Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My First Unforgettable Day in Padang, Indonesia

Yayan, a guy I met during my trip to India in May last year has been transferred to Padang (which is actually his hometown) from Batam just last October. Us, having the same hobby which is traveling, have often kept contact since then to share itineraries or interesting places to visit. I was supposed to visit Sumatera last year during the fasting month but had to cancel my plans due to work restrictions.

Only just recently I was able to visit Padang which was during the Wesak holidays. YES!


Dream come true!!

Having met Yayan on the few accounts in India and at the airport in KL, I was surprised that he offered to host me during my visit to Padang. (I actually don't know him that much! Haha!) Letting me stay at his sister's room at his parents' home. Wow! Thanks Yayan! He even allowed me to bring one of my girl friends with me! Now that's what I call hospitality at its finest! :P

Discussing our plans in Padang via FB chat, we actually didn't work out a solid itinerary. In the end it was going with the flow. The plan was my friend and I will fly into Padang on a Saturday afternoon, explore Padang ourselves on Sunday as Yayan was busy with his school exams and rent a car to Bukittinggi on Monday. The thing is, this kind-hearted host of ours had taken leave from work just to spend Monday with us!!! *terharu mau nangis*

So what happened when I first stepped my foot on Sumbar land? (Sumbar stands for Sumatera Barat as in West Sumatera). After I passed through the immigration and the customs, I was greeted by a guy in uniform, "Hey Jard, where's Siti Nur?". I looked up and was shocked to see that Yayan has grown slimmer than the last time we met!!

Want to see the difference?

Last year in India. Yayan is on the far left, looking chubby. Hehe. From the left is Mukhlis, Suntea and Alid.

Yayan now, lost 7 kg (and so he claims). Maybe it got something to do with gelled hair? 
So you could imagine my shock when being greeted by a handsome (bolehlah! hahahaha), groomed guy when exiting the international departure hall of Minangkabau International Airport. And after waiting for him to finish his work at the airport, we got a free ride to his home via his colleagues' car! A five-star treatment on our first day in Padang. I felt home straight away. :P

The Minangkabau airport to the town of Padang takes around an hour and it sure is far away! As from what I heard, most of the foreign tourists don't stay in Padang. They either go straight to Bukittinggi where all the shopping and attractions are or go to the Mentawai Islands to surf the waves. Siti Nur and I decided to stay our full 4 days in Padang. You'd be surprised with what Padang has to offer! A lot!

Once we got to Yayan's home, we were welcomed by his sweet mom and younger sister. I wasn't sure how to "salam" an elder in Sumatera and did how we Malaysians did it, which is by taking both of the hands and pull it to our lips as if to kiss it. There was a moment of awkwardness there. Hehe. We handed our gifts and were settled into his sister's room. Not long after, Yayan invited us to go out to visit Air Manis Beach for sunset. On the way we were treated with this. 

A nice meal on a rainy afternoon. *brb cari nama makanan ini. Lupah heh!*
There wasn't much hope to catch a sunset during that day because of the clouds and heavy rain. But I guess luck was on our side. Despite the rain, god let us had a glimpse of a remarkable sunset just below the dark clouds, giving it a surreal feeling.
It seemed like a hopeless afternoon for a beautiful sunset. :(
Until suddenly.......
We managed to enjoy a perfect sunset! Picture taken by Siti Nur.
I was ashamed to admit that I didn't know the legend of Malin Kundang that made Air Manis Beach so famous. Legend has it that Malin Kundang who came from a poor family had left home to look for riches elsewhere. When he succeeded, he came back home only to show undisguised disgust to his mother whom he was ashamed of for being poor and went back to his ship. Humiliated and heartbroken, his mother fell to her knees in desperation and prayed to god to punish her ungrateful son. Soon a terrible storm brewed up and wrecked his ship, killing everybody on board except him.

Malin Kundang was washed ashore, seriously injured and was turned into stone on his hands and knees. Thus, it is said, Malin Kundang has been forced to stay on the beach for all time, forever begging for forgiveness from his mother who he shamed so badly.

The stone that has a resemblance of a person on his hands and knees. Creepy!!! 
We headed back just as the last drop of sun rays disappeared from the sky. Being a devout muslim, Yayan stopped by at a nearby mosque to allow us to perform our Maghrib prayers. *hard to find guys like this nowadays. lol*

Upon arriving home, we again received another delightful surprise, being served with home-cooked dinner by his mother! Hahaha! Oh-em-gi! This family who doesn't even know me that much has opened their homes to us with great kindness. I was overwhelmed with the acceptance. So that night, we slept with full bellies. Waiting for more adventures the next day.

To be continued......


Fariz Low said... [Reply]

alaa, i want to see more of the beach pics.

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ fariz.. but there's no girls in bikinis!! so how??


Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

Yayan look so different with official outfit hahaha,, oke next time is me to invade his hometown ^^

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ alid abdul... pls do!! he is a great host! eventho he isn't a couchsurfer. :)

salfhi said... [Reply]

malim kundang is indonesian version of our si tenggang

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@salfhi.. indeed. it has the same storyline. hehehe.