A Visit from Japan

Kon-ban-wa!!

The other-half had a visit from one of his closest Japanese friend. They knew each other during his day studying Mandarin in Taiwan. Have I told you that we both are Language Freaks? Hey! We even DID try to learn Sindarin. Well, I did try. He, at the other hand, succeeds. So, Êl síla erin lû e-govaned vîn!

One of the problem of having guests from developed country – when Japan is like one of the most developed countries in Asia and their robotic tech is basically awesome, is: we don’t know where we should entertain them. I mean, come on! Let’s review these options:

  1. Bring them to malls.
    As if they don’t have a muuuuuch more sophisticated, clean, futuristic mall/shopping centre. Harajuku for instance? *hide face under Hatsune Miku doll*
  2. Bring them to museum.
    Museums in Surabaya area, as long as I know are “Mpu Tantoelar Museum” which closes at around 3, and the second option, “Tugu Pahlawan” Museum – in which it displays basically war artifacts and records war history around the event of 10 November when Indonesia maintained its liberty from Netherlands during our status quo under Japanese when the later country  and “Axis countries” suffered the loss against “Allies or United Nations”.
    So. I was like, ummmhh, Japan, War and Japanese guest are better not to be put into one sentence, don’t you think?
  3. Mangroove forests
    It’s closed at 5 but again, this guy might have lots of more interesting nature-like places that are better-managed than our Mangroove Forests. No offense to our Mangroove forests though because I personally love that place. But the fact that it isn’t open till night makes it impossible to entertain our guest.
  4. Park
    Ughhhh… no comment on this one. My lips are sealed. I hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

Finally, we decided that we would take him (we only have one guest actually), to a more traditional-meet-modern place which sells local foods. LOADS OF LOCAL FOODS! So, East Coast Pakuwon be it.

Our dear guest then tried “Bebek Pak Janggut” – a duck dish which traditional spices, and “Sate kelopo” – a traditional beef or chicken kabobs (the locals call it “sate” or “satay”) with coconut shreds on top of it & peanut sauce.

Then at the end of the day, we rode this lights -decorated four-wheeled cycle that we have to cycle OURSELVES! Because, this cycle is obviously not available in Japan! Behold!

C360_2014-11-08-20-23-47-164Hiding behind the light is my good friend who-shall-not-be-named. And if you’re wondering which is our Japanese guest, he’s the guy in dark blue t-shirt. Because Asians look the same, right? NO.

Advertisements

Green Bay Gateaway

I am AVATAR Aang from Air Nomad and I can fly! You can’t see my air balloon underneath my feet because you’re all human!

20141025085249

At least that’s what’s happening in the photo above, or what I pretend what’s happening. So, we were visiting Green Bay, a hidden beach in the area of Meru Betiri Conservation Park. Personally, I’d rather call it TURQUOISE Bay, because, hey! Can’t you see the water is indeed turquoise?? Well, this beach, Green Bay, or the locals call it “Teluk Hijau” is located inside Meru Betiri Conservation Park. Meru Betiri itself is huuugeee and vaaaasttt and therefore, it is divided into two regions: Jember and Banyuwanyi. Green Bay is a lot closer to Banyuwangi and it is, in fact, located in Banyuwangi region.

You never heard about Banyuwangi? One of the biggest canned tuna producers? Ugh, and the fact that Banyuwangi is very close to Bali island? You know Bali island? The island of gods and beaches and Puré (Hindu temples) and the last time I checked, the island where some folks deployed bombs TWICE in the name of religion. That tropical Bali island? Yes! You’re right.

Well, Banyuwangi is just a ferry away from that island and it covers the widest region in East Java. So, on that faithful Friday evening, the most important day of my life, we set off to Green Bay not through the north, but south. We took Surabaya – Sidoarjo – Probolinggo – Jember route because it is shorter in distance. However, this very route, mind you, has its downside. After you go pass the main city of Jember, there lay thick forests with its up-and-down the hill rides. Cuss the government for that! Plus, the roads are not smooth, either. And what’s worse? No food stall selling coffees and nasi bungkus! This Nasi bungkus is basically cooked white rice with some chicken or meats , sauté veggies, and sambal wrapped in brown paper. The price? Well, it ranges between 5K IDR to 8K IDR. Since I told you that we set off in the evening, it was around 3 in the morning when we arrived to the last civilization. Anyway, thanks Heaven! We found one food stall selling nasi pecel before the T-Junction from Jember main road going on to Southern Banyuwangi – where Green Bay is located and one that goes straight to Banyuwangi Town.

I didn’t take photos of my nasi pecel back then, because it was so dark and I even didn’t realize I had this blog to update.  But here’s a glimpse of what nasi pecel usually looks like:

Jpeg

[Nasi pecel : Javanese rice dish served with cooked veggies and peanut sauce]

The price is around 5K to 10K IDR, depending on what main-dish or meat you have. It usually goes great with dadar jagung – savoury fried ground corn kernels, empal – savoury fried sirloin meat, fried chicken marinated in bumbu pepek (Indonesia complete 9 spices), Continue reading