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Bandung Visit

June 17, 2008

ArunManis1BestOfBandung

This is the best picture I got of Bandung from a restaurant called "Arun Manis".  They serve Sundanese food.  It’s mostly deep fried and dry but the specialty is in the sambal or cabe (chili) and also Kecap Manis (dark sweet sauce).

Traffic

The traffic here is trying to say the least.  Coming from a small city where a 15-minute delay due to some small jam warrants my whining and complaining for a full afternoon, even Singapore’s traffic is bad enough for me.  Unless you’ve tasted the rush hours of Bangkok or Manilla , you don’t know what a traffic jam here is.  It’s only slightly better than Jakarta.  And a three-lane road easily becomes a 5-lane traffic where even the shoulder is used as a part of the road.

Food and Local Sightseeing

amos3      Becia1

Singaporean are used to words like "See S’pore in the 50’s by touring Batam or Pulau Pinang", this place is "ulu-er" than Singapore in the 50s.  But it’s so cheap.  For fifty thousand Rupiahs (about S$7), I can split my breakfast for my whole family between Cakue and Bapia in one place and DUNKIN’ DONUT coffee in another place.  Below you can see how rubbish is transported.

ThrashCar1

Shopping Malls

One will be wondering:  can I find a decent shopping mall in Bandung?  Like People’s Park (PP)?  Or Great World?  On the contrary to what one thinks, this place has mall catered for all economic status and levels.  There’re ones like PP, and ones bigger than the biggest mall in Singapore.  There’re ones (Bandung Supermal for instance) with roller coasters, Fellis Wheel and a whole amusement park inside.  In fact, there’re bigger and more shopping malls in this small city (a quarter the size of Singapore) than Singapore itself.  Really?  Yes.  Benar!  While there are more poor people in Bandung than in S’pore, with a headcount, there are also more rich people in Bandung than in S’pore.  Rich?  How rich?  They’re so rich, they own private properties in Singapore and has factories around S E Asia.  How rich?  They are so rich and so discreet, it’s even hard to count how rich they are.  The whole of Bandung could be burnt down and they still have money to send their kids to America for fun and for education.  But actually the big malls aren’t built for just the rich people of Bandung.  Since the completion of the toll highway from Jakarta to Bandung, Jakartans crowd this city and shop here almost every weekend.  And Jakarta is one of those Mega cities of the world, with population near 10 to 30 millions.  So, where can one find a stall small than my wardrobe but has a big professionally printed sign on a piece of cloth saying "AYO! NGOPI Disini!" (translated as "come on, we have coffee here!")?  That will be outside the resident of No 32 Jalan Naripan, Bandung.  And when you ask for Kopi, they’re simply pour hot water from an old thermo flask into an old mug with instant Nescafe and ask you for only five thousand Rupiahs.  Don’t ask me where yu can sit, you simply squat or stand around and you start chatting…

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