Balik Kampong!!! (Batam Stopover)

What’s Abd?!!

25 October 2008

Time: 0645hrs

I was woken up by my dad who told me that I should get changed and get ready as we were going out for breakfast soon. Bright and early I woke up, showered and got changed. I remember dad saying his friend would come pick us up at 0730hrs to go for breakfast with us before heading to Harbour Front to catch our ferry.

Time: 0715hrs

I showered and was in my jeans when mom wondered where I was heading early in the morning. I told her what dad had told me and damn I was tricked! Dad was in lying on his bed in his sarong taking a nap!!! Grrrr….. Clad in just my jeans, I decided to go to nap as well.

Time: 0750hrs

Dad told me to get ready because his friend was arriving. He was all changed by now. Thank god I just had to put a top on before helping my dad to shift boxes from our house down to the lift lobby.

Time: 0800hrs

His friend arrives and we leave Home Sweet Home for breakfast at Al-Ameen, Woodgrove. Dad had 2 prata kosong (plain prata), mom had 2 of the same while I had 2 of the same and 1 with egg [prata is dough fried with plenty of oil. It’s deliciously unhealthy and is eaten with fish curry or dalcha or sugar or chilli paste].

Time: 0830hrs

We leave Al-Ameen and head for Harbour Front.

Time: 0900hrs

Enroute to Harbour Front, I received a call from my sister who told me that she had already arrived with her husband and would be waiting for us on the 2nd level of Harbour Front.

Time: 0905hrs

We arrived and went searching for my sister and her husband.

Spotted them within seconds in the company of several unknown humans standing all around them. It then that I realized that we were in for a long wait because there was plenty of people!!!

I then went to accompany dad to purchase the tickets on the 3rd floor and the time stated on the clock was the next vessel out would be at 1120hrs.

Woah! Damn long must wait I thought.

When our turn arrived, we were told that we were short of 1 seat to get the ticket for that vessel. Arghh.. Damn the apek whom I told where to get the ticket from because he got the fifth ticket that we wanted!!!! Arghhh…

So as we said yes, the guy behind changed the clock to 1210hrs.

Wah seh liao! So long ahhh must wait!!!!!!!! Wah piang eh, I thought and felt and groused.

Time: 0920hrs

I went down to the first floor to get the large push-trolley while my dad went to meet his friend.

After I packed the boxes onto the push-trolley, my sister, her husband and myself went to Vivocity to kill time.

Damn was it boring cause no shops were opened just yet!!! So, we just sat outside Fig & Olive and looked like idiots suntanning and chit chatting on the shopping plan.

After a while, we headed to MacDonalds at Harbour Front to get breakfast.

Yes!!

I know!!

My 2nd breakfast!!

Shut up okay…

I love to eat and I was hungry, so I ate lar!!

With 10 minutes left on the clock to 1100hrs, dad called and told me to get him a bottle of mineral water before we went up to check-in.

Time: 1110hrs

Check-in was an hour early and we sat on the floor like vagrants because the limited number of seats in the terminal was fully taken up. There was plenty of people standing around anyway.

[Photo taken at the Harbour Front departure terminal]

Whilst seated on the floor, there was this small little girl with her parents who was so quiet. She was so quiet and I was just playing with my Chessmaster game on my mobile when she decided to speak loudly to her parents, “Abang tu Botak Ma!” (That brother is Bald Ma!)

[That’s my BIL (Brother-In-Law), beside him is my sister and behind him is my mom.]

What the hell!! What has my bald head done to get her to say that loudly. Everyone knows I’m bald!!!! Bleargh…

[My dad doing what he does best, socializing and getting information]

Time: 1210hrs

As I walked my way down onto the floating platform, I prayed that my stomach wouldn’t act up and turn me into a temporary Singapore icon, Merlion. The moment we got onto the ferry, I found a great seat and comforted myself to sleep listening to my MP3 as the ferry towed itself away from the dock.

We arrived at Harbour Bay, Batam, Indonesia at approximately 1200hrs, Indonesia Time (that’s an hour slower than Singapore time, it’s +7 GMT, Singapore is +8 GMT. What’s GMT? It’s Greenwich Metric Time).

Upon our arrival, we were received by my dad’s friend, Eddy. He’s been regularly driving us since the time I remember I went to Batam. He’s married to an African lady and has several kids. He helped us carry our luggage into the backseat of his Toyota Avanza and drove us to the hotel that we would be putting up at, Hotel Windsor Square.

[Actually, Mas Selamat Kastari welcomed us first upon our arrival at Harbour Bay ferry terminal]

Hotel Windsor Square is located near Robinsons shopping mall in Batam and my dad has been staying there since it first opened. He’s a regular there so he knows everyone there and gets preferential treatment. Apparently, they know him by name. Amazing lar!

One thing I didn’t like about the hotel when I arrived there, I saw plenty of gangster hanging around. Ironic you could say because I wanted to be a gangster years ago but now, I hate to be around gangsters. I guess it’s probably because I might have offended plenty of gangsters during my short stint as an officer of the law. Haunting me perhaps? I guess so.

So, we then went for lunch Sundanese style at a coffee house nearby. For those of you who are unfamiliar with how to eat at such food establishments, here’s a quick learning value for you.

Food is served openly.
Pick and choose what you want and the amount that you want to eat.
Take it to your table and eat.
While you’re eating, someone will come over and record what you took based on what you are eating on your plate.
A receipt will then be issued.

Personally, I like this way because I get to pick and choose what I want to eat and at the right amount. This means that I won’t waste food. However, I don’t think such serving style would be permitted in Singapore because food is left in the open. Issues such as food hygiene would be taken up by the Environmental Agency since most Singaporeans are so pampered by the government.

Everything also complain.

Husband talk to stewardess and the stewardess gets a slap on the face. How to give good service like that right?

So after lunch, we headed to Nagoya Hill (Nagoya Hill as the name sounds, is in fact related to Japanese. The place was given a Japanese name because excavation work done years ago led to the discovery of a Japanese soldier body who was born in Nagoya, Japan. Thus, the name was then given Nagoya) to do some shopping and sight seeing. My dad and mom went on their own while I toured the mall with my sis and her hubbie. Managed to get a good deal on a top bought at The Executive. Love the top too!! We had so much time to kill that we decided to catch a movie called, “Gara Gara Bola” (Because of Soccer).

[Enjoying a cup of Iced Mocca at one of the cafes in Nagoya Hill]

It was just a short 1-hour movie and was such a budget production with poor sound recording and projections. The story line was also a bit nonsensical to me. But I guess what shocked me most was that the movie stated with a lady giving a guy a blow job!! The blow job was censored but it was so clear because it showed on the guy’s face when he climaxed and when the girl went down on him again because she pulled his zipper down and open it, exposing his red and white underwear!!!

So, we toured the place a while longer until dusk when we headed for dinner someplace called Best Fried Chicken (BFC). It’s supposed to be competition to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) but unfortunately, it has a long way to go! It serves too many types of dishes and it’s presentation is horrible. My dad ordered a spaghetti and was served on a lasagne plate that had chipped porcelain!! The portion was pathetic and was more fit to be eaten by a 5-year old child than a 55-year old. My dad gobbled the whole portion down in just 4 mouthfuls!!!

We then headed back to the hotel after that to get some rest. Well, at least I needed the rest because I was going out later to meet my friend.

Now, here’s the exciting part during my rest in the hotel. While watching MTV, my music was over-vocaled by a female voice from along the corridor whom I heard saying in a very pampered voice several times, “Abang, sakit lahh” (Dear, pain lahh).

Gosh, this was clearly turning sleazy!!!! I peeked through the door hole but didn’t get to see anything. So, the action was probably happening down the corridor. I heard the voice repeatedly for a few more times before it stopped.

Time: 0000hrs (Batam time)

My friend, Vidya, called and told me that she was at the lobby. Woohoo!! Finally, my turn to explore the place with a friendlier voice and someone whom I know well. When I first came down, I saw a guy talking to her but she brushed him off when she saw me. I got to know later that the guy asked her who she was waiting for and which room was I at. Security reasons or breaking in perhaps? Whatever it is, thank god I arrived in time before he questioned more than required.

We went back to her place with her friend driving a car to pick up her clothes as she would be staying elsewhere for the night. Afterwhich, we then toured Batam at some areas before heading to Harbour Bay to have some midnight snacks. It was great talking to her again. It’s been such a long time since I last spoke to her. We left later and I arrived back at the hotel at 0230hrs. She was nodding off on the passenger seat and had to be damn tired because she had worked throughout the day and it was a Saturday!

I needed to get rest anyway since I was going to travel out early later that morning.

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