Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From Indonesia with love - Day 1, Part 1

Continuation from Night 1 here.

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Since we were too tired to do anything last night we just went to sleep (except the lone wanderer from the previous post) with promises of an early start the next morning. I got woken up around 4.00am by the sound of the call to prayers from a nearby mosque - we discovered the next morning that we were actually staying next to the Mesjid Raya! (Btw, the walls were so thin that we could conduct a conversation with our tripmates whilst in our respective rooms in pretty normal tones! I dunwanna think about *other* types of noises, thankfully we didn't hear any. LOL.) Oh, and there's a small graveyard right next to the masjid. I guess it was quite provident that we didn't see it when we arrived in the middle of the night. Haha.

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Looking out the corridor window (we were on the 3rd floor) gives you this view of Medan town. Looks a bit like our new village areas (think Kampung Baru), does it not? If my memory serves me right, the taller pink building in the distance is the Yuki Shopping Mall, which reminds me of your friendly neighborhood mall like, say, Pearl Point Shopping Mall in Old Klang Road. In the early morning (and also probably because it was a public holiday - Awal Muharram) Medan is quiet and cool. People wake up later and are not out and about, so you are spared the incessant honking of passing traffic and the dust. We were hungry for breakfast, so we wandered out in search of food and ended up eating at this uniquely named place...

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Can you read the banner? It's called NASTY Cafe. LOLOL! I wonder if the owners know the meaning of the word nasty? Yup, we ate here. Didn't really have any other option since no one else was open at that hour - 7.30am. And we did walk quite a fair bit along the road along the way...

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My Ifo Mie Goreng breakfast. Basically it's just mee goreng la. Not bad, but a tad too spicy for my tastebuds that early in the morning. Actually, we ate a lot of nasi and mee goreng throughout the entire trip - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not too adventurous people, eh? Too afraid of getting tummy upsets. Haha. I found it interesting that they were showing Japanese cartoons dubbed into Bahasa Indonesia on the local channels, just like our local channels back home.

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This is the outside of the so-called "hotel" we stayed at. The Residence Hotel. It's part of a row of shophouses, so there are no windows on the side, only at the front and at the back. Outside appearances are deceiving... haha.

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As is the hotel lobby with chandelier... We spent way too much time here. Tried to arrange for private transport to Parapat (a town on the shores of Lake Toba) and got given the shuffle-around. Wait, promise coming soon, wait some more, still no transport, complain, promise coming soon, wait some more... you get the drift. Eventually we found another tour agency that gave us a guaranteed vehicle departing at 12.30pm. See the Toyota Unser parked outside the hotel in the picture below? It seems to be a favorite vehicle of choice for Indonesians. I think over 40% of private vehicles were Unsers!

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Walked over to Yuki Shopping Mall and hung out there for a bit (comparing grocery prices. LOL) then went wandering around Medan town looking for other shopping malls but I think we were in the wrong part of town. We later found out on our return trip on Saturday / Sunday that the malls were on the other side of town - the newer part. There was this cute road full of tailors' shops but alas! I didn't dare to whip out my camera for a shot of that street, so you'll just have to imagine it. Heh.

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As we meandered along, we came across this railway track smack in the middle of the road in between shophouses. So quaint and picturesque! (Excuse the bits of rubbish at the bottom of the picture please. *grin*) Even saw a train packed with human bodies rumble past, but I was too lazy slow to take out my cam for a pic. Lawl. Also didn't want to get branded / marked as a tourist la.

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This is my nasi dengan sayur dan ayam lunch. I actually thought that it was going to be 'goreng-ed' but I was mistaken. Haha. It was not as nice as breakfast, but I was hungry by then so I didn't mind.

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Oh, and this place where we had our lunch cheated us. If you're ever in Medan, don't patronize them. They got our order wrong, then told us we should take it because "sudah buka" i.e. it's already opened. And then they charged us more for it! Bleh.

That's it for Day 1, Part 1. I'll be doing Day 1, Part 2 next!

Those looking for more private photos *ahem* (like those with my face in it) should go to my Facebook. There are lots there. LOL.

15 spins:

angeles said...

i wanted to ask.. why did u guys choose medan over... say... bali? what abt bandung? one of the girls in the office just told me that bandung is a shopping paradise for clothes woh... dunno how far it's true... :)

L B said...

Thank you for taking me on a lovely whirlwind tour of Medan on the 1st day! Looking forward to a good night's sleep back in the hotel already.

L B said...

*still thinking about the longkang fish*

adrian said...

Wanted to add u on facebook but couldn't find u. How arh?

Oklar! oklar! I'm totally hopeless when it comes to facebooking. :P

mistipurple said...

i'm thinking mee goreng now.
thanks. :P

Simple American said...

Oh. I come to your blog and you send me to FaceBook hor? lol

Sounds like a wonderful trip. Even though the Nasty Cafe was a bit spicey.

Trinity said...

Yeah, why medan? why not me? eh.. I mean, Bandung? hehehe.. Angeles, you got to be sure, Bandung is the shopping paradise.. bandung's people is modist and fashionable.. and very pretty too.. hehehehehehe...

Rinnah, you can arrange a tour to Bandung, yeah all of you.. come to Bandung.. me is a good hostess I tell you.. you will be treated as barbie dolls.. hahaha..

simonso said...

nothing greated than the feel of a foreign country :P

kyh said...

Seems not that diff from our towns here hor? And I heard Medan has a lot of Chinese... really?

More sightseeing pix! :)

keeyit said...

Nice mosque you captured.

rinnah said...

angeles: Becos Medan is the landing point to get to Lake Toba... and because one of our party had just come back from Bali. *grin* Yeah, I also heard that Bandung is a shopping paradise with lotsa factory outlets. Wanna wanna?

l b: But we're not going back to the hotel just yet! Hang on to your seat... the interesting parts are up ahead!

l b: No more longkang fish here! LOL!

adrian: You couldn't find me so I found you lorh... *grin*

mistipurple: And did you get your mee goreng yet? *grin*

simple american: Kakaka! It wasn't meant that way! Come back master! *big hugs*

trinity: Actually I went looking for Andie... LOL. No la. I didn't know you were in Bandung! I come there next! Wait for me...

simonso: Being in a foreign country really lets you appreciate Malaysia more. ;P

kyh: We actually didn't meet any Indonesian Chinese until our 2nd last day! Will blog more about that later... piccies coming up!

keeyit: Thanks, but that wasn't from my camera. Hehe. My tripmate took that pic.

giddy tigress said...

Did I read it right? Train with dead bodies in it? :O

rinnah said...

giddy tigress: ROTFL! Live human bodies la... not dead ones.

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