Balik Kampong!!!

What’s Abd?!!

My next few entries will give you a glimpse of my life in my short 5-day trip back to village, hence the title, ‘Balik Kampong!’ Be sure to read to see more of what living in urban-rural Indonesia has to offer than the famous Metropolitan city of Jakarta.

This would only be my 3rd trip back to my dad’s village, Jambi, in Indonesia. The last trip as I remembered, was a few years ago before my sister got married whilst the first trip was when I was 12 years old.

The village, Jambi, is located on the South-West of the Sumatran Island. It is vastly occupied by lush tropical rainforests and a meander cuts through the island all the way into the main city area.

I was looking forward to this trip since my dad first mentioned about it early this year because I wanted to see the land that my dad had purchased and soo very much boasted to me about daily. He had went back home to village in March this year with my mom and had brought home plenty of fruits from our plantation there. He also claims that he had bought several more pieces of land and wanted me to see it. Another reason was also because I wanted to see the person who has been managing our properties there as well as to meet the villagers there.

Now, that was my agenda.

My dad, aside from his agenda of asking me to go back home to see his properties, wanted to introduce me to his friend’s daughter. I remember just less than a month before this trip, he told me that his friend’s daughter was pretty and was single and my dad would like it if I would meet her. He never mentioned about marrying her but he did mentioned that he preferred me to marry an Indonesian girl. Well, he also mentioned that he preferred it if I married a Chinese girl. Basically, my dad preferred it if I didn’t marry a Malay girl. Sounds good to me as well. I wouldn’t mind either.

But anyways, for this trip, I had wanted to avoid taking the ferry to Batam enroute to take the flight to Jambi, Indonesia. I’m not a big fan of sea vessels as I suffer from sea sickness and based on my last 40-day plus sea voyage on board an 8-storey cruise ship, I realized that I should avoid sea travel at all cost.

It’s that terrible I tell you! Trust me!! I’ve developed a fear for sea voyages since then.

Unfortunately, the only way I was going to go by air travel was to fly to either Surabaya or Jakarta to transfer to a domestic flight. This was going to bust my total trip budget of S$500. So, I guess, in all instances, I had to endure the short 1-hour ferry ride from Singapore to Batam.

The trip from Batam to Jambi is just a 30-minute flight. Short as it is, I do have my reservations as the Indonesian aviation industry has not had a good record in recent years especially so when the National Carrier, Garuda Airlines, was placed on the blacklist of the International Aviation Authority.

Nonetheless, I had myself prepared for this trip and had drafted for myself an itinerary. Heh… putting my Diploma in Tourism to good use I should say! Hehehe

In Batam, I would meet my friend whom I have not met since April. I have been wondering how she’s been since then and hoped that this trip would at least relief me of missing her presence.

In Jambi, I would meet my friend whom I have not met since the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Programme (SSEAYP) ended in December last year. Plus, she did told me once to look for her whenever I was in Jambi. So I guess this would be a great opportunity.

I also planned to fly to Jakarta to meet my foster family and my good friend who was my housemate during our Japan homestay programme.

So, with all that planned out, I headed to Batam with my family on the morning of 25th October with enthusiasm and excitement.

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