Friday, January 23, 2015

The SSEAYP Diaries: Home away from Home, Surabaya

Day two in Surabaya and we (RJ and I) were woken up with a uniquely Indonesian breakfast waiting on the dining table. I was exhausted, and didn't even shower the night before. RJ and I had a long talk just getting to know each other better, and exchanging stories from our own countries. Throughout the trip I found out so much more about the Philippines; and hopefully, I'll be lucky enough to make my way there in the future.

All of us piled into the car after getting ready, and Dad drove us to the Sampoerna museum. Yes, Sampoerna as in the cigarette brand. Apparently it originates from Surabaya, and I had no idea.

I swear my dad is freaking cute. HAHAHA.

RJ bought a couple of boxes of smokes to bring back home for her dad and her colleagues. I was just wondering if customs would catch me if I brought back a whole box....

We made our way to the Tugu Pahlawan, and a whole bunch of beautiful ruins greeted me.

After a stroll around the grounds (the underground museum was closed), Dad drove us to grab my favourite Indonesia dish ever for lunch - bakso!!! My Indonesian blood is strong with that one ;)

We headed to Es-teler to grab bakso, and the bakso I had was so so so good. I think better than the ones I had growing up (excluding the homemade kind of course). The soup was so flavourful and so good for a cold day.

The bakso I had was bakso halus; there's also a bakso kasar. So basically two different kinds of meatballs - rough and smooth. The rough one's so much better though, because you still have the texture of the meat. We had a bowl of es teler as well; es teler is basically a bowl of ice and syrup and it kinda resembles ice kacang in Singapore.

After lunch, we drove to the Cheng Hoo mosque. I was quite fascinated by this discovery. It's basically a mosque, but in temple form.

It shows how much culture has dissolved, and merged, so much so that such a beautiful creation appeared.

We left for home after that, dropping of our friend (the guy), and then Dad told us we could rest for awhile before we headed out for dinner. Our sisters weren't joining us; cause they had a sleepover somewhere. 

Dad took us to A&W for dinner. YES. We're not exactly supposed to eat fast food, but, hey, once in a lifetime.

Besides, A&W isn't available in SG anymore, neither is it available in the Philippines.

After that, we managed to visit Dad's office, and we tried to make skype work for us there.
Unfortunately it didn't ://

Last day there, and we were up early the next morning. Dad got us A&W to take on board the ship with us for lunch. 

Changed, and we went back down to meet the rest of the family to bring them around the ship.

They had to leave before we departed Surabaya and made our way back to Japan, so we ended up throwing the tape to our ex-participating youth. 

Couldn't believe that the program was basically almost over.

The SSEAYP Diaries: Surabaya, Indonesia

The all too familiar grey-green seas, the ships, the port. I felt like I was home. I was so happy to say hello again to my favourite foods that I had growing up, like tempe, and baso, rawon and of course the endless amounts of cabe. 

If you've read my bio, you'll know that I was born Indonesian, and I've been that way until I recently swore an oath to become a full Singaporean (passport and all). It was the first in a long time that the program visited Surabaya, seeing as Jakarta is its usual venue. 

We were welcomed by a marching band, and they played continuously for god knows how long?!??! I was busy waving the Singapore flag with a whole bunch of other people.

We had to change and make our way to do the gangway cheer; one of the rare ports that I actually got the chance to do it. Only because I kept falling sick.....

After which, we made our way to the buses and through the immigration place to head to our courtesy call.

After the short courtesy call, we took the bus back in the pouring rain (we had Indo snacks in the bus so all was right with the world), we had to change and put up our performance for the governor and everyone else. So yes, attire change yet again. We had to devour our dinner like ninjas because everyone was crowding around the food area plus we had to make sure we were ready for our performance. 

The shaking unstable stage was a serious hazard. The other youths were performing and the whole thing was shaking violently and it looked like it was about to divide in half and fall apart.

The next day, we packed our homestay stuff and everything and we were separated into our solidarity groups for the local program.

It was held at one of the renowned universities in Surabaya, and our SG had the honour of cycling around campus and also going all eco-friendly and planting crops.

Had a quick lunch in the bus on the way to another part of the campus (the electronics side), where they introduced us to another contraption. If I remember right, it was something that could help you be more alert while you're driving.....

Homestay matching was next, and our homestay dad was early. My homestay mate was from the Philippines this time - RJ ! I learnt so much from her, and her from me throughout the trip (which I felt was one of the best moments of my trip!)

Our dad stayed just a short drive away from the university campus, and he also works on campus! We went home and met the family; two sisters (twins) and our mom. We unpacked and went out and started talking to them, and played traditional five stones but more like jacks? 

They had a whole itinerary of food; yes itinerary of food planned for us. 

That night, we headed out to the mud beach.

I had never seen so many mud crabs and mudskippers up close before, and my goodness, there were a huge amount.

I also like how our dad loves taking photographs of us.

We went home after, and our sisters brought us to the theme park. We were reluctant to spend any money; especially since they were both younger than we were, and if they paid for us we'd feel horrible.... Dad dropped us off at the entrance of the Saroboyo Carnival and we were to meet their friends there.

We met their friends who were hosting Kim and Win (from Thailand). 

Kim decided to drag us to the haunted house i.e. ghost pirate ship. I am totally not in to such things, but we did a dare thing. Ended up grabbing onto his arm half the time cause I have night blindness.

Our aim was to take a selfie with all the ghost pirates in the attraction, lol.
Hence all the crappy selfie pictures.

We ended up taking the ferris wheel after that. Me, Kim, RJ and Win on one, and our sisters and Kim's host family in another.

Our final stop for the night was the trickeye museum.

And we all piled into Kim's homestay family's car and they drove us home. RJ and I fell asleep of course cause we were exhausted. Long day......

That pretty much sums it up for day one around Surabaya. Good food coming up in the next post!