A December 2005 trip
to Bandung by annie-m
Quote: A week visiting friends in Bandung, West Java, and what seemed like a week of traveling to get there
The climate is milder than Jakarta, which is usually very hot. During my stay in the rainy season, the temperatures were low 80s during the day and into the 60s at night. Since it is a Muslim country, I dressed modestly, mostly long-sleeve T-shirts and capris or khakis was comfortable. The only time I was hot was when we were hiking on the volcano.
I stayed with friends and spent my best times visiting with them. We travelled to the local volcano and (boiling) hot springs. Lots of shopping and eating.
The public transportation are angkots, which my friends referred to as "rolling ovens." It sounds worse than they are. Each one has a route into the districts of town and costs a dime or two.
For a big day of shopping or a trip out of town, hiring a car and driver is a good option and won't be much expense for someone changing U.S. dollars.
Restaurant | "Ayam Goreng Suharti"
We had an order of fried chicken, gado-gado (vegetables in sauce), and chicken soup. I also had an Es Apokat (avocado juice).
The fried chicken was not great, and the food, on a whole, was just average. We had much better meals at home with my friend’s cook preparing local meals.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 25, 2005
Ayam Goreng Suharti (Fried Chicken Suharti)
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 26, 2005
Jl. Cihampelas 49
Then we hiked a kilometer or so down through the forest to the hot springs. These were wild.
Hoping it was an area with shops or a market of local handcrafts, we took a taxi down to the street listed and asked around for this kampung, which most people did not know. Finally, we were directed to a house and invited to come in and sit. The front room was spacious and full of art -- it could have been a gallery.
My friend is a language student, but I don't know more than a dozen words of Bahasa Indonesia, so my understanding of the conversation was very sketchy. We asked about Kampung Seni, and the man who lived in the house pulled out some clippings from the 1980s about murals on the gang (alley) walls in this kampung. But by 2004, it was impossible to tell that the bits of blue paint here and there on the wall were once a mural, or even intentional.
The man brought us coffee and snacks and had us sign a guestbook. My friend spent sometime trying to understand if he was an artist, a dealer, or what. Since I couldn't understand the conversation, I looked a little more closely around the room and saw that it was pretty dusty and had some cheap gag gifts that might have been for sale, but no other evidence that it was a gallery. It began to seem like we were just in this guy's home.
He and my friend seemed to be talking about an idea he had for an artist market that never got any investors or government support. I wondered if we were being asked to buy into his project. After 10 or 15 minutes (maybe more - certainly it seemed like more), we started trying to end the conversation and got out of there without having to drink any more coffee (the java on java is awful).
When we tried to work out what had happened there, we concluded that a couple of foreign women dropped in on a complete stranger and asked about the good old days. Fortunately, our visit was in the late afternoon, a time when it is customary to visit and accept visitors, probably a very natural thing in that culture. I was lost because I had no sense of what our role was. Going down there, I thought we would be shoppers. But when I realized that there was no Kampung Seni and no artists. I couldn't figure out why we were so welcome and what he thought we were doing there.
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