was the ballroom since it was a wide open space with windows facing the outside. The bedroom, as I said, scared me the most. I can say the kitchen did too. Not the front part but the cooking station. Oh, the moment I tilted my head to see what was there, the moment I quickly pulled myself back because it was as if something was either staring or tagging along with its hand on both my shoulders. The tour was well guided. The only thing I didn't like was the aura and feelings I got the moment I stepped inside the building. I told my mom and Bu'le afterwards once we got out. And they felt the same thing, too.


And that was my experience...

The next thing I would love to talk about is Eid Fitri. I'm so excited and at the same time so sad that Ramadan is over:( Nevertheless, Eid Fitri is here and it is as exciting as the first day of Ramadan!

Seperti biasanya, malam takbiran pasti dipenuhi dengan pesan-pesan lucu yang intinya adalah ucapan maaf dan selamat lebaran. Menurut saya, pesan maaf bukan lagi tulus meminta maaf dan merasa berdosa atas kedzaliman masing-masing melainkan ajang lucu-lucuan dan kekreatifan umat yang merayakan Eid Fitri, terutama orang Indonesia. Lama-lama maaf-maafan hanya menjadi formalitas dan kesempatan bermodus-modus bebas serta lomba siapa yang paling kreatif dalam merangkai kata. However, it's just my opinion. You are free to disagree. I just don't like the concept of overusing the word 'sorry' and making fun of something that's supposed to be sincere such as an apologize. That's it, really...

Anyway, saya tetap ingin mengucapkan SELAMAT HARI RAYA IDUL FITRI 1437 H! Sungguh, saya harap saya dimaafkan atas segala kesalahan baik lahir maupun batin. Dan saya harap semua amal ibadah kita semua diterima di sisi Allah swt. Semoga semua keluarga turut berbahagia dan mendapat ridha serta nikmat yang tiada batas dari Allah swt. Aamiin Yaa Rabb Aamiin...

Like any typical holiday, people must take pictures and capture moments. So, I did the mainstream and you've seen the typical Eid Fitri post earlier in this blog post. Here are some more with some cousins from either side of my family. Enjoy our poses and facial expressions!



this is my mom, not any one of my cousin. LOL.

There you go... My exciting Iftar! Yay! I hope everyone stays healthy and happy. Spend as much time as you need with your loved ones. Cherish them with all your energy and love. And have a happy and holy Iftar, loves! EID MUBARAK!

P.S. I'm still having a hard time blogging from my phone. But what the hell, I need to post and celebrate Eid Fitri with all of you:) Thank you for reading, love. Have a nice day! See ya on my next blog post!

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