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Friday, September 29, 2023

Magical History Tour: Part II

My daughter Linda sometimes asked me, "why are you so glued to Petrus 98?" To me, it's like a sanctuary where I'm allowed to be myself. I always like the feeling that I'm just one of the guys, not more or less important. And that afternoon in Pontianak, Linda was about to see some of the faces behind Petrus 98.

We went to Aming Coffee at Gaia Mall. For a last minute arrangement, we still had a lot of friends joining. This could only happen in Pontianak, a town small enough for the people to travel from one point to another at short notice! It was good to hang out with high school friends again. Time flew as if I was there just for a while, but Linda convinced me that we had been there for hours!

At Aming Coffee with Petrus 98.

Just like the day before, we eventually went back to the hotel again. Linda likes the idea of lazing around in her bed. Not necessary a bad idea for a holiday in a town with not much to see. While she was doing that, I took a nap, too. After that, I ordered yam mie and nasi uduk Borobudur for her to try out. She liked yam mie, but disliked the meat that came with the noodles, so she swapped it with fried chicken from nasi uduk.

At night, I brought her to meet her youngest grand-aunt. Much to my surprise, Parno appeared as well with nice grade A mooncake in hand. Parno is no stranger to my family as he is a friend from so long ago. So there we were, chatting while drinking tea before calling a night. 

Parno is here!

The next morning, we visited my paternal uncle and aunt. Let's just say some topics will never change in the Lee family. Money was mentioned time and again. Not exactly the thing I love to talk about. But when we were saying goodbye, my auntie said something intriguing. She asked, "why are you always smiley? What's the secret?" I said I had no idea, too, though I am pretty sure it's because I don't think of money all the time.

My friend Hendry picked us up and I specifically requested him to drop us right in front of Gang Tiga on Jalan Ketapang. We walked into this small alley. Now covered with asphalt, I told Linda that the road used to be a long wooden bridge when I was a kid. We stopped at Jimmy's house, formerly known as Arena English Course, and I explained to her that this was where I went for English tuition. 

In front of Jimmy's house.

From there, we passed by Jalan Haji Abas II and turned left to Jalan dr. Setiabudi. I pointed to her where I stayed when her grandfather was riding high. We eventually resumed our journey in Hendry's car. He parked on Jalan Diponegoro, right next to the smelly ditch. Upon seeing that, my daughter frowned and said, "no fence? What if people fell into the gutter?"

I smiled. Born in a country where she had been safe and sheltered for the past 11 years, Linda simply couldn't comprehend the way of living we had back in Pontianak. It was beyond her understanding, but good for her to have the exposure to a different kind of standard in life. 

We met Harry and Novi at the eatery that sells kwe kia theng (it's quite similar to kway chap in Singapore). Linda tried the soup a bit and immediately decided that it wasn't something she'd like to eat. While we were there, she was puzzled to see all sorts of vendors coming in and trying to sell us banana and stuff. We playfully told her that it could be worse. Sometimes there'd be street musicians forcefully asking for money while playing a tune or two. 

At post office.

Once we finished eating, we continued our journey. We headed to post office because of course I must send a postcard while on holiday. Then Hendry made a turn to Kapuas Indah, probably the first plaza in Pontianak that has long passed its prime now. Then, before we knew it, we were back to my primary school again. We explored a bit more, then Hendry managed to gain the access to the church. I don't think Linda ever entered a Catholic church before that day.

For lunch, we went to Mega D'kitchen. I wanted her to try American Fried Chicken, but she ended up ordering spaghetti instead. While we were there, a bunch of friends came and joined us as well. It was a good thing, because Hendry was busy afterwards and we hitched a ride on Joni's car after lunch. He sent us to my auntie's house.

At Mega D'kitchen.

It was another family visit. My cousin Andrew then asked if we'd like to go somewhere, so we went to Tanjung Mulia and ordered Shanghai Ice there. And the story continued. I told Linda that I used to come here after playing Final Fight at the arcade across the street. 

Just like the day before, it was now time to return to our hotel to relax again. Linda had been craving for A&W, so I got it delivered using Grab. While Linda enjoyed her dinner, my cousins and I went for ours, too. We had Siomay Acin, a localized version of siu mai. It still tasted good, just like how I remembered it. 

Last night in Pontianak. 

That night, after my cousins left, a group of friends came to visit. It was the last night in Pontianak, but it wasn't the last visit from my friends. The next day, while I was visiting my mother, a friend named Andry came as well. He rode a motorbike, so I asked Linda to hop on and we went back to the hotel. It was her first ride, I reckon, and she didn't enjoy it, haha.

Then the remaining day in Pontianak was spent with Gunawan. We had lunch at Bakso PSP. Limin, the owner of Aming Coffee, came to join us. Shared with him the upcoming plan of Robinson Travel and extended the basketball match of Petrus v. Paulus to him, too. Oh yes, we'll beat them this time and close this chapter once and for all on a high note.

At Bakso PSP with Limin and Gunawan.

As Linda didn't feel well, we dropped her at my mum's house so she could rest for a bit. Then Gunawan and I went for a cup of coffee at Aming Coffee. It's a must do, since I was wearing the t-shirt! We chatted until the time came for us to pick up Linda and made our way back to Singapore. First stop: Supadio Airport for our flight to Batam!

Looking back, the Magical History Tour went well. I enjoyed the quality time I spent with my daughter. She is 11 now, old enough to understand the origin of her father. She is familiar with her mum's side due to the frequent visits and now she has the memories of her dad's humble beginning, tooFor all I know, it could be the one and only time we did this together, so I'm really glad we made it...

Waiting for our flight to Batam.

Tur Pontianak Untuk Anak: Bagian II

Putri saya Linda kadang bertanya, "kenapa Papa selalu terlihat chatting dengan grup Petrus 98?" Bagi saya pribadi, grup ini bagaikan tempat di mana saya bisa menjadi diri sendiri. Saya suka dengan perasaan bahwa saya hanyalah bagian dari generasi saya. Dan siang itu di Pontianak, Linda akan bertemu dengan wajah-wajah di balik  Petrus 98. 

Bersama Gunawan, kita menuju ke Aming Coffee di Gaia Mall. Untuk acara yang diorganisir secara dadakan, masih tergolong cukup banyak teman yang hadir. Inilah uniknya Pontianak, kota yang kecil dan memungkinkan orang untuk bepergian dari satu titik ke titik lain dalam waktu singkat. Saya senang bisa berkumpul dengan teman-teman SMA lagi. Pertemuan kita terasa singkat, tapi Linda mengingatkan saya bahwa kita sudah berada di sana beberapa jam lamanya! 

Di Aming Coffee bersama Petrus 98.

Seperti sehari sebelumnya, kita kembali ke hotel di sore hari. Linda senang bersantai di kamar hotel dan idenya masuk akal di Pontianak, kota yang tidak memiliki banyak tempat wisata. Selagi dia rileks, saya pun tidur sejenak. Setelah itu, saya memesan yam mie dan nasi uduk Borobudur untuk ia coba. Linda suka yam mie, tapi tidak suka daging-dagingnya, jadi ia tukar dengan ayam goreng dari nasi uduk. 

Di malam hari, saya bawa dia ke rumah adik mama yang bungsu. Ternyata Parno pun muncul di sana sambil membawakan saya kue bulan kelas A. Parno adalah teman dari sejak lama yang memang tidak asing dengan keluarga saya di Pontianak, jadi kita pun berbincang-bincang sambil menikmati sepoci teh bersama. 

Kemunculan Parno!

Keesokan paginya, saya membawa Linda mengunjungi paman dan tante dari pihak ayah saya. Di dalam keluarga Lie, sepertinya ada kecenderungan untuk berbicara tentang uang yang sebenarnya bukan topik favorit saya. Saat kita berpamitan, tante bertanya, "kenapa kamu selalu tersenyum? Apa rahasianya?" Saya jawab tidak tahu, tapi di dalam hati saya merasa bahwa mungkin karena saya tidak berpikir tentang uang setiap waktu. 

Teman saya Hendry datang menjemput dan saya secara spesifik memintanya untuk menurunkan kita di depan Gang Tiga di Jalan Ketapang. Kita pun berjalan masuk dan saya bercerita pada Linda bahwa jalan beraspal ini dulunya adalah jembatan kayu. Kita berhenti sejenak di depan rumah Jimmy yang dulunya dikenal sebagai Arena English Course, tempat saya belajar bahasa Inggris

Di depan rumah Jimmy.

Dari situ, kita bertolak ke Jalan Haji Abas II, lalu belok kiri ke Jalan dr. Setiabudi. Saya tunjukkan pada Linda rumah di mana saya tinggal ketika kakeknya sedang berjaya. Setelah itu, perjalanan pun berlanjut dengan menumpangi mobil Hendry lagi. Dia parkir di Jalan Diponegoro, tepat di samping parit. Apa yang dilihatnya membuat Linda bertanya, "kenapa tidak ada pagar? Bagaimana kalau ada yang jatuh ke parit?" 

Saya tersenyum. Anak yang lahir di negara yang aman dan tumbuh berkembang selama 11 tahun di situ memang beda. Linda heran dengan fasilitas kota dan gaya hidup kita di Pontianak. Sulit baginya untuk memahami, tapi bagusnya baginya untuk melihat kehidupan dari standar yang berbeda.

Kita bertemu dengan Harry dan Novi di tempat makan yang menjual kwe kia theng (kalau di Singapura, ini namanya kway chap). Linda mencoba supnya sedikit dan langsung memutuskan bahwa ini bukanlah sesuatu yang nikmat baginya. Selama kita berada di sana, dia juga mengamati beberapa penjaja barang yang masuk ke tempat makan untuk menawarkan pisang dan lainnya. Kita lantas menggodanya dan mengatakan bahwa ini belum apa-apa. Terkadang ada juga pengamen yang datang dan meminta uang secara paksa. 

Di kantor pos.

Perjalanan kembali berlanjut seusai sarapan pagi. Kita menuju kantor pos karena tentu saja saya harus menunaikan tradisi mengirimkan kartu pos. Dari situ Hendry berbelok ke Kapuas Indah yang konon merupakan pusat perbelanjaan pertama yang memiliki eskalator, namun sudah kumuh kondisinya sekarang. Setelah itu kita kembali ke SD Gembala Baik lagi. Kali ini kita masuk ke dalam dan Hendry juga mendapatkan akses ke gereja yang kosong di hari Senin. Ini mungkin pertama kalinya Linda memasuki gereja Katolik. 

Untuk makan siang, kita mampir ke Mega D'kitchen. Saya ingin memperkenalkan pada Linda apa yang namanya American Fried Chicken, tapi dia malah memesan  spaghetti. Selagi kita di sana, beberapa teman datang bergabung untuk makan siang juga. Dan untung saja mereka datang. Hendry mendadak ada kesibukan dan musti pulang dulu sehingga kita pun menumpang mobil Joni. Dia mengantarkan saya ke rumah tante. 

Di Mega D'kitchen.

Saya dan Linda kembali menyambangi keluarga. Setelah bertamu, sepupu saya Andrew pun bertanya hendak ke mana kita sekarang, jadi perjalanan pun diteruskan ke Tanjung Mulia. Kita memesan Es Shanghai di sana. Saya lantas bercerita pula bahwa dulu saya sering bermain Final Fight di Orbit Wonderland yang terletak di seberang jalan dan kini telah berubah menjadi supermarket.

Sama seperti sebelumnya, di sore hari kita kembali ke hotel. Linda ingin makan A&W, jadi saya pun memesan makan malamnya lewat Grab. Selagi dia bersantap, saya dan sepupu pergi ke Siomay Acin yang berada tak jauh dari hotel. Masih enak seperti dulu rasanya.

Malam terakhir di Ponti.

Di malam itu, setelah sepupu saya pulang, serombongan teman datang ke hotel. Ini adalah malam terakhir di Pontianak, tapi bukan terakhir kalinya saya berjumpa dengan teman. Keesokan harinya, sewaktu mengunjungi ibu saya, Andry datang ke rumah. Dia mengendarai motor, jadi saya pun meminta Linda untuk mencobanya. Andry pun membonceng kita kembali ke hotel. Saat saya tanya pendapat Linda tentang naik motor, dia ternyata tidak menikmatinya, haha. 

Sisa waktu kita di Pontianak ditemani oleh Gunawan. Saat kita makan di Bakso PSP, Limin, pemilik Aming Coffee, datang bergabung. Saya sampaikan acara Robinson Travel yang berikutnya dan juga pertandingan basket Petrus v. Paulus yang akan datang. Oh ya, kita akan bermain untuk satu kali terakhir dan pensiun setelah mengalahkan mereka, wahaha. 

Di Bakso PSP bersama Limin dan Gunawan.

Di siang itu Linda merasa agak pusing, jadi kita pun membawanya ke rumah ibu saya supaya dia bisa beristirahat sejenak. Sesudah itu kita mampir ke Aming Coffee untuk secangkir kopi. Ini wajib, mumpung saya sudah mengenakan kaos Aming Coffee! Kita pun berbincang-bincang sampai tiba saatnya bagi saya untuk pulang ke Singapura. Pemberhentian pertama: Bandara Supadio untuk penerbangan kembali ke Batam

Bila saya lihat kembali, perjalanan pulang kali ini berjalan lancar dan sesuai rute. Saya menikmati waktu bersama putri saya. Dia sekarang berusia 11 tahun, sudah bisa mengerti tentang asal-usul ayahnya. Dia kenal baik dengan pihak ibunya karena sering ke Bandung dan Tasikmalaya. Kini dia pun memiliki kenangan tentang cerita ayahnya selama di Pontianak. Ini mungkin pertama dan sekali-kalinya kita berlibur berdua ke Pontianak, jadi saya bersyukur bahwa liburan ini terwujud... 

Menunggu pesawat ke Batam.

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